Dinner Trade Tips Articles

Too many members in your Dinner Group?

Too many members in your Dinner Group?

So what do you do if you have too many people who want to join your dinner group? The simplest solution would be to break the group up into two Dinner Groups.  But let’s say you have five members, but you only want to do meals Monday – Thursday, so the weekends are open? In this case, you can have four members pick a specific day that they cook, and one member is a “floater.” The floater option is something that I am currently using in my dinner group, which consists of five members.  This option works really well for us, because we are only cooking three adult size portions per family. This means that one week out of five, I don’t have to cook at all. Krysti is the floater chef for our group. So that means the day she cooks will be different every week, as she will take over the night for the chef who is off. You can see how this works by looking at our meal calendar. I think this option is really nice for our group, but it may be a bit more difficult for... Read the rest of this article »

5 Tips How to Start and How to Last

5 Tips How to Start and How to Last

We can’t help but emphasize the importance of eating dinner together with your family. And we can’t help but emphasize also, the importance of having a dinner group for you to actually realize the benefits of togetherness every night. We have seen it, we have experienced it (and are still experiencing it) and it works! If you have problems communicating WITH your kids (and not TO your kids), problems with study time, or you just miss the company of your friends, taing the time to form a dinner group is not a guarantee, but based on our experiences, it’s a very big help. So as much as possible, you want your dinner group to last because the changes that you hope to see won’t take place overnight. Your kids might think you’re weird, your husband might not take you seriously at first, but you’re ALL going to get richly rewarded after some time. So to make sure your dinner group lasts, here are some tips: 1. Have a goal. As with any endeavor, you have to... Read the rest of this article »

8 No Brainer Guide to Cooking for Many

8 No Brainer Guide to Cooking for Many

First time dinner group members and those contemplating joining a dinner group usually have the same complaint: “I don’t know how to cook by the bulk!” or “I always end up cooking too little or too much!” This is understandable of course. Cooking by the bulk is a lot different from cooking for your family of four. And waste equals supposed to be avoidable expenses. It is understandable to make mistakes at first of course and cooking for many people is a daunting task but if you are armed and prepared, you can readily take on the challenge and reap the benefits of having a dinner group. Here are some tips we have for those who want to lessen their mistakes as much as possible: 1. Ask around. This one is a no-brainer. No one who asks for directions (from the right people of course) gets lost. Ask experienced dinner group members in your area for advices on the quantity of food you should cook. If you have friends who are in the catering business, you can also ask them too. 2. Take... Read the rest of this article »

Especially 4 You

Especially 4 You

I always smile when I remember my friend Fannie. She was my dorm mate in college. When we were working already, the two of us with a couple of our friends started our dinner group. Even with both of us married, our friendship and dinner group continued. The day she was assigned to cook was always a delight for us because she would sometimes include thoughtful notes, or a bunch of flowers or a gift for one of our kids who may be having a tough time or about to face something such as the results of the audition in the drama club. I have somehow adapted her ways even though we don’t belong to the same dinner group anymore. Here are some of my tips on how you can make your dinner group members feel extra special: 1. Talk about the kids. One of the primary reasons parents join dinner groups is because of their kids. Getting to know what’s happening in their kids’ lives can give you ideas on what to give on a special day just like what Fannie did for my kids. 2. Cook extra intentionally... Read the rest of this article »

5 Things You Can Do If You Don’t Like Something

5 Things You Can Do If You Don’t Like Something

“My friend always cooks meatloaf. I have nothing against her but it’s just that my kids don’t like it! What should I do?” a frustrated dinner group member emailed us. Everyone is unique. And so are the members of your dinner group. Some may have multi-racial members or members coming from different states. And since everyone has different personalities and preferences, you should expect that something that works well with the family of one might not be the same for another. That doesn’t mean that your dinner group is not a success; its reality. It just means that you have differences in taste. Here are some tips to help you face this problem effectively. 1. Be up front in the planning meeting. Remember that ignoring a problem won’t make it go away. If someone says they want to do meatloaf, and you know your family won’t eat it, speak up. ”I tried meatloaf before, and none of my kids would eat it. Do you have anything else you’d like to do?” It’s... Read the rest of this article »

