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Dinner with NieNie: Stephanie Nielson Dishes on Food, Family & Plastic Utensils

There’s something about Stephanie Nielson’s old-fashioned sensibility that is inspiring.  A beloved blogger and dedicated mom to four beautiful children, Stephanie of the NieNie Dialogues inspires daily with her graceful, gentle take of the joys of raising a family.  While so many mothers’s seem to be looking for quick meal ideas, seeking the fastest way to get dinner on and off of the table, NieNie looks at suppertime as an opportunity to slow down, teach her children, and relish the day together over a hot meal.  Her technique is simple but surprising: the “good” plates are pulled out (not saved for fancy meals), little helpers are welcomed into the kitchen (not shooed out of mommy’s way),  and even the family dog is given a job.  Here’s how Nie makes family dinner work, the old-fashioned way.

How does food & family work in your home?
Food is what makes our family tick. We share some of the best moments together while eating or cooking. I cook everyday, except Sunday then Christian cooks. That is his favorite day of the week. He loves to cook.

I love to set the table, and I just taught my girls how to do it so they love that job now, and I usually end up cleaning up- me and my dog Jimmy, he licks the plates in the dishwasher clean. ;)

What does family dinner look like in your home? Dinner is always on the table at 6:00. I don’t use anything plastic, always glass and nice silverware. Dinner is such a special time for our family.

What are your family’s favorite meals?
I make good pizza and Christian loves cooking salmon. We try and eat fish 3 times a night. Dinner is always cooked and served by me. I enjoy trying new recipes. We don’t eat meat, so mostly vegetables.

How do you make family mealtimes memorable?
We always play “What was your favorite thing today” at the dinner table. It opens conversation, and we laugh and understand what eachother loves and does throughout the day.

What would you have your children learn from you about food and family?
That dinner is a very special time of the day. It is family time, a time to enjoy good home-cooked meals, and it is a time to wind down together.

Stephanie Nielson was born, raised, and married in Provo, UT. She is a popular blogger and author of “nieniedialogues.com”. She began blogging in 2005 while living in New Jersey as a way to keep her and her husband’s family informed about their life in the east. From 2005 to 2008, her blog steadily grew in popularity and readership. Her blog entries are a natural portrayal of life as a wife, mother, Latter-day Saint, daughter, sister, citizen, etc. They are filled with pictures and images that represent the common joys in the roles of her life. In the summer of 2008 she and her husband Christian were involved in a serious airplane accident. A close friend perished from his injuries and Christian and Stephanie survived the crash with burns covering arms, legs, face, and hands. She has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and The Today Show with Matt Lauer. In these interviews she explains why she believes she beat the odds of surviving their tragic accident and what life is like with her new appearance and physical limitations. Although reconstructive surgery is an ongoing requirement for Stephanie she maintains a joyful attitude for life as it was meant to be and living the roles she loves live. She currently lives in Provo with her husband and 4 children.

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