How to get the family talking together

How To Have Meaningful Dinnertime Conversations

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How to get the family talking together

Is it difficult to get your family talking at dinner, or at all?

It was a huge challenge to get five kids to settle down and have meaningful dinnertime conversations.  Just getting dinner on the table and everyone there was a win in my book.  But I felt there was more to just feeding them all quickly and moving on to the next activity…and that it would be worth it if I persisted. 

As my kids were growing up, dinner time was often noisy, chaotic, and, well, ‘busy’ would be a good word to describe the normal nightly scene. 

I realized early on that something had to change or it would be time of missed opportunities if I didn’t make some changes. 

My solution to meaningful dinner conversations was from a list of questions I invented myself. 

Now, years later, as we get together and the memories are shared, they are often focused on food and the mealtimes together.

To show the impact of how this tradition of eating dinner together can affect a family, recently as my kids, grand kids and extended family were gathered at our home,  I had to step into the hall to wipe away tears of joy as I listened to the laughter, the easy conversations, and the fun that is now the norm as we eat together.

So, let me ask you this question.

Is it a challenge to get your family together at meal times?

Do they visit and talk to each other at the dinner table?

Or is everyone with their head down looking at their phone, or electronic device; in their ‘own world’?

Are meaningful conversations happening on a regular basis in your home?

If your answer is that you could use some tips and pointers to help you learn How To Have Meaningful Dinnertime Conversations, I’ve got you covered!

Really, with what I’ve prepared for you, this technique makes it so natural to practice this art of conversations, that you’ll consider it a success and be glad you did it.

As dinner times become exceptional, you’ll be amazed at the changes in each person.  You’ll see how they will become better individually as well as a family unit, all because of eating together and having conversations.



It will bring a bond and stronger relationships that wouldn’t have been there. 



I have some tips and tricks on the How’s and Why’s that will benefit you and your family for years to come as you have meaningful dinnertime conversations. 


Tips Such As: 

  • When do you meaningful dinnertime conversations?
  • How do you start them?
  • What do you say to make them worthwhile?
  • How do you get your family to eat meals together regularly? 

Let’s be down-to-earth.  If this is new to your family, it may possibly be a challenge, or a pain in the neck, to start something like this; depending on family personalities. BUT it’s worth it!!! 


So WHY are meaningful dinnertime conversations worth the trouble?

  • Research has shown that families who eat together have more close-knit relationships.
  • There is a lower number of depression and suicidal tendencies in teens and older kids that have had regular meals as a family.
  • Less substance abuse in teens and adults who eat together and hold meaningful discussions. 
  • Vocabulary and education are higher in children who eat together as a family and have conversations. 
  • Bonding and insight that comes from these times bring fond memories and instill a sense of belonging which strengthen relationships.

As I have pointed out from my own experience having very busy kids, all with strong personalities, yet it is worth taking the time to have dinner conversations.


WHAT do I do?

1- It might seem like crickets, you might have a protest, or it might be a cheerful chorus when you announce the FUN new dinner tradition – regardless of the reaction, it will work out, just keep going, and I’ll help you all the way. 

2- Be patient, have a sense of humor and remember the end goal in all of this. Nothing great is accomplished quickly. 


HOW do you start this tradition of meaningful dinnertime conversations?   

1- It really helps to have ground rules set up.  I like to have some that are mandatory, and then let my kids, or grand kids also help set them too.  They usually come up with guidelines that I hadn’t thought of that are very helpful. And it makes them feel ownership in the process.  These are a few I would strongly suggest. 

2- Have a set dinnertime that really needs to be accepted by everyone and held to as much as possible.  If breakfast time works better, than by all means, have that be the meaningful conversation time together.  The point is to have a DAILY set time the family, couple or those doing this together participate in. 

3- Have a basket or place that ALL phones and electronic devices are stored during dinner.  That includes parents devices too. No TV or movies on either, except for a rare occasion of a designated movie night by you. 

