Stay At Home Tips

April 2, 2021
Featured Article Image


You shared your favorite stay-at-home books, movies, recipes and games!

Hi All!

Apologies for the long lists but we hope you find this helpful!

Your Top Stay-At-Home Reads!

(You can find these all at our Amazon Shop)

  • Where The Crawdads Sing
  • The Nightingale
  • The Outlander series
  • Little Fires Everywhere
  • Sophia Kinsella, Jodi Piccoult, and Lianne Moriatry

Our latest interview with author Jonathan Horn on his book “Washington’s End”

Your Top Stay-At-Home Movies!

Without a doubt – the runaway winner: You’ve Got Mail

  • The Princess Bride
  • The Wedding Singer
  • How to Lose A Guys in 10 Days
  • The Notebook
  • Forrest Gump
  • Sleepless in Seattle
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • Pride & Prejudice
  • Letters from Juliette
  • Steel Magnolias
  • Top Gun
  • Pretty Woman
  • Knotting Hill
  • Lord of The Rings
  • Harry Potter series
  • The Holiday
  • Lethal Weapon series
  • Under The Tuscan Sun
  • Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Back To The Future
  • Dirty Dancing
  • Shawshank Redemption


  • Toy Story 1-4
  • Wreck-It Ralph
  • Swiss Family Robinson
  • Sound of Music
  • Night at the Museum
  • Secret Life of Pets
  • Lego Movie (hilarious for parents)

Your Top Stay-At-Home Games – you can find them in our shop

  • Pandemic (The Board Game)
  • Settlers of Catan or Catan Junior
  • Uno
  • Monopoly
  • Scrabble
  • Busy Toddler Instagram account.

Your Top Companies to Support Online:

My personal favorites, all run by incredible American families who believe in American-made: Origin Labs (for great protein powder, American-made jeans), J&L Green Farm , and Redland Cotton. Also a local shop in the Texas Hill Country if you’re looking for something cute – Vintage Soul!

Some of your recommendations!

Mad Priest Coffee Shop, Chattanooga, TN

The Mustard Seed Marketplace, Indiana

Wild Groves Olive Oil, CA

Misfits Markets, vegetable delivery

Studio Pillows, Austin, Tx

Young Wild Friedman sensory kits for kids!

Odin Leather Goods, Tx

The Shop Forward

The Laurel Mercantile, Mississippi

The Freckled Hen Farmhouse, Arkansas

Your Top Stay-At-Home Recipes!

We received many ideas but your favorite recipe is chicken and dumplings! We received this beauty from Robyn who says its a winner-winner-chicken dinner (see below)!

We saw you liked tacos, burgers, and treats. So we turned to one of our favorite members of our SmartHER News family – Kelsey at – for recommendations and she sent us these:

Bake her bread

Here’s her Citrus Garlic Shredded Beef Taco recipe

Awesome healthier Samoa Bars

Some of your brilliant recommendations:

Mary (@maryremmes) loves Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Jena (@Jenalcook) who lives in Italy bakes this Easy Bagel Recipe

And @buhbake made sure we had something to go with the tacos everyone likes: Clayton Margarita

Chicken & Cornmeal Dumplings by Robyn in San Francisco

*Generous 4-6 Servings

2 lbs chicken pieces, preferably bone-in, skin on

6 cups chicken stock

1 bay leaf

1 med. celery rib, sliced crosswise* This is optional. Allergic or loathe, leave it.

3-4 medium carrots, peeled, sliced on diagonal into 1-inch pieces

4 small white onions, halved lengthwise

2 large sprigs fresh thyme

1-2 cups packed coarsely chopped kale leaves

Salt & pepper to taste

Cornmeal dumplings:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

2/3 cup milk

Prepare stew: In a large Dutch-oven-style pot, combine the chicken pieces, stock, & bay leaf. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate, turn the chicken over & cover. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove lid & skim fat off broth. Stir in the celery, carrots, onions, & thyme sprigs. Continue to simmer over moderate heat, partially covered, until the carrots & onions are just tender, approx. 15 mins. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Prepare the dumplings: in a medium bowl, whisk all dry ingredients. With your fingers or a pastry cutter, gently work butter into flour mixture until it is crumbly. Use a fork to blend in milk.

Add the kale to the pot. Then drop the batter by tablespoons over the top of the stew. Reduce heat to moderately low, cover, & simmer until dumplings cooked through, about 10 mins. Discard bay leaf & thyme sprigs. Serve stew immediately in shallow soup bowls.

Final thoughts from Robyn: This recipe can be halved easily. You may also brown the chicken before poaching, if you prefer: Add 2 tsp of olive oil to pan. Bring to medium high heat. Salt & pepper the chicken. Place chicken pieces skin side down. Cook 5 mins per side, then follow from step 1. This recipe is so easy & comforting. I hope it becomes a family favorite. Cheers!

by Jenna Lee,