Monday, July 11, 2022

NJAM July: Family Food Traditions

Well hello there my friends! I hope you all had a nice weekend. Devin came home from an 8 day work trip to Europe and the kids and I were thrilled to have him back. He landed Saturday night after the kids were in bed, but their sweet little faces lit up when they saw their daddy first thing in the morning. We had rainy weather all day Sunday so the kids played outside in their rain boots for a bit, then we spent the rest of the day cozied up in a pillow fort. Not a bad way to spend a weekend!

Today Adrienne, Dara, Jen, Joanne, Sarah and I are linking up to share our Family Food Traditions. I hope you'll join us!

During this post today, when I am referring to my family, I mean my current little family of 4 plus my family of origin (mom, dad, and 2 sisters: Allie and Jenni). Most of these traditions started with my family of origin and I loved them so much we now continue them with my new family.

Here are our typical family food (and activity) traditions throughout the year:

New Year's

For as long as I can remember, our family has always done a Benihana-style Japanese steakhouse on New Year's Eve. I have no idea why, but I guess we liked to end our year with very full bellies and a fun family experience together. I don't care how many times you've been, this is always a fun way to spend an evening!

On New Year's Day my mom always made Pork and Sauerkraut as our first dinner of the year. If you are a Midwesterner of German descent, I have a feeling your family did this one too!

Mardi Gras

Being Catholic, my family has always gone big for Mardi Gras. I remember growing up making masks and floats, wearing beads, and wearing purple/green/gold. Sometimes we went out to a cajun restaurant and had crawfish étouffée, shrimp creole, and gator bites. Some years we just make jambalaya or gumbo at home. We always celebrate with king cake! My sister Jenni has a lot of opinions about king cake haha. Everyone else loves it, Jenni swears it is "dry, bland, and weird that there's a plastic baby in it" I can't say I disagree with her, yet we still have it every year. 😄 Here is our family celebrating Mardi Gras this past year. 


We always celebrate everyone's birthday with my parents and sister who lives in Charlotte (Jenni), Allie and her family typically FaceTime in from Atlanta. 

I don't know why, but a few years ago we started referring to our birthdays spent with my mom, dad, and sisters as our "practice birthdays", then we celebrate our "real birthday" just our family of 4. 

When we do a "practice birthday" we usually have a theme. For example, Lily Grace's 4th birthday was a Moana theme so we had fish for dinner, rice, grilled pineapple, and a pineapple upside down cake. My dad's theme last year was "football", so we had wings, chips/dip, etc. Basically Super Bowl food. For birthday parties, we typically have a cake made. For "practice birthdays" we always make one, and we bake it together as a family team effort. 

4th of July and Memorial Day 

I cannot for the life of me find a picture of all of us on 4th of July.. which is blowing my mind because we are all together for it almost every year! The pictures must be on someone else's phone. Anyway, this one is a pretty basic one. We are typically eating your basic hot dogs, burgers, corn on the cob, watermelon, a salad, etc. 

Football Season

Liam's first Ohio State game 😍

If you didn't already know, we are from Ohio and football is a huge part of life there. Both of my parents went to Ohio State, my older sister Allie and her husband went to Ohio State, my grandparents, some aunts and uncles... basically Jenni and I broke the family OSU tradition. But our family still bleeds scarlet and gray, even Devin now! We used to go to 2-3 games per season in Columbus, but now we watch them at home and eat our yummy football snacks. This pic is from Pinterest, but we always make Skyline Dip:

Recipe here

And we also love to make Buckeyes:

Buckeye recipe here

As for Thanksgiving and Christmas-- we make your typical American Thanksgiving food, and then we have a ham and some sides for Christmas. 

Thanks for following along today! If you wrote a post about your family food traditions, please link up with us below. I can't wait to see what traditions you have with your families!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Be sure to come back next month when we talk about our favorite binge watching TV shows.


  1. It's fun that you have so many cultural food traditions!

  2. I forgot about making pancakes for Shrove Tuesday. I love how Americans are so into college football, such a fun tradition!

  3. We used to eat Chinese food for New Years Eve each year (or head to a teppanyaki grill) but all the places near us have such incredibly long lines now that even take out means a 4-5 hour wait!

  4. i love buckeyes but am horrible at making them.

  5. I love your new year's eve tradition. so fun! We had hibachi twice at the resort because we love hibachi so much. haha I had never had a Buckeye until I moved to Kentucky...I love them...and even now, I usually only have them around Christmas because that's when Trav's mom makes them

  6. Buckeyes are part of our Christmas tradition. I'm going to check out the pork and sauerkraut recipe. My dad's side of the family is 100% German (from Pittsburgh), but I didn't see that part of the family much when I was growing up in Texas. Love the idea of practice birthdays too.


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