Family Night

In my opinion, one of the very best things you can do for your family is to start holding a regular family night. If you don’t already do something like this with your family, I encourage you to start this week! It is a way for the entire family to get together–no matter what. You can talk, play games, go out for a dessert, watch a movie, just about anything qualifies for a family night–as long as you are together as a family!

Want to know more? Just read on so that you can learn about starting your own family night:

The first step is determining when your family night will work best into your schedule. When are most (or hopefully all) of your family members home? In my home, this is Sunday night. My husband works evenings and nights during the week, so Sundays work out great for us.

The next step is to block off that day of the week, every week, for your family night. Let the family know that this night will be for your family and tell them to not make any plans for that day. I know that may be easier than it sounds–particularly with teenagers–but let them know how important it is to you to have them there.

Next, you must decide what will take place during your family night. You do not have to do the same thing every week, but for some families this works out great. You may want to rotate who gets to choose the activity–one week your oldest may wish to watch a family movie, then the next week, your youngest may ask to play “Chutes and Ladders” together.

Another way to get them to your Family Night is to provide a dessert or snack. After the activity, or even possibly during, you can all enjoy the yummy treat! Your family night can be as big or as small as you wish it to be–there is no right or wrong way, just make sure you do it.

Peanut Butter Puffs

3 to 4 tablespoons peanut butter
20 vanilla wafers
80 miniature marshmallows

Spread about 1/2 teaspoon peanut butter on each wafer. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Top each with four marshmallows. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until the marshmallows are lightly browned. Serve warm. Makes about 20 snacks.

Snack Mix Squares

2 1/2 cups halved pretzels sticks
2 cups Corn Chex (or similar cereal)
1 1/2 cups M&M’s
1/2 cup butter or margerine
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
5 cups miniature marshmallows

In a large bowl, combine pretzels, cereal and M&M’s. In a large saucepan over low heat, melt butter and peanut butter. Add marshmallows; cook and stir until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Pour over pretzel mixture; stir to coat. Press into a greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Cool until firm; cut into squares. Makes about 3 dozen.

Mozzarella Puffs

1 tube (7-1/2 oz.) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 block (2 to 3 oz.) mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons pizza sauce

Make an indention in the center of each biscuit; sprinkle with oregano. Cut the mozzarella into 10 cubes, 3/4 in. each; place a cube in the center of each biscuit. Pinch dough tightly around the cheese to seal. Place seam side down on an ungreased baking sheet. Spread pizza sauce over tops. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about 10 servings.

Favorite Snack Mix

6 cups Crispix (or similiar) cereal
1 can (10 oz.) mixed nuts
1 package (10 oz.) pretzel sticks
3/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup packed brown sugar

In a large bowl, combine the cereal, nuts, and pretzels. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Add brown sugar; cook and stir until dissolved. Pour over cereal mixture; stir to coat. Place a third of the mixture on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 8 minutes; stir and bake for 6 minutes more. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Repeat with remaining mixture. Makes about 14 cups.

Strawberry Yogurt Fruit Dip
(use it to dip just about any type of fruit into it!)

1 1/2 cups frozen whole strawberries, thawed
1 carton (8 oz.) strawberry yogurt
1 cup whipped topping
Assorted fruit for dipping

In a bowl, mash berries. Add yogurt and mix well. Fold in whipped topping. Serve with fruit. Makes about 2 3/4 cup of dip.

Written by Brandie Valenzuela.


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