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Food Find: Levain Bakery

chocolate chip walnutI’m not the first person to “find” Levain Bakery (though the storefront is down a few stairs), but it’s never too late to write about it.

This small bakery has quite a following and some days the lines are down the block for their famous cookies. Yesterday afternoon’s treat consisted of Chocolate Chip Walnut and Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookies and they did not disappoint! These decadent cookies are best eaten immediately when the chips are still warm and melted, but they hold up well until the next day too, which may be required given the size of them!

The bakery also has a selection of pastries, cakes and a few individual pizzas. Other cookies include Oatmeal Raisin and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip. Levain is the perfect pick-me-up and adds a “beginning of summer” quality to these days that are best spent outdoors.

5 Tips for Quick Weeknight Dinners

You don’t have to be a busy parent to want dinner on the table ASAP at the end of the day. With having only a short window of time to get home, get settled and get dinner on the table, I’ve picked up these 5 strategies to help me through crunch time.

1. Use your freezer You have one, it’s free, use it. Think of meals that can be made in large batches such as soups, sauces, stews and meatloaf, meatballs and breaded chicken cutlets. Keep frozen vegetables for a quick side. It’s also good to have a few kids meals on hand for the nights they don’t want what you’re eating or you want to order in.

2. Make a meal plan Whether it’s for a few days or the entire week, meal plans will help you streamline your shopping and reduce time in the store. Consider a food delivery service such as Fresh Direct and shop anytime you have a few minutes.

3. Reduce dinner prep time Cut and prep your veggies on Sunday or if you’re using carrots one night and you need them later in the week cut them all at once (another benefit to a meal plan!). Most cooked grains also keep well for up to one week. I’ve found that having Monday’s dinner prepped on Sunday is very stress reducing!

4. Buy a slow cooker This may require prep time the night before, but nothing beats a ready-to-serve dinner when you walk in the door. Dinner doesn’t get much easier than these 3 Ingredient Tacos.

5. Keep a well-stocked pantry and freezer Have basics such as pasta, rice, beans, lentils, tomato sauce and veggies at the ready so you can always cook up a simple dinner.
What are some of your tips for quick weeknight dinners?