#36 | Dinner Made Easy
Dinner Made Easy
Six Sisters’ Stuff
Suzy Chase: Welcome to the Cookery by the Book podcast, with me, Suzy Chase.
Kristen Hills: My name is Kristen Hills and I am one of the six sisters from the blog sixsistersstuff.com and I'm here to talk about our new cookbook called "Dinner Made Easy."
Suzy Chase: You have a super popular blog, sixsistersstuff.com. How did the Six Sisters concept come about?
Kristen Hills: You know, it started when a few of us moved out of Utah. I moved away with my husband to medical school and other sisters doing summer sales with their husbands. One sister just had a miscarriage, so we kind of wanted a way to talk and communicate with each other instead of, I don't know if you remember, but back in the day you had to be on the same phone plan as someone in order to have free minutes.
Suzy Chase: Yes, I totally forgot about that.
Kristen Hills: I know, we were racking up our phone bills, and our husbands were going crazy because we were all on different accounts. One suggested maybe you guys should start a blog, so we did. So we started a blog and we used to share things like our favorite books, what we were doing with our kids. One day we just decided to start sharing our Mom's recipes, because it was a lot easier than calling each other and telling each other each individual ingredient. So we started sharing recipes and then people started coming to our blog that we didn't even know who they were or where they were from, it was kind of exciting. That's kind of how it started.
Suzy Chase: My goal as a wife and mother is to make a homemade meal at least five nights a week. In this cookbook you're complete family meal plan is arranged by seven categories. My favorite is "One Pan, One Pot Meals." I hate washing multiple pots and pans. What's your favorite one pan, one pot meal?
Kristen Hills: One of my most favorites is called, "Easy Bake Salmon." What you do is you put, you grab some salmon and put it right in the middle of your 9x13 pan, then you grab some asparagus, grab some brussel sprouts and you put a little bit of olive oil on it, on your salmon, you put a little bit of garlic salt and butter on top of your salmon, and you bake it for about 30 minutes. That is it, that's all you have to do. You have two side dishes and salmon, and it's healthy and you're done. You have no other dirty dishes. That is, we have that about once a week at my house.
Suzy Chase: I see in that recipe you use frozen brussel sprouts. I love in this cookbook you can use prepared items like canned tomatoes, or dry onion soup mix to combine with fresh ingredients for easy family dinners. Talk a little bit about that.
Kristen Hills: Sometimes it's hard to have fresh ingredients all the time. We try and use a little mixture of both. With this easy bake salmon, my trick to making brussel sprouts edible, I guess you can say, so my kids will eat them, I buy them frozen then I steam the, in a steamable bag and then put them in. It makes a world of difference, they're actually soft and they like to eat them as long as there's olive oil and garlic salt on them, they're fine.
Suzy Chase: With the blog, how do you and your sisters divide up the jobs?
Kristen Hills: There are seven days a week, and there's six of us, so we each take a day and our Mom actually takes a day. We come out with a recipe every single day. We kind of all split up the other jobs too, so there's social media, we run a few other websites like sixsistersstrong, or one sister does the menu plans, where once a week she'll send you a menu plan for, I think, six recipes or six meals, I think there's nine recipes in there. It comes to about three dollars a month, and she will send it to you along with a shopping list. She's in charge of that, each sister is in charge of something else. One sister's in charge of talking with sponsors and brands and does the emails. Myself, I'm in charge of Amazon, I run all the affiliate accounts that we work through. We all just kind of split it up and work together as a team.
If you can imagine working with your family or your sisters, sometimes it's hard. Our Dad is actually the mediator if there's ever problems, we go to Dad and say, "Okay, this is what I'm having problem with" and he'll bring it up as a group so there's no back-biting and stabbing each other in the back, you know? It works really, really well for us.
Suzy Chase: Many times, I can't for the life of me figure out what to make for dinner. Where do you get your dinner inspiration?
Kristen Hills: We have over 3000 recipes now on our website. For a while sometimes, you'll have a great idea of, "Okay, I'm going to do this and this and this and this" and then some months I completely draw a blank. One of my favorite things is to go to a thrift store and buy their old cookbooks. Really when people, like neighborhood groups, put cookbooks together, they're usually pretty good recipes in there. That's my favorite thing to do right now, is just go look up old cookbooks and old recipes and see what people like making. That's kind of what I like to do right now.
Suzy Chase: Sunday night I made your recipe for Dad's Goulash on page 52. Was this your Dad's recipe?
Kristen Hills: Whenever my Mom was really stressed out or she had a lot going on, my Dad would make his goulash. It's the only meal he really ever made, and it was his special thing that he did. We usually had the ingredients to make it, and he'd just throw it together and serve it to us whenever my Mom was busy with soccer stuff or church stuff or anything like that. Yeah, it was kind of his one and only recipe he knew how to make, but he was good at it.
Suzy Chase: This meal was a hit with my 10 year old. I think that the brown sugar added a little bit of sweetness to it.
Kristen Hills: Yes, yes, I know, I just cooked it for my kids too and they really liked it. This is one of those meals too that you could double it and then put it in a container and freeze it and it would be totally fine in a few weeks if you thaw it out and microwave it.
Suzy Chase: Yes, that's a great idea. I actually used your onion hack from your cooking hack section. It says to place a piece of bread in your mouth when chopping an onion. I thought it was a little weird, but it totally worked.
Kristen Hills: Yeah, it totally ... I am a strong believer of, I wear the swimming goggles as I do it, as ridiculous as I look. I'm about 30 weeks pregnant right now, so I'm even more a mess when I cut onions, so the googles work for me. I'm going to have to try the bread, see how that goes.
Suzy Chase: Every busy mom needs to get this cookbook, thanks Kristen for coming on Cookery by the Book podcast.
Kristen Hills: Thanks for having me.