The Importance of the Family Dinner


When looking at my Fall schedule of appointments, meetings, activities {and everything else in between} – I feel faint. Summer is over and the ‘back to the routine’ chaos is super thick.

Yet, as busy as we are, we can’t forget the little yet important things that should be a priority each day. Things like: slowing down life and checking out flowers with the kids instead of dragging them quickly to the destination, reading that calming book before bed instead of rushing them to bed so that you can fill out those school forms before you forget. Also on my priority list: family dinners.

It may sound like a simple thing, yet sometimes life pulls you in so many directions that you lose sight of the significance that this time brings. Having family dinners gives all the chance to catch up on what happened through the day. This time to connect keeps those loving ties strong.

In fact, one of my u things to do during dinner time is to ask each child what part of their day they loved most and what they are looking forward to the next day. Not at all trivial, but a time to replenish and fill the body with food and the heart with family.

Which is why I love this: On Thursday, September 19, 2013, M&M Meat Shops will once again step up to the plate and encourage Canadians to enjoy the tradition of the family dinner, for the 9th year in a row.

FamilyDinnerNight _MMmeatshops_Banner

Sadly, a recent national study completed for M&M Meat Shops reveals that fewer families than ever before are making family meal time part of their daily lives. Nearly 10% of Canadians say that they never have dinner with their partner or their family, and fewer than 40 per cent sit down with their family for a daily meal.

I have to wonder if this alarming statistic is by choice {dinner in front of the tv perhaps}, or if our schedules are so busy that there just isn’t the time. In any case, knowing this is the first step in making a conscious effort to lower these percentages.

So what can we do? What brings everyone to the table?

That’s right – special meals. Think Christmas, Easter, birthdays .. Yet, it doesn’t have to be fancy nor a ton of work, just a break from the ordinary. A new recipe that gets everyone excited and their taste buds watering.

M&M Meat Shops logoIn hopes of encouraging people to enjoy a family meal, M&M Meat Shops is challenging Canadians to share their own family-favourite recipes that feature M&M Meat Shops’ products.

With a fun contest!

From Sept 13th – Oct 11th, 2013, Canadians can submit their recipes on the M&M Meat Shops Facebook page to be entered for a chance to win 1 of 3 prizes of a $100 M&M Gift Card.

Winners will be selected by a panel of M&M food and recipe experts and the winning recipes will be featured on!

Sharing your favourite meals, getting incredible meal idea to enjoy with your family PLUS the chance to win?! I call that a recipe for success, for everyone!

As a reminder: The store has COUNTLESS pre-cooked meals and already seasoned/sauced meats, veggies, potatoes and more. Oftentimes while there for my staples, I try a also pick up a few new items to try when time-crunched.

The last meal-crush? The Slow Cooked Beef Pot Roast was to die for! I cooked it in the oven, yet there’s also the option for heating in the microwave as well. The gravy included with the meat is incredible, I will get this again. Best thing? By the time I had potatoes and some veggies cooked, the meal was complete. Easy peesy.

Sorry, I got side-tracked by deliciousness … get back on topic, Tammi.

To help celebrate National Family Dinner Night, I made a new meal for my family using the main ingredients found at M&M Meat Shops, which indeed got us all to the table.

The meal I created is Baked Chicken & Cheese Marinara Ravioli.

Baked Chicken Cheese Marinara Ravioli myorganizedchaos

The main meat in this recipe is M&M Meat Shops Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts. Remember me mentioning my ‘staples’? Open my freezer and at all times I have a box {if not 4} of these chicken breasts.

MM Meat Shops Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts

The chicken is breaded to a crisp perfection and then slathered in delicious marinara sauce and mozza cheese. The combination of the coating ingredients and the classic Italian taste of the sauce and cheese? MOUTHWATERING!!

Once cooked, this ‘heaven chicken’ is then served on a bed of Bel Canto Five Cheese Ravioli, in the refrigerator section at M&M Meat Shops. Once boiled, they puff into perfection, and who can resist having one more type of cheese on their plate!

MM Meat Shops Bel Canto Five Cheese Ravioli

Mama says eat those veggies, which is why this meal is complete with some Bean & Carrot Medley {steamed}, also found at M&M Meat Shops in the freezer section. Adding some nice colour but also great taste, even my picky eaters smile when they see this bean blend.

I think I won the SuperMom award {if there was such a thing} on the first night I made this recipe. At many requests from the family, it was made again the next week.

What’s the saying? Great food, great company, great conversations? Check, check and check! Get your family to the table with this recipe, in full below for you to bookmark, share & print. Also, don’t forget to enter the National Family Dinner Night Contest at M&M Meat Shops!


So, what foods found at M&M Meat Shops will get YOUR family to the table?


Baked Chicken & Cheese Marinara Ravioli
Serves 6
Write a review
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
  1. 4 M&M Meat Shops Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, sliced in half to make 8
  2. 1 cup Breadcrumbs
  3. 1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  4. 2 tsp Oregano
  5. 3 tbsp Butter, melted (or olive oil)
  6. 3/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
  7. 1 1/2 cup Marinara Sauce
  8. Fresh chopped Basil for garnish {optional but recommended}
  9. 2 Pkgs M&M Meat Shops Bel Canto Five Cheese Ravioli
  1. Preheat oven to 450° and spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Combine breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and oregano in a shallow bowl or deep plate
  3. Melt the butter in another shallow bowl or deep plate
  4. Dip the chicken into the butter and then into the dry mixture.
  5. Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
  6. Cook for 20 minutes, turning over at the 10 minute mark.
  7. Remove from oven and spoon marinara sauce over each piece of chicken and top each with preferred amount of mozzarella cheese
  8. Place back in the oven and cook for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted
  9. Serve warm over cooked M&M Meat Shops Bel Canto Five Cheese Ravioli, with a sprinkle of Basil on top
  1. ~ You have to half each chicken breast to make 2 thinner pieces - or else it won't cook evenly and you might have an undercooked middle with burnt edges.
  2. ~The chopped basil is optional yet it does give a really nice flavour to the meal.
  3. ~ Side with cooked 1/2 pkg M&M Meat Shops Frozen Bean & Carrot Medley {boiled or steamed} as a vegetable group and you have a complete meal!
My Organized Chaos

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, opinions are my own.



  1. says

    My family would absolutely love this recipe! It has something for each of them! Definitely adding this to my meal plan!

  2. Hailey says

    thats’ my kind of meal, I’d never miss a chance to try that and I’m sure my family wouldn’t either. Eating together is so important, we have it as a rule in our house and make it priority. great initiative, those stats are alarming!

    • Tammi says

      Agree and agree. Happy this post spoke to you Hailey. Now, what ‘cha making for dinner tomorrow?

  3. says

    Yum! That looks amazing. We eat dinner together just about every night. Whether it be at home at the table (5 nights a week) or enjoying a treat of watching a movie together and eating together in the living room (1-2 nights) or a treat of eating out. The kids know dinnertime is family time.

    • Tammi says

      That is awesome Danielle, glad you guys make the time, I know how busy the school and activity season is!

  4. Jessica says

    that looks so good Tammi, wow! I’m a pasta nutbar, I’ll have to try those ravioli next time I’m at M&M Meats. Entering the contest too, thanks!

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