4- Make it FUN!!!  As you go about this, my opinion here, at the beginning unless laws are broken and the police need to be called, language or action is disrespectful and vulgar, or there is a home rule blatantly broken – let it slide IF you feel you can.  Of course I’m being a tad bit sarcastic, but when something new is instigated people feel awkward and uncomfortable, acting out in uncooperative ways oftentimes not knowing what else to do.  Just my two cents, you do as best suits your family and situation of course. I wouldn’t tell this to the family.  I would set boundaries as I always do, but not so strict that my end-goal couldn’t be accomplished as the process is started.  As it gets going and everyone adjusts to it, the rules can be reset to a higher standard, if necessary; again depending on the personalities of the family members.  

5- Have a reward for having a successful dinner conversation, for example of 5-7 times in a row.  Maybe a special dessert would be appropriate, such as ice cream sundaes, or donuts, or whatever is best for your family.  


NOW to the FUN part!!! 

The key to cracking that challenge having meaningful dinnertime conversations are my Dinner Conversation Starters

1- Download my FREE printables here,

2- Cut them out and put them in a family jar, bowl or special container to use.

3- Take turns pulling them out and answering the questions


4- One question can be chosen and everyone takes a turn answering the same question; which would be the most beneficial and enlightening to find out what is going on in their life without prying or being perceived as meddling.  And see the different way each looks at the same question, giving you the opportunity as a parent to help each one recognize how wonderful it is to be unique and see things in their own special way.

5- Keep the time SHORT, unless your family wants to go longer.  This will bring them back for more the next night and the next and the next.  It will be perceived as FUN and not a chore if it’s brief and not expected to take all night. 


You will be amazed at the benefits of this small, but very powerful tool to begin the dialogue with your family and have open communication.     Ideas will come for your own questions to add to  the tags I’ve provided.  Your family will have some great suggestions of questions also.  


This game is another resource if you want more options: Table Topics HERE


I’d love to hear your experiences with your family and how it is going to with dinner conversations.  The most important things we do are never easy.  Keep at it, don’t get discouraged and listen for the remarkable answers you will hear as the questions come up during your meal time chats. It will be extraordinary and worth every minute. 

Copyright Carrie Groneman,  A Mother’s Shadow, 2014, 2019

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

A tortilla with crisp romaine lettuce, bbq seasoned shrimp, mango salsa wrapped up

Grilled Shrimp Wrap with Mango Salsa

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A tortilla with crisp romaine lettuce, bbq seasoned shrimp, mango salsa wrapped up

A Caribbean Jerk seasoned shrimp with a sweet and savory mango salsa

Grilled Shrimp Wrap with Mango Salsa


Grilled Shrimp Wrap with Mango Salsa is one of my favorite summer-time meals! 

I love the Caribbean Jerk seasoning on the barbecued shrimp; what flavor.

Wrap it up in a tortilla with crunchy romaine lettuce, some really good brand sweet and savory mango salsa and it takes this to gourmet 5-Star level.  

You’d never guess it’s a healthy dish because it tastes that good.

If you want to try another shrimp recipe, another favorite is this Sassy Orange Grilled Shrimp.


Grilled Shrimp Wrap with Mango Salsa

Ingredients for Shrimp Marinade:

1 pound medium shrimp, shelled, deveined and remove tail

3 Tbl. oil, your choice of vegetable or olive

2 tsp. brown sugar

1 Tbl. + 1/2 tsp. McCormick Perfect Pinch Caribbean Jerk Seasoning

Wood or metal skewers


Directions for the Shrimp Marinade:

If using wood skewers, place them in a baking dish full of water to soak for 30 -60 minutes, to help prevent them burning while grilling.Shrimp Wrap 1Combine the oil, brown sugar and McCormick Caribbean Jerk Seasoning in a bowl and stir well.Shrimp Wrap 2Add in the shrimp and gently fold in until completely covered.Shrimp Wrap 3Cover with plastic wrap or a lid if the bowl has one.Shrimp Wrap 4Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to marinate.

When the shrimp is ready, thread onto the skewers.

Place onto a prepared medium-hot grill.

Cook on one side for 3-5 minutes; or until pink.Shrimp Wrap 5Turn and cook until cooked through and pink.Shrimp Wrap 6Allow to cool slightly and push off skewer; you are now ready for recipe below.

Ingredients for Shrimp Wrap & Mango Salsa:

Grilled shrimp Mango salsa, purchased or homemade (I used purchased from Costco for ease and I really like that brand)

Large tortilla wraps

Romaine lettuce, chopped into large bite sized pieces, washed well, dried (I used my salad spinner)


Directions for Shrimp Wrap & Mango Salsa:

Place a large tortilla down on a plate or cutting board.

