Weekly Food for Thought with items on quick dinner tips for the family, Lucky Peach, a new food journal with editors Chris Ying and David Chang and more.

Don't let the back-to-school frenzy put a damper on dinner plans. Soccer, dance, football and piano lessons don't have to keep the family from sitting down for a meal together.

With a little planning, you can create memorable family time around the table, even on the busiest of weeknights. Try some of these quick dinner tips for a delicious family dinner fast.

* Simple is better. During the week, stick to simple family favorites and save multi-step meals and new recipes for the weekends when you have a little more time.

* Do double duty. When you brown ground beef or sausage for one meal, go ahead and brown extra to use in another dish later in the week. Rice, cheese and chopped onion can all be put in the freezer and saved for tacos, spaghetti or a skillet dish when you're pressed for time.

* Have a back-up plan. Even the best-laid plans can go awry, so make sure you've got something you can put together in a flash. It could be a meal you've prepped and frozen that just needs warming up, or some pasta, jarred sauce and whatever vegetables you have on hand that can be tossed together for a quick Italian feast.

* Use convenience foods. Save some time and hassle with frozen cut vegetables or bagged salads. Look in the freezer and refrigerator sections of your grocery store to find proteins and sides that help you get a wholesome meal on the table with plenty of time to spare.

-- Family Features

Tip of the Week: When to use pasteurized eggs

Pasteurization is a process that eats food to a certain temperature to kill harmful bacteria. Commonly use for milk, this process can now be applied to shelled eggs and egg products without significantly changing the taste or nutritional content. Pasteurized eggs should be used in recipes that call for raw or undercooked eggs.

-- EatRight.org

Did You Know?

Food is not safe after sitting out for two hours or one hour if the temperature is more than 90 degrees. – FoodSafety.org

Critic’s Cupboard: Stone Fruit Slaw recipe

Jennifer Mastroianni: July’s Bon Appétit has a great feature on slaw called “Raw Talent.” Forget cabbage and carrots. The ingredients in their six slaw recipes range from candy-stripe beets to Tuscan kale to white horseradish. The recipe that really piqued my curiosity was Stone Fruit Slaw. It’s made with julienned peaches, plums and nectarines tossed in a zesty ginger dressing. Unusual and fabulous, especially served with grilled meats. Total spatula up. How could we not share the recipe? See below.

Saimi Bergmann: It’s just magical. There’s no other explanation for this recipe working. I read it and thought it will be a pile of mush. I mean, a slaw made from fruit? Nonsense.

And yet, it works. I’m not sure which entranced me more: the flavors or the textures. I love the layering of sweet (the fruit and brown sugar) with hot (red pepper and ginger), but it’s the pinch of curry that puts it over the top.

Tip: For those who don’t want to bite down on fiery pieces of ginger, put about 1 1⁄2 tablespoons of chopped ginger into your garlic press and squeeze hard. The juice adds fresh ginger flavor to the dressing without the fibrous bits.

Stone Fruit Slaw

1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar 1⁄4 teaspoon curry powder 1⁄8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1 1⁄2 pounds assorted stone fruit, about 5, such as plums, nectarines, peaches or apricots, julienned 2 scallions, thinly sliced diagonally Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk first six ingredients in a medium bow. Add fruit and scallions; toss gently to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

-- Bon Appétit magazine, July 2011

Food Quiz

What would have been the preferred cooking method of eggs in the European Middle Ages?

A. fried

B. raw

C. boiled

D. baked

-- funtrivia.com

Answer is at bottom of column

Wise to the Word: Caesar salad

[SEE-zer] A salad consisting of greens (classically, Romaine lettuce) tossed with a garlic vinaigrette dressing, grated Parmesan cheese, croutons, a coddled egg and sometimes anchovies. It is said to have been created in 1924 by Italian chef Caesar Cardini, who owned a restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico.

-- epicurious.com

Number to Know

145: One 12-ounce glass of Budweiser beer is 145 calories.

 – calorieking.com

The Dish On …

Lucky Peach, a new food journal with editors Chris Ying and David Chang

Lucky Peach is a new journal of food writing, published on a quarterly basis by McSweeney’s. It is a creation of David Chang, the James Beard Award–winning chef behind the Momofuku restaurants in New York, "Momofuku" cookbook co-writer Peter Meehan and Zero Point Zero Productions, the producers of the Travel Channel’s "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations." Each issue will focus on a theme with contributions from a cavalcade of other writers and artists. The aim is to give a platform to a brand of food writing that began with unorthodox authors like Bourdain, resulting in a publication that appeals to diehard foodies as well as fans of good writing and art in general.

-- McSweeney’s Publishing

From the Beer Nut’s Blog: Not enough coconut beer

OK, readers of this blog know about my obsession with coconut and the need for new coconut beers. Actually, all breweries should have a flagship beer brewed with coconut, and I’m still waiting for someone to brew a chocolate/coconut stout.

Anyhow, this upcoming beer from Stone is something I really want. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it out to San Diego –– darn. Here’s the release:

Stone Brewing Co. is launching a new series of specialty beers dubbed Quingenti Millilitre. These limited-release beers will be featured in cork-finished 500-milliliter bottles. First up? Ken Schmidt / Maui / Stone Kona Coffee Macadamia Coconut Porter, aged in bourbon barrels.

To read more from the Beer Nut, visit http://blogs.townonline.com/beernut/.

Food Quiz Answer

D. baked

GateHouse News Service