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Persistence dinner menu

Persistence family dinner menu from #NeverthelessShePersisted

This month’s theme for Family Dinner Book Club is Persistence (or Determination), and our lead book is Nevertheless, She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton. Here you’ll find a menu that can be prepared with the help of your children, as well as festive table decorations. Head over to Growing Book by Book for a full reading list of books about persistence. Then visit Sunny Day Family for family activity ideas. We invite you to share a picture from your dinner with us anytime during the month on our Family Dinner Book Club Facebook or Instagram page.

Persistence family dinner menu from #NeverthelessShePersisted

I absolutely loved this book. We’re always trying to up the girl power in our house and show the girls examples of fierce females. This book is the perfect addition to our collection. We get to see 13 stories of impressive American women and the efforts they took to achieve their passions.

Persistence family dinner menu from #NeverthelessShePersisted

Since the character trait is persistence, I crafted my menu with things that take persistence to make. Caramelized Onion Pasta Sauce requires patience while slowly caramelizing the onions. Meatballs need a fine touch for rolling and shaping. Then you put them together and simmer over low heat to meld all the beautiful flavors into something delicious. Green Beans because it takes persistence from the side of the parents to get kids to eat their vegetables! Am I right?! Winter Fruit Salad is light and bright, helping to balance out some of the heavier flavors in this meal.

Persistence family dinner menu from #NeverthelessShePersisted

You have to have bread to go with your spaghetti and meatballs! So lets serve that with some homemade butter. Have you ever made homemade butter before? This was my first time, and it was so much fun! Definitely takes persistence, as I had to shake my jar for a solid 8 minutes to see results. Katie was a rockstar and made it all the way through. Abby gave up after about 3 minutes. She did say this was the best butter she’s ever tasted, and Katie asked if we could make our own butter every Sunday and never buy it from the store again. Scroll all the way down for a photo tutorial how to make the mason jar butter, and check out the written recipe.

Persistence family dinner menu from #NeverthelessShePersisted

Family Dinner Book Club
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Caramelized Onion Pasta Sauce
Fresh Ricotta Cheese
Bread with Mason Jar Butter (recipe below)
Winter Fruit Salad
Grean Beans
Sparkling Apple Cider

Don’t forget to set up a festive persistence-inspired tablescape, too! Complete with a free printable coloring page.

Persistence family dinner menu from #NeverthelessShePersisted

Persistence family dinner menu from #NeverthelessShePersisted

Mason Jar Butter


  • 1 8-ounce mason jar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • pinch salt, optional


  1. Fill a mason jar halfway up with heavy cream, and add a pinch of salt if desired.
  2. Screw lid on tightly to prevent leaks.
  3. Shake vigorously for 6-10 minutes!
  4. It is fun to check your progress every few minutes to see how your homemade butter is coming along.

Stages of butter making

  1. After about 2 minutes of shaking, you will have whipped cream.
  2. After 2-4 more minutes of shaking you will have the consistency of whipped butter. You could even stop here and have the creamiest "butter" of your life spread on toast or waffles.
  3. Once you reach this stage, you'll be able to start hearing and feeling the blob of cream sliding around. Persist! After another 1-2 minutes, you will hear and feel a thump, and then a slosh of liquid. That is the buttermilk separating from the milk fat. Shake an additional 30-60 seconds to get the ball of butter to pack a little tighter together.
  4. Remove your butter from the jar, rinse under cold water, and gently squeeze the ball of butter to remove excess buttermilk.
  5. Save your buttermilk for a later use, or discard. Spread your delicious homemade butter on some thick and crusty bread!
Mason Jar Butter tutorial from

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