Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Finding Stuff We All Like To Eat

I know that there are families out there that have problems with dinnertime.

Allergies to certain ingredients - dairy, wheat, etc.

Selective eaters.

When I was little, we ate whatever we were served. We had no choice. If we didn't eat what was on the table, then we went hungry. We ate family-style. There were big dishes in the middle of the table and we'd serve ourselves. We weren't picky eaters. We couldn't be. We didn't grow up in the era of "snacks" either so that extra bit of food in the day wasn't available.

Now? The Hubs is a bit picky. And the kids seemed to be following his lead. This last year, the Princess has ventured out. Her palate is expanding. When I order something new? I make sure to offer her a tiny bit so that she can get a taste. About 95% of the time, she enjoys it. And if she doesn't like it? She's (at least) polite about it.

Anyway, the Bear has in the last couple of months been more welcoming of new flavors. I've mentioned before that he (along with the Princess) LOVES spinach. He now loves Romaine lettuce as well. He'll eat steamed mixed veggies IF I serve it alongside spaghetti and meatballs. What he does it cut the meatballs in half and tops the meatballs with the veggies. It's his version of a meatball pizza.

Tonight's dinner was a hit. I made fried chicken. I cut up chicken breasts into chicken tender size pieces. Then I used Panko breadcrumbs instead of the regular stuff. It had a nice crunchy and light crust when I was finished with it. We had some mac-n-cheese, apple slices, and romaine salad with Pumpkin-Pesto dressing (aka El Torito dressing). And we all ate a ton! It was great to see everyone enjoy the meal.

Amazingly, yesterday's meal was also devoured. Cupcake size meatloaf where I used teriyaki sauce to put my own my spin on things. I served some fresh-baked French bread along with a spinach/tomato salad with buttered angel-hair pasta.

Oh yeah! On Sunday morning when I woke up to some chilly tile floors, I threw in a bunch of ingredients into my crock pot for stew. And that cooked all day while we hung out inside to escape the cold day. It smelled so yummy! We scarfed down the stew on top of some rice and cornbread.

Why am I tooting my own horn? Because I'm not a natural cook. It doesn't come easily to me. And to find meals that we ALL enjoy? It's such an achievement. And I'm just relishing in the moment. No frowny faces and complaining about still being hungry after the meal. Just a few moments where we're all eating and talking happily about our day. [sigh]

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