As a working mom of two, JoAnna Garcia Swisher knows how to throw together dinner in a pinch.
The Sweet Magnolias star, 44, shared her best tips and tricks for making dinnertime less of a chore exclusively with Us Weekly — and the first step requires planning out meals in advance.
For Garcia Swisher, coming up with a weekly dinner menu “makes shopping and prepping easy.” She also takes recipe requests from her husband, Nick Swisher, and their daughters Emerson, 10, and Sailor, 7, “so everyone is excited about dinnertime.”
When it comes to choosing what recipes to make, Garcia Swisher recommends picking dishes that have shared ingredients so the leftover supplies from one meal can be used to prep another. The Reba alum is also a fan of meals that can cook all day long and be ready for mealtime.
Garcia Swisher recently teamed up with McCormick to help busy families spend less time in the kitchen and more time together by hosting a series of “After School Tac’over” events with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“Nothing brings me more joy than spending time with my family. Taco Tuesday and every other taco night — and there are a few — are cherished traditions for the whole family,” the actress said in an October press release. “It’s not just about the food, but the laughter and memories we create together and share at the dinner table.”
Garcia Swisher celebrated National Taco Day last month by sharing how she uses McCormick’s Original Taco Seasoning Mix to prepare a quick and easy meal. “Family taco night is always a hit in this household 🌮,” she captioned an October 4 Instagram upload. “It’s the perfect way for even the pickiest eater to customize their meal. Tonight’s toppings include lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese, guacamole, sour cream and freshly squeezed lime.”
She continued: “And we can’t forget about the protein! We’re using ground beef perfectly seasoned with @McCormickSpice Original Taco Seasoning Mix, made with simple, clean ingredients and bursting with delicious flavor, no matter which base you choose.”
Garcia Swisher not only enjoys cooking for her kids but also with them. “Some of my favorite moments are in the kitchen w/ the girls. (With @taylorswift blasting in the background!),” she captioned an Instagram video of herself and her daughters baking homemade apple cobbler. “This Easy Cake Mix Apple Cobbler from Practically Homemade was 10/10!”
Whether it’s tacos or apple cobbler, fans can check out more of Garcia Swisher’s favorite recipes on her blog The Happy Place.
Scroll down to see Garcia Swisher’s dinnertime tips and tricks:
With reporting by Isley Zegas