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Indiana High grad tackles family meals

by on May 04, 2014 1:53 AM

“Feed your family. Save your sanity.”

That’s the tagline for a cookbook written by Indiana native Sally Kuzemchak, Cooking Light’s “Dinnertime Survival Guide.”

Kuzemchak, who calls herself, on the book’s cover, a “kid wrangler, mealtime heroine and nutrition whiz,” graduated from Indiana High School in 1990.

After graduating from Penn State with an English degree, Kuzemchak moved to New York City, where she worked in the editorial departments of Country Living and SELF magazines.

“In 1997 I moved to Chicago and went freelance,” Kuzemchak said. “I was writing mostly about health and nutrition and realized how much I loved nutrition, so I went back to school to become a dietitian.”

She received her master’s in dietetics from Ohio State University.

“I combine my love for writing and my interest in nutrition in my work,” she said.

As a freelancer, she said, she has written for nearly 20 consumer magazines, including Fitness, Family Circle, Health, Prevention and Shape. She was also a contributing editor for Parents magazine for six years.

Kuzemchak also runs, where she blogs about the challenges of feeding children.

“Dinnertime Survival Guide” takes on dinnertime dilemmas, like not having the time to cook, what to do with leftovers, what to do when you’re dieting and more.

Chapters like “I Can Barely Boil Water” and “I Can’t Afford Healthy Food” tackle the biggest complaints that those prepping family meals often have.

Kuzemchak says in the book that she has a “love/hate relationship with making dinner”: she loves watching her kids dig into a dish she’s just made and the thrills of cooking and finding new recipes, but hates “all the stuff that makes dinner hard to pull off.”

A busy woman, Kuzemchak said that in addition to getting dinner on the table, she and her family tackle soccer practices, school events and volunteer projects. Plus, both she and her husband work.

“In writing the book, I wanted to emphasize that while a lot of parents want a home-cooked meal on the table for their families most nights, that can be really hard when you have crazy schedules or a tight budget or finicky eaters,” Kuzemchak said. “The book is designed to tackle those challenges and the recipes are targeted to each challenge.”

The recipes are a compilation of her own recipes as well as some from her favorite bloggers, as well as some recipes from Cooking Light, a company that considers itself to be a health, nutrition and fitness authority, with whom she teams.

The book offers real-life tips from real-life moms. It’s also full of dinnertime tips that don’t relate to food, such as how to make your dinner table a happy place by playing games, asking questions and not nagging about homework or allowing technology at the table.

Kuzemchak lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband, Joel Husenits, also a graduate of IHS, and their two children, Henry and Sam.

The book is available through Oxmoore House for $24.95.

Ellen Matis is the digital media coordinator and a staff writer at The Indiana Gazette. She is the person behind the Gazette's social media. A 2012 graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Ellen has a degree in journalism and public relations. Follow her on Twitter, @EllenMatis, or email her at
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