The Scoop: Looking for a stay-at-home dinner date that’s easy, healthy, and won’t break the bank? Thriving Home has got it covered. This cooking blog features simple recipes, weekly menu plans, and freezer cooking tips to make every minute spent in the kitchen count. Thriving Home is the passion project of two moms who understand the challenges of putting a healthy meal on the table and have created a great resource for home cooks everywhere.
Polly was on a mission to lose weight and teach her children healthy eating habits, and Rachel was acting in the best interests of her toddler who had been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.
Polly and Rachel put their heads together to create the Thriving Home blog in 2012. The blog was their love letter to busy moms who are looking for healthy recipes and time-saving cooking techniques. Thriving Home’s recipe index offers alternatives to takeout and makes home cooking more accessible to the average family.
Now, with six children between them, Polly and Rachel have become freezer cooking experts and mastered the secrets to putting healthy and delicious meals on the table day after day and week after week.
Thriving Home focuses on whole foods, simple recipes, and easy meal prep. It’s a helpful guide for health-conscious home cooks, and its recipes can satisfy everyone from couples planning a date night to families trying to eat healthy together.
“We want to help bring people around the table,” Polly said. “Food connects people — and people are in desperate need of that, now more than ever. We want to make it as easy as possible for connection over food to happen.”
Freezer Cooking Evangelists Share Date-Friendly Tips
Thriving Home was created by moms for moms, and its recipe index has enough variety to satisfy even the pickiest children. Polly and Rachel test the recipes out on their own families, so they can provide a lot of insight (and printable shopping lists) to help the meal prep and cooking process go smoothly.
Thriving Home has a comprehensive recipe index where readers can find appetizers, smoothies, baked goods, casseroles, pasta, freezer meals, and more. Every article uses a conversational tone that makes it feel as if you’re borrowing a recipe from a neighbor or a friend.
“Our readers seem to appreciate our authenticity and approachableness,” Polly said. “Most of these women are navigating the busy years of raising young children, balancing work and home life, and trying to get dinner on the table.”
Polly and Rachel have written two cookbooks — “From Freezer to Table” and “From Freezer to Cooker” — to teach busy adults about the benefits of the freezer cooking lifestyle. It’s an easy way to save time in the kitchen and have a delicious family meal ready to go at a moment’s notice.
These cookbooks feature recipes that are perfect for slow cookers, pressure cookers, and instapots. Couples who have children — or even couples who don’t have children — can learn a lot of practical kitchen hacks by adding these recipes to their dinner schedule.
Cooking together can be a fun bonding activity for date nights or family nights. It certainly beats sitting glued to the TV or smartphone screen. Whether they’re making Frozen Smoothie Packs or Honey Bourbon Chicken, home cooks can mix up their schedules and add some flavor to their routines by getting into the kitchen.
“Not only are you joining forces to create something from nothing, but you can learn so much about each other in the process,” Polly said. “It can give you the excuse to get together and provides great topics for conversation.”
A Beginner’s Guide to Making a Three-Course Meal
Thriving Home gets the essentials of healthy home cooking and provides step-by-step instructions to make meal prep faster and simpler. The blog has many free printable resources that home cooks can take with them to the grocery store or into the kitchen.
Whether your family enjoys seafood, chicken, or vegetarian meals, Thriving Home has plenty of mealtime recommendations available for free.
“We also help you to make the most of your time,” Polly said. “In almost every recipe, we provide options on how to double and freeze.”
Thriving Home can teach beginning cooks to save time by freezing meals and making large batches that can be served on multiple occasions. For instance, you can make a week’s worth of family breakfasts in one go by using the seven overnight oats recipes.
It’s natural to want your date night meals to be a little special, and Thriving Home can help inspire a delicious and intimate meal. We recommend couples try the Four-Ingredient Chicken Drumsticks with Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans on the side and Chocolate Chip Blondies for dessert.
“Our recipes are approachable for the novice cook and will make you feel like a pro in the kitchen,” Polly told us. “We use recognizable ingredients so you won’t be wandering the grocery store hunting for a mystery ingredient.”
Bringing People Together Through Delicious Food
Thriving Home has fostered a dialogue around healthy eating and created meal plans that work for families big and small. Polly and Rachel encourage home cooks to make the most of their freezer space and pack a lot of nutrition into their diet.
In 2021, Thriving Home launched One-Hour Freezer Prep Sessions to teach readers to make six meals in one hour. The first round of sessions opened in January, and its sales went through the roof. Polly and Rachel are working fast to launch another round of sessions in May and August.
“We love hearing when readers feel equipped and encouraged by us,” Polly said. “We want to inspire confidence in the kitchen so when one of our recipes does that for someone, our day is made.”
Over the last 10 years, Thriving Home has inspired countless date nights and family meals. The blog is all about finding joy and nourishment in food, so every recipe is large enough to share with a family or people in the community. Polly said she has heard stories about home cooks using Thriving Home’s recipes to stock the freezers of new moms, cancer patients, grandparents, and homeless shelters.
Thriving Home can also serve as a wingman for anyone hoping to impress a date or a significant other.
“It can be a way to show love. If you tune into what they love to eat and attempt to make it for them, they will be blown away,” Polly said. “When I make one of my husband’s favorite meals, it’s a way to show I care about what he likes and enjoys.”
Thriving Home Gives Home Cooks the Recipe for Success
During the coronavirus pandemic, many couples began spending their date nights in the kitchen and using lockdowns as an opportunity to learn new cooking skills. By cooking at home on a regular basis, couples can savor their time together, and it can also benefit their budgets and waistlines if they find the right wholesome recipes.
Thriving Home can help couples streamline their mealtimes at home and leave expensive restaurants and takeout behind them. The blog provides step-by-step planning advice, recipes, and guidance to make it easy to prepare delicious meals that come ready to serve or store in the freezer.
Polly and Rachel have a lot of knowledge and passion when it comes to family cooking, and Thriving Home helps them inspire others to start their own health-conscious journey.
“Our hope is to help homes thrive, one meal at a time,” Polly explained. “We pride ourselves on being a practical resource for time-strapped families who need a little help getting a healthy dinner on the table.”