Getting dinner on my family’s table each night is no easy feat. Like most moms, I want to make one dinner that is quick, healthy — and will satisfy everyone at the table. It always sounds so easy.

Unfortunately, the reality is much different.

Some nights it seems like it would be easier to solve world peace. With two working parents, three active kids, health concerns and picky eaters — it’s a daily challenge that never seems to get any easier.

It makes it easy to get into a food rut. I go with what works — particularly since my husband’s recent heart attack. I haven’t found very many family dinners yet that make everyone at the table happy and satisfy our nutrition requirements.

But working on this food issue has me inspired to get back into the kitchen and try some new things. Look at Julie Botos’ stunning food photos accompanying all of our food stories this month — both home-cooked potluck recipes and must-eats from local restaurants — and you’ll understand why.

Reporters Dan Kane and Jennifer Mastroianni selected a dozen mouth-watering dishes from various Stark County restaurants to feature in this annual food issue.

We all know there’s plenty of great dining in Stark County. But sometimes it’s not just where you go out to eat — it’s knowing what to get once you are there. With that in mind, you have to get these 12 dishes. Must-eats!

We also asked readers to share their favorite potluck recipes with us. I bet none of those we’ve selected ever leave a potluck dinner with leftovers. Don’t read while hungry!

About Your Home

Show of hands, how many of us have visited the National First Ladies’ Library recently? It’s right under our noses in downtown Canton. The national landmark abounds with historical significance and charm. The building is the only residence with direct ties to President William that McKinley remains in Canton. It was the childhood home of McKinley’s wife, Ida, and the couple shared the home when William served in the U.S. House of Representatives. The public rooms of the home have been authentically re-created. The First Ladies’ Library hosts guided tours as well; set one up by calling 330-452-0876.

Darla Brown

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Darla Brown

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