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By Christine Coe | Writer, Mother & Rainmaker


Hello. We haven’t really officially met yet but I’m one of the contributing writers to these blog posts. I’m also a single mother to a toddler and let’s just say, dinnertime isn’t always my favorite time. Not only do I lack the aforementioned “time” but I’m not really the best cook on the planet. My daughter is also quite picky and I usually make her something to eat first. So by the time I get to feeding her and then start thinking about what I’m going to eat, the whole process just sounds exhausting and I wind up heating something up in the microwave. I know, not the most exciting or probably healthy thing for me to do most nights of the week.


I did attempt to join one of those food services for a little while. You know the ones that come to you in a box a few nights a week with all the ingredients and recipe card? Yeah, they’re supposed to be easy and delicious. Most of the time they were pretty tasty but trying to put a meal together for two (the idea was to save the other portion for lunch the next day) while trying to either feed, wrangle, or entertain my daughter, was next to impossible. The dinners wound up taking almost two hours to prepare and then nothing was done at the same time. In other words, most of the meal was cold by the time I got to enjoy it. And then, for one reason or another, I wouldn’t get around to making them as fast as they were coming / needed to be eaten – which worked out nicely for some friends who were the recipients of those free meals. And those services aren’t cheap either! But I initially thought, oh, three meals are really like six for me and it will get me eating better and cooking something nice for myself. Yeah….it was a good thought in theory.


Then I bought an electric grill. Best thing I ever could have done, especially for the hot summer. It’s so super quick and easy to turn on and just throw things on the grill – vegetables, meat, egg rolls! I know you saw the barbecue post and I got to tell you, that’s my new favorite way to eat Van’s Kitchen egg rolls and everything for that matter. You don’t have a bunch of pans to clean up – you just need tinfoil. It really is a no-brainer. I just light up the grill, put my dinner on, fix my daughter something, and then usually my food is ready so we can both actually eat at the same time. I know, what a novel idea! I mean the fact of the matter is, she’s like a little sponge right now and learning from everything she sees around her. I really do want to teach her good habits by eating something healthy and sitting down to enjoy dinner as a family….even if it is just the two of us. I think it’s important to start traditions early. I remember growing up, that no matter how busy my dad was with work, we always sat down together as a family for dinnertime. Sometimes that was the only meal we all got together for, but my mom always tried to make sure we had that time to talk about our day and what was going on at school, with sports, etc. I know my brother and I use to complain a bit about it then but we both are thankful for it now that we are grown and have children of our own.


But I digress a bit….back to fixing dinner. Let me just tell you how versatile the egg rolls are – whether you are eating them as your main entrée or as a side, it’s super simple to throw something quick and delicious together. For instance, I usually get the five-pack, since it’s just me (my daughter is going through a texture issue right now so I get them all to myself!) and they last me a couple nights. The other day I had the pork egg rolls and tossed two on the grill with some chicken skewers and asparagus. I ate the egg rolls and the chicken with barbecue sauce…yummy. The next night I had a friend over and put the last three egg rolls on the grill and then had a pre-bag mix of an Asian salad (yes, I cheated…you should really try our Crunchy Asian Egg Roll Salad recipe here), then I cut up the egg rolls and put them on the salads, along with some ginger sesame dressing. Again, tasty. Plus the five-pack is only $2.50 at my neighborhood Wal-Mart Market. That’s a great deal! You can find a location carrying Van’s Kitchen egg rolls near you on our website.


So the moral of my story? Find what works for you on those busy nights so you can actually sit down and enjoy a meal with your family. Maybe it’s preparing food ahead of time so it’s just as simple as putting it in the oven, grilling up dinner, or allowing yourself permission to just head over to the Tasty Freeze and get hamburgers! Hey, it is summer after all…and my daughter does love a chocolate milkshake.