Lay a good amount of lettuce down off the center slightly.Shrimp Wrap 7Spoon desired amount of pre-made Mango Salsa on top of the lettuce.

Lay grilled Shrimp on top of the salsa.Shrimp Wrap 8Wrap up and tuck like a burrito.Shrimp Wrap 9Cut and serve.Grilled Shrimp Wrap with Mango SalsaCarrie’s original recipe.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Easy Pizza Pasta Bake

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A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Best Pepperoni Pasta Bake

My family wants this Easy Pizza Pasta Bake in our regular meal rotation and I like to include it because it’s so simple.

The flavors come together in a really complex way to showcase this dish that is not just ‘a casserole’ but a WOW, what’s in that AMAZING pasta!?!

It’s a family friendly meal that’s a perfect choice to take to a friend or neighbor in need.  You can read more about that  in What You Need To Know About Taking In A Meal They Will Want To Eat

I hope you make this Easy Pizza Pasta Bake tonight and let us know how you enjoyed it.

Easy Pizza Pasta Bake


16 oz. Rotini pasta cooked (I really like Barilla pasta)

2 Tbl.  oil of your choice; choose one that has a very mild flavor, or no taste at all

2 – 23.9 oz. jars of your favorite pasta sauce  – I used Prego Italian Sausage & Garlic for this recipe

1/2 cup water – divided between the two bottles to rinse the rest of the sauce out of the bottle

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

3 teaspoons oregano,  leaf (not ground)

6 oz. can whole olives, sliced (hold out 1/8 cup for the top)

3 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese (divided)

4-6 oz. pepperoni, quartered (except hold out approximately 20 whole pepperoni for the top)

1/2 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Coat your 9″ x 13″ baking dish with spray release.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil; following instruction on the package,A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.Cook the pasta to al dent. Meaning it still has a little ‘bite’ to it, and is not mushy or cooked quite all the way through.

When the pasta is cooked to al dente, drain in a colander, rinse and pour the 2 Tablespoons oil of your choice over pasta, gently mix it over all of the pasta with your hand or a spatula to coat it all evenly.  Allow the coated pasta to sit in the colander while you prepare the sauce.A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Rinse out the pan and put it back on the stove.

Into the pan, pour in:

2 jars of pasta sauce

In each bottle of pasta sauce pour 1/4 cup of water and shake well to get all of the pasta sauce rinsed out. Pour this into the pan with the pasta sauce.

Add in the balsamic vinegar, Oregano, sliced olives (reserving about 1/8 cup for the top), fresh Parmesan cheese, TWO cups of the mozzarella cheese, and the quartered pepperoni (holding out approximately 20 whole pepperoni for the top)

Bring to a simmer and cook on low for 2 minutes.

Add in the pasta and stir GENTLY.A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Pour this mixture into your prepared baking pan.A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Top with the rest of Mozzerella cheese – 1 cup. 

The reserved whole pepperoni and the 1/4 cup sliced olives.A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly all through.A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Best Pepperoni Pasta Bake

Serve hot.

A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Best Pepperoni Pasta Bake

Carrie Groneman’s recipe

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

A nice dinner plate with slices of tender corned beef, al dente cooked cabbage, small red potatoes, Brussel sprouts and mini carrots.

Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage

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A nice dinner plate with slices of tender corned beef, al dente cooked cabbage, small red potatoes, Brussel sprouts and mini carrots.

Best Traditional Easy Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage

Are you looking for THE best and easy Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe?

But worried the meat will turn out dry or the seasonings not right?

Hands down, this really is the easiest and tastiest Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe I’ve found and so I use it year after year; I think you’ll really like it too.

You get the traditional Irish Dinner made in your crock pot, or slow cooker,  and it’s really the best method for a no-fuss, no-fail, tender, fall apart tender moist meat that is seasoned perfectly.

Then if you have any leftover meat,  I have a fabulous Reuben recipe you’ll really enjoy HERE

TIP:  When you find a great deal on good cuts (flats with little fat are your best value for the money), buy an extra.  Wrap them well and freeze for later. 

