Menus of a Mom

Just trying to get the family fed!

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Recap Week of 10/29/12

Happy Halloween!  I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday!  We did, my little garden gnome has been all candy-crazed since Halloween for sure.  Now I remember why she doesn’t get sweets a whole lot…

Other than all of the candy, we had a great food week:

Monday, 10/29: Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash

It was tasty and pretty easy.  I told Boog we were having “Spaghetti Boats” for dinner and she ate it right up.

Tuesday, 10/30: Buffalo Chicken Chili

This was pretty easy made in the crock pot.  LOVED it!  Husband raved and had to take leftovers to his buddy at the shop.  Boog asked, “What’s this?  Is it a carrot?  Mmm, I like carrots.”  She asked for more carrots and more beans.  What?!?  This is a definite winner in my house, and the only prep was to chop some veggies the night before.

Wednesday, 10/31: HALLOWEEN! Creamy Chipotle Chicken

Husband was wound up about this one too.  While it was pretty tasty, I might keep some of this on hand in a bind, but probably won’t keep the Campbell’s skillet sauces in a normal rotation.  It’s a prepackaged sauce so the stats (read: SODIUM!) are a bit horrendous.

Thursday, 11/1: Crowd Pleasing Vegetable Casserole

Ok, I get that this is definitely not a “virtuous” recipe, but anything that gets my two-year old to hork down an entire bowl of vegetables can’t be all bad, right?  Seriously, this was delicious…with no prep…and less than an hour of bake time.  Yeah.  Winner Winner Vegetable Dinner.

Friday, 11/2: Chili Mac (made with our leftover Doc’s Chili)

I know, I took super healthy chili and dumped it over carbs and added cheese on top.  But it was good.  And at least I started with healthy chili…?  Again, a hit with the Boog, but it’s “skyettee” so how could it not be.  My favorite thing about this is that the preparation was already done.

In other news, the fever is gone, but I’m still feeling a little wiped out.  So, this will be the new format for the foreseeable future, unless I get struck by some extra energy and amazing words come to me…but probably not 🙂



Fall is Here!

Fall is here!  At least it seemed that way with the Poppy Seed Pork with Apples and Rice we had for dinner tonight.  It was all around a success.  I think I make this once a year during the fall and it’s just so hearty and warm and delicious.

The  slow cooker recipe does say to put the apples in late and says to cook it for less than 10 hours <insert mood-setting doom music here>, but this recipe still works leaving it on warm for longer than it suggests.  The apples turn to complete mush, but it’s a good thing, combining with the juices and dressing to create a delicious sauce for the pork and rice.

When we got home, it was of course, very hot.  Since time was limited on swim class night, I wanted to cool Boog’s down so she could eat it and used the colorful ice cube trick to do so.

While I was stirring the orangey-red ice cube into her bowl, she told me, very emphatically:

That’s my bowl.  Don’t eat it.  Don’t eat my stuff, Mommy.

I guess she knew she was going to like it and want to eat it, and she did 🙂

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Shake, Salad, and Roll

My plan for the salad worked out great.  I just pre-made the salad in containers and added the avocado tonight.  It was quite cute, with a Daddy-size, Mommy-size, and Boog-size container.  It was a pretty tasty salad.

I put a bit of dressing on my salad, put the lid back on, and shook it up.  The Boog loved this idea and wanted to shake her salad up.  In fact, I think we had to stop to put her lid on for her to re-shake her salad about 4 times while we were eating dinner.

I’m not sure if the fun factor is what got her to try things tonight, but she did great!  She ate the turkey, ham, cheese, egg, carrots, and tomatoes.  She tried the bell pepper twice, once on its own and once dipped in some dressing, but just was not a fan.

She asked what every item was – it was pretty cute.  I think I said “egg” about 40 times during dinner.  And she ate with her hand, despite holding her fork in the other hand.  But hey, on a night that she’s not being picky, why should I?

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Bubbles and Miranda Rights

One of the challenges of being a mom is trying to get your kid to eat vegetables. Well, I recently got a new tool in the arsenal.  I was giving my curious and imaginative 2 year-old daughter a bath.  Sadly, all of the bubbles had gone away, so she asked me, “Mommy, where did the bubbles go?”

Me: I don’t know, where do you think they went?

Daughter: I dunno…they go home?

Me: Yes, that’s it, they all went home.

Daughter: Yeah, they go home, go home eat.

Me: Oh yeah?  What do you think the bubbles eat?

Daughter: Bubbles eat green beans.  Yeah.

Now, I latched on to this and we talk about the bubbles eating green beans EVERY night in the bathtub.  In fact tonight, I even got her to say that SHE eats green beans too (which I’m positive hasn’t happened since she ate pureed food).   I almost feel bad, like someone should have read this poor kid her Miranda rights.  Does she not know that what she says can and WILL be used against her at a dinner table in her near future?  Because you’d better believe that the next time we have green beans, I’ll be whipping out the argument…”But the bubbles eat the green beans?  And we looove bubbles, right?”

I’ll let you know how it goes!


Purple Oatmeal

I always have different colored ice cubes in the freezer.  A good friend tipped me off to this super easy bath fun idea.  It takes a couple minutes to put a few drops of food coloring into the ice cube tray and you have 12 fast bath toys.  They make fun color swirls in the water and can make colored bubbles – what 2yo doesn’t love that?  Now, she even likes to help me choose which colors to make, and I get to teach her about colors and how to mix them to make new colors.

Wait – How does this relate to food?

I keep the ice cube tray clean, so I can use the color cubes in food, too!  When my daughter insists on oatmeal for lunch, I can throw a purple (or blue, orange, green) ice cube in to make it fun and cool it down quickly so she can eat it instead of whining 🙂

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Why am I doing this?

So, I’ve been thinking recently about the unending quest of moms (and dads!) to get their families fed in the “best” way possible.  Everyone defines “best” a little differently – some want the easiest, some want the cheapest, some want the most delicious, some want the most organic, some want only whole foods, and some are just looking to get 3 squares into their loved ones every day.

I don’t claim to have the answers, but I do try hard to make home-cooked meals for my family by planning out a menu every week and trying to find the best way to prep the food with an often hungry and always spirited toddler in the house!  I’ve learned a lot over the last 2 years, and I would love to learn more!

So, I’m going to try to post my menu every week.  Maybe it will give you ideas, maybe you’ll give me tips on how to better organize the food prep.  Maybe others will post their ideas.  Isn’t that what we all need, really?  Ideas so we don’t make the same 5 dishes every week or end up eating pizza every night (though I could.  I really really could).  And we need ideas on how to make it all fit in.  Maybe posting our menu every week will make me more accountable to not order that pizza one night.  But, no guilt if I still do.  All we can do is our best 🙂  And who better to learn how to make our best better than from each other?