A Working Mom’s Guide to Family Dinner

By: Gabbie Krivonak

Published:  April 10, 2014

Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing

Gabbie Krivonak believes that moms can have a career and provide delicious and nutritious meals for their children.  She believes in family dinners and finds they are an opportunity to for families to talk over the day and while doing that, encourage good nutrition.  She begins with teaching you strategies and techniques for planning out your meals, making them fun, and sharing simple cooking tips. Then she gives you an assortment of homemade recipes for sauces and dressings for a variety of foods.

The rest of the cookbook is broken down into stages of life, including The Toddler Years, The Elementary School Years, The Teenage Years, and finally, recipes for the Empty Nesters.  I found this way of breaking up the recipes unique.  I remember certain recipes that I wanted to make would not be something my toddlers would have eaten, so I either had to make two meals or just forget about making it.  As you move through the stages, the recipes become more varied.  You will find breakfast food, salads, and main dish recipes as part of every stage.

For most of the recipes, Krivonak shares some family history about the recipe and several of the recipes have photos.  I wish all of the recipes had photos with them as I appreciate seeing the finished product.  The recipes are full of regular ingredients you can find at your local grocery store or in your pantry.  They are easily understood and simple to prepare. I feel I can’t give a proper cookbook review without trying out a recipe.  I chose to try out the Hungarian Goulash from The Elementary School Years Chapter. There are several recipes I am looking forward to trying out and if they are all as good as the goulash, then I won’t have any complaints from our family.

The Hungarian Goulash was simple and delicious and liked by three out of the five of us which is about standard for most of our meals.  The only thing I didn’t notice was the time it took to make it.  It needs about 1 1/2 hours of cooking time, so our family ate a little late that night, but it was worth it.  We served it with Reames Noodles and a dinner roll and it was very filling.

Serves 4

3 T olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 lbs stew meat
3 T paprika
3 Cups of beef bouillon
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 russet potatoes cut into pieces
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet/pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until onion is golden. Add the beef and paprika. Saute until beef is evenly browned on all sides. Add the beef bouillon and bring to a boil. Cover pan, reduce heat, and simmer for one hour until a fork can pierce the meat easily. Add the remaining ingredients. Simmer for 30 additional minutes, uncovered. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over cooked egg noodles.

My notes:  I only used half an onion and seemed enough.  This fed three of us quite well with some left overs.

Gabbie Krivonak – source

Author Gabbie Krivonak has taken classes in classical French cooking at L’Academie de Cuisine of Bethesda, Md. The small business owner of My Mom’s a Good Cooker Inc. and a blogger, is a retired IBM executive. Krivonak is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She has two children and four grandchildren, and she and her husband, Buzz, live in Rockville, Md.  If you would like more information about the cookbook or to see more recipes, visit her website,

If you would like to purchase MY MOM’S A GOOD COOKER, please click the photo below:

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  1. Beth F on July 9, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    This sounds like a winner for everyday eating. I like the breakdown by life stage — very different. The recipe and your photo both look good, though we would probably like a little more spice (but we don't have kids to feed!).

  2. Heather on July 11, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    interesting approach. I have certainly cooked differntly as my children have gotten older.

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