Here’s a little tidbit of information.  Corned beef is prepared by using the brisket, which is cured in a brine solution with seasonings.  So it’s a very special type of meat and really cooks nicely in the crock pot or slow cooker using my recipe slowly in moist heat, which produces a savory, slightly salty extraordinary tender piece of meat.

Best Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

Ingredients:Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage

5-6 lbs. corned brisket of beef – get a ‘flat cut’, with as little fat as possible

2 medium to large onions, peeled and sliced thick

4 ribs celery, chopped

2 tsp. whole peppercorns

3 tsp. whole cloves

4 whole garlic cloves OR 2 Tbl. minced garlic

8 bay leaves

2 tsp. mustard seeds

5-6 medium red skinned, or thin white skinned potatoes

1 – 1 ½ lbs. baby carrots

1-2 pkgs. frozen Brussels sprouts

1 small white cabbage, cut into quarters (red cabbage “bleeds” and loses its color)

3-4 Tbl. fresh parsley, chopped



Stone ground mustard, Dijon mustard and creamed horseradish


In the bottom of the crock pot add:

1 sliced onion, 2 chopped celery ribs, 1 ½ tsp. peppercorns, 1 ½ tsp. whole cloves, half of the garlic cloves or 1 Tbl. minced garlic, 4 bay leaves and 1 tsp. mustard seedsCorned Beef and Vegetables 2Rinse the corned beef off  in cold water.Corned Beef and Vegetables 3

Place it in the crock pot with the fat layer on the topside, if there is a side with more of a layer of fat

On top of the corned beef, layer the rest of the onion, celery, peppercorns, whole cloves, garlic, bay leaves and mustard seed.

Then pour in enough water to cover the corned beef. Corned Beef and Vegetables 4Place on lid and cook on high for 4 hours. 

THEN Corned Beef and Vegetables 5

Turn down heat to low for approximately 4 more hours or until the meat is tender and shreds easily.Corned Beef and Vegetables 6When the meat is done, remove the hot meat to an oven proof dish/platter, cover with tin foil and place in a warm oven.Corned Beef and Vegetables 7Carefully strain the hot cooking liquid through a strainer into a large pot, discard the seasonings and cooked vegetables.Corned Beef and Vegetables 8To the strained liquid in the large pot, add in the cut potatoes and mini carrots.Corned Beef and Vegetables 9

Cover and simmer over a medium heat until al dente tender.

Meaning they  still have a slight crunch to the bite. 

Add in the Brussel Sprouts to the hot liquid and cook for 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the cabbage, taking out the center core and chop into pieces or leave in chunks; as you desire.Corned Beef and Vegetables 10To the boiling al dente cooked vegetables, now add in the cabbage and parsley.

Cook just until the cabbage is tender but not mushy.

The key is to not over cook the vegetables!Corned Beef and Vegetables 11Take the meat from the tin foil.  Scrap off any layers of fat.

Slice the corned beef on a cutting board.

Using a slotted spoon, take out the cooked vegetables and place in a serving bowl; pour some of the hot cooking liquid on top.

Serve with mustard and horseradish on the side along with Irish Soda Bread.  Click HERE for that AMAZING recipeEasy Corned Beef and Cabbage

Serve with traditional Irish Soda Bread with Raisins, click HERE

If you have any extra corned beef, this Reuben Sandwich is fabulous with my easy homemade slaw and dressing.  The recipes are HERE

Carrie Groneman’s recipe, Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Healthy Lentil Soup

BEST Ever Lentil Soup

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Healthy Lentil Soup

Simple Healthy Lentil Soup

This soup is wonderful!   It is very economical, healthy, gluten free and easily made vegetarian.  

Serve with my Whole Wheat Muffins for a tummy pleasing meal.

BEST Ever Lentil Soup


8 cups water, more if needed

2/3 cup lentils

1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked

1 tsp garlic powder 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped

3 vegetable bouillon cubes (Knorr, or equivalent)

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried basil

1 Tbl. soy sauce

1/2 tsp. Emerill’s or seasoned salt

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, optional

1 Tbl. balsamic vinegar

1 lb. carrots, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 medium onion, diced

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce Splash with Texas champagne (hot sauce)

1 Tbl. dried parsley


Do not peel carrots it retains more vitamins.

