Cooking For Family When on Vacation

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There’s nothing more delicious than a home-cooked meal. While restaurants have unique and sophisticated options, you can actually taste the love put into a dish by someone who cares. 

Making a meal for a family brings everyone closer, and it is a fun-filled activity that results in something yummy! Getting kids involved in the kitchen can also pique their creative interests and spark a love of culinary arts.

At a timeshare resort, a fully equipped kitchen is usually found and there you have all the cooking supplies and appliances you need for most recipes. Just stop by the local grocery store for your ingredients. 

Preparing lunch or dinner for your family is also the more affordable option especially when on vacation. You can save hundreds of dollars on your vacation stay when you cook using the resort’s in-suite kitchen.  

Check out the different recipes below that are delicious, fun, and easy to put together in your fully stocked kitchen. 

Resort Kitchen

Easy Snacks to Make With Young Kids

You can get your children involved in the kitchen with snacks that are fun to make and healthy to eat. Kids as young as preschool can arrange easy-to-handle food into animals, cars, and anything their imagination can come up with. Check out these fun snacks with a smile.

Teddy Berry Toast: Toast an English muffin (or cut the bread into a circle) and add their favorite smear (peanut butter, cream cheese, jelly, Nutella, etc.). Slice up a banana and strawberries for kids to place ears, nose, and mouth. Then, add blueberries for eyes!

Walrus Waffles: Toast the waffle and spread nut butter or cream cheese on it. Use apple slices for the tusks and blueberries, cereal, and other healthy options to create the walrus’ face on the waffle.

Veggie Snails: Slice celery into two-inch pieces and celery into slices. Fill the crevice with their favorite spread (peanut butter, hummus, Nutella, etc.). Help your little ones position the celery slice on one end of the celery to make the snail’s shell. Then, add pretzel sticks on the other side for their antennas. If you have sphere- or doughnut-shaped cereal, you can add eyes.

From pancake piggies to apple ladybugs, there are countless animal options but don’t stick with only pets and insects. Cut up fresh fruit into squares, circles, and triangles and let your kids’ imaginations run wild.

Kid playing with eggs

Want more of a sweet treat? Marshmallows, gumdrops, and graham crackers are yummy dessert alternatives. Do an unconventional take on the gingerbread house and make a vacation resort with a frosting pool!

A Little Older, A Little Wilder

Older kids may have mastered Ants on a Log ages ago, but there are plenty of new DIY snacks and meals.

Breakfast Sushi: Rather than handling raw fish before coffee, use chunks of bananas as the base of the roll. Put out bowls of dry cereal for your family to roll the banana in (it sticks to the sides). You can also use coconut flakes, cinnamon sugar, and crushed up cookies. Use chocolate or caramel syrup in place of soy sauce!

Strawberry Butter Wheels: Take flour tortillas or crepes, spread with peanut butter, and cover with thinly sliced strawberries. Tightly roll them into wraps and cut into one-inch wheels. Peanut butter and berries can be swapped for your favorite spread and fruit.

Pizza Bagels: Make personal pizzas from bagel slices, sauce, cheese, and toppings. Each member of your family can have their favorite type from pepperoni to pineapple and ham.

Sandwiches are another easy option that works for your entire vacation. Have each member make a sandwich and then cut them into quarters to share with everyone. Make it into a competition to see who makes the best combination of flavors!

A person making a meal

Turning food preparation into a game when kids are younger can make your life easier later as they become more comfortable in the kitchen. Teaching and encouraging fun self-made meals can lead to being more self-sufficient.

Meals as Exciting as Vacation

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or want to try cooking for the first time on vacation, there are great recipes for all experience levels. The two below recipes are easy and tasty!

Family sitting down to eat

Instant Meatloaf – Less than 10 minutes of prep

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Shape the mixture into a round loaf and wrap in a large piece of aluminum foil. Crimp or fold the edges of foil around meatloaf to make a “loaf pan.” Bake for 1 hour and voila!

Taco Salad – Only 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 cup medium salsa
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 4 cups tortilla strips
  • 4 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 cobs)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion (from 1 small onion)
  • 1/2 cup store-bought refrigerated guacamole
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Brown beef in a large skillet, adding in seasoning as preferred. Remove from heat and stir in salsa. Whisk lime juice, honey, garlic, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl (an excellent task for kids). Slowly add remaining 1/2 cup oil, whisking constantly, and set aside.

Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl, drizzle with dressing, and toss to combine. Put guacamole and sour cream in smaller containers or add directly on top. 

Spend a little time on the first or second day of your vacation making a big sharable meal, like lasagna, that your family can enjoy more than once. Meal prepping will leave you with more time for relaxation during your stay. 

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