On Working Moms, Dinner Swap and Beethoven

On Working Moms, Dinner Swap and Beethoven

Starting to play the piano at a late age is very hard. It requires putting pride aside (for a younger teacher to be able to teach you), bumbling incoherently through music sheets, feeling frustrated, but the rewards of being able to play a difficult piece flawlessly is all worth it. Starting to learn piano is just like starting a dinner trade group or partner for a working mom. Just the process of convincing fellow working moms to start a dinner group is a challenge in itself already. And of course, actually finding the time to try making a new dish seems like a daunting, not to mention a tedious task. But the rewards are really worth it. Not only do you get to have quality and quantity time for your kids and husband, you also get to sample dishes of your dinner group, thus bringing a new flavor to the family table. Here are just some tips to the working moms who have just decided to practice dinner swap. 1. Resolve to do it! Intentions are only as good as they are. Putting off starting... Read the rest of this article »

Vegetarian Dinner Group: Not an Impossibility

Vegetarian Dinner Group: Not an Impossibility

You might have typed the word vegetarian the reason why you landed on this site. You might be a vegetarian already or just planning to be one. Whichever you are, you’re probably shaking your head at the thought that you can have a dinner group with your seemingly “limited” diet and possible group mates. But if you look around, again, you might be surprised at the growing number of vegetarians or interested on becoming one not just because of religious convictions but also for health reasons. Here are some useful tips on starting a vegetarian dinner group: 1. Make sure that you know what kind of vegetarian your dinner group members are because there are different kinds out there. You have to be especially careful because some of your group mates may be adapting this diet because of allergies. 2. Keep your group updated on the latest trends on vegetarianism. This can help know the latest product offerings or latest discoveries on which plant would be better or more organic. 3. ... Read the rest of this article »

Cook and Click

Cook and Click

Photography is an art. Its also a practical way of storing vital information such as dinner trade recipes. In an age where everyone has virtual storage, pictures can greatly help dinner groups. Here are tips on how to use this tool: 1. If recipe books are used, try to take a picture of the preparation of your take on the recipe. 2.In the process of cooking, make sure you include photos or insert words that can graphically describe how you want it to look (or the way it SHOULD look). 3.Lastly, include a picture of the finish product. Pictures of your family enjoying the recipe is optional. You might wonder why not just send a clip of the recipe. Putting a recipe into practice is perhaps the most difficult thing in cooking. The pictures of you actually trying a new recipe can be a motivation to your dinner group to try an especially delicious looking recipe knowing that you have tried it yourself. And since dinner groups are gaining popularity around the world, a long distance dinner trade... Read the rest of this article »

Getting Bored? Here’s the solution to that!

Getting Bored? Here’s the solution to that!

“Mom, I’m tired of spaghetti and meatballs,” Josh whined. It was Tuesday night, and it was swap time with Becky’s friend Felicia. At first Josh happily dug in Felicia’s spaghetti smothered in freshly blended tomatoes, drizzled with cheese and topped with plump meatballs but after 4 straight weeks, Becky thought that maybe she should tell Felicia about it. But she didn’t want to lose a dinner group member and a good friend at that. Have you ever encountered such a problem? Maybe you’ve been in the dinner group for a long time already and had actually become the kind of member Felicia was. You hear groans instead of seeing happy smiles on your husband’s and kids’ faces. The solution? Set a monthly theme for your dinner group! Collect cookbooks of other countries’ dishes such as Mexican, Indian, or something exotic such as Filipino or Thai cuisine. The possibilities are truly endless! Surfing the net can also help you plan out your... Read the rest of this article »

Copyright © 2014 Dinner Trade