Slice them about 1/2 inch thick.  

Slice the celery about 3/4 inch thick.

Chop the onions.

In a large stockpot, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Lentlil Soup 1Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes or more until the lentils, vegetables and rice are tender.

Add more liquid if needed. Lentlil Soup 2Serve. 

 Carrie Groneman’s recipe. Copyright Carrie Groneman, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Refreshing Cranberry Mousse Dessert

Scrumptious Cranberry Mousse

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Refreshing Cranberry Mousse Dessert

Cranberry Mousse

This is a beautiful salad for the holidays, but perfect for anytime of the year.  Light, refreshing and can be made smooth by pureeing the ingredients or left a bit chunky – your choice.  ENJOY!


Cranberry Mousse


6 oz. package strawberry gelatin

1 cup boiling water

20 oz can crushed pineapple

14 oz. can whole-berry cranberry sauce

3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon fresh lemon rind, grated

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream


In a large bowl, dissolve the gelatin in boiling water. Stir well for THREE minutes.cranberry mousse 1Wash the lemon with soap and water then grate the lemon rind, using care to ONLY grate the top of the top of the yellow layer and not the white pith, which will make it make the mouse bitter.cranberry mousse 2Now cut the lemon in half and squeeze out the juice by twisting a fork inside the flesh to extract all the juice possible into a cup.  Then measure out 3 Tablespoons. If necessary, add in bottled juice to make up the difference.cranberry mousse 3

Drain the pineapple well; using a spoon to press out the juice, reserving the pineapple juice and set aside.cranberry mousse 4In a mini processor puree the cranberry sauce. cranberry mousse 5To the dissolved gelatin, add in the reserved pineapple juice, 3 Tbl. lemon juice, nutmeg, drained crushed pineapple and sour cream.  cranberry mousse 6Pour into a large serving bowl or individual serving cups, the gelatin mixture and chill until set; at least 2 hours.  serves 16-20.cranberry mousse 7OPTION:  Puree the pineapple and the cranberry together for a smooth mousse.

Adapted slightly from Taste of Home

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.


Salisbury Steak & Mushroom Gravy

Homemade Salisbury Steak and Mushroom Gravy

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Salisbury Steak & Mushroom Gravy

Salisbury Steak & Mushroom Gravy

Homemade Salisbury Steak and Mushroom Gravy is COMFORT food at it’s BEST, while easy and quick too!

Hands down, this Homemade Salisbury Steak and Mushroom Gravy is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  

It’s also a fabulous way to stretch the budget with a meal that is packed with flavor and satisfies. 

It is home cooking, but it is also considered in the category of gourmet and company elegant. Serve this Homemade Salisbury Steak and Mushroom Gravy over noodles or rice.

I have a trick to share. If you are feeding a bunch of munchkins and need to stretch the meat budget; after cooking the beef patties, simply cut them into pieces to reaaallllyyy extend the meat.  So instead of everyone getting a meat patty, they get lots of bite-sized pieces.  Either way –  YUMMY! 

Homemade Salisbury Steak and Mushroom Gravy

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 lb. ground beef

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs

1 small onion, minced

1 Tbl. balsamic vinegar

1 Tbl. garlic, minced

1 tsp. beef bouillon

1 Tbl. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp Montreal steak seasoning

4 Tbl. butter, divided

1 (8 – 16 oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms

1 cup water

1 (1.2 oz) packet brown gravy mix

1 (10 oz.) can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup milk

1 Tbl. balsamic vinegar

2 Tbl. sour cream

12-16 oz. pasta of your choice or rice *AMS reader Tasha suggested mashed potatoes for this dish – YUMMY!

In a large bowl beat eggs.

Homemade Salisbury Steak and Mushroom Gravy

Homemade Salisbury Steak and Mushroom Gravy

Then add in the beef, bread crumbs, onion, vinegar, garlic, beef, bouillon, Worcestershire and steak seasoning.

Mix thoroughly.

Then shape into 4 oval patties.

In a large skillet, melt 2 Tbl. butter over med-high heat.

Homemade Salisbury Steak and Mushroom Gravy

Homemade Salisbury Steak and Mushroom Gravy

Place the patties into the pan.

Brown patties on both sides and transfer to a plate.Salisbury Steak and Mushroom Gravy 3

To the pan add remaining 2 Tbl. butter and mushrooms; sauté for 7-8 minutes.

Salisbury Steak and Mushroom Gravy 4

If the mixture runs dry, add more butter, or a bit of water.

In a bowl, add the water and whisk in gravy mix until smooth stir in cream of mushroom soup, milk, balsamic vinegar and sour cream.

Salisbury Steak and Mushroom Gravy 5

Stir into the mushroom mixture and cook for 2 minutes.Salisbury Steak and Mushroom Gravy 7

Return the browned hamburger patties to skillet and spoon gravy over top.

Salisbury Steak and Mushroom Gravy 8

Cover the pan and simmer the meat and gravy together for 20-25 minutes or until the meat is cooked completely through.

Salisbury Steak and Mushroom Gravy 9

As you can see, the gravy will thicken while cooking.Salisbury Steak and Mushroom Gravy 10

*While the meat and gravy are simmering, cook your rice, pasta or potatoes.

Homemade Salisbury Steak and Mushroom Gravy

Homemade Salisbury Steak and Mushroom Gravy

Serve Salisbury steaks and mushroom gravy over hot cooked rice, cooked pasta or mashed potatoes

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.


Asian Inspired BBQ Chicken

Barbecued Asian Chicken Thighs

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Asian Inspired BBQ Chicken

Flavorful, Tender and Tasty BBQ Asian Chicken Thighs

This little recipe of mine has just the right balance of flavors and the chicken thighs come out so tender and moist. I think you will really enjoy how easy this is to make, and how amazing the taste is too!

I also have some tips for you when working with chicken – just in case you might want them:) 



4-5 lbs. chicken thighs; boneless, skinless  

2 Tbl. grated ginger root

2 Tbl. garlic, minced or chopped

1/2 cup sweet chili sauce

1/4 cup oyster sauce

2 Tbl. hoisin sauce

3 Tbl. fish sauce, optional

1 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup lime juice 


Combine all the ingredients, except the chicken, in a gallon zip lock bag.

Squish a bit to mix well. Drop the chicken in to the marinade.

Notice my tip of lining the drinking picture to hold the bag steady.Barbecued Asian Chicken Thighs 1

Flip the bag over a few times to evenly distribute the marinade with the meat.

Place in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours, flipping 2 times during the marinading time.Barbecued Asian Chicken Thighs 2When ready to cook, heat barbeque grill to medium-low. Barbecued Asian Chicken Thighs 3Place meat on grill and cook turning frequently until chicken is cooked through.

Place meat on a plate or on a tray, cover with tin foil and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve.

*When choosing fresh ginger root, make sure it is firm and not wrinkled. You can/allowed to break off the section or length desired; you do not have to purchase a larger piece than you need.

Peel with a vegetable peeler or with a knife then grate on a grater.  If  it’s juicy when grating, you know it’s fresh.Barbecued Asian Chicken Thighs 4**This marinade lends itself perfectly to chicken due to its slightly salty ingredients which fill the cells of the meat so that when it cooks it releases the excess liquid maintaining moist and tender meat; even when using boneless and skinless thighs.  


  • When working with chicken, know that there are special ways to handle the meat so as not to risk bacteria or contamination.
  •   Once you touch the raw meat with your hands or any utensils, or any areas, do NOT touch anything else, until proper cleaning with hot water and soap, or diluted clorox with water to avoid contaminated which could lead to sickness.
  •   After placing the chicken in the marinade do NOT taste the marinade, or use it for any other purpose, discard it. It now has the same risk for illness due to the raw meat in the sauce.
  •   Cook chicken to a proper temperature using a meat thermometer, or until there is no longer any pink in the meat – however, this does not mean you must overcook for dry meat.
  •   Clean your hands, kitchen counter, sink, cutting board, utensils or anything else that has come into contact with the raw chicken with Clorox diluted with water to sterilize and kill all the bacteria.
  •   As you grill the chicken, use separate tongs, or utensil of choice, to turn the raw meat and when the meat is cooked through to then take off heat. Do NOT put cooked meat on the same platter you had the raw meat on, unless it has been sterilized.


Recipe by Carrie Groneman, Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow. 2013

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.