Monday, November 28, 2011

Week 107—Italy. No, Mexico. No, Italy.

Tues – Linguine w/artichokes in white sauce (Viva Italia)
Weds – Chicken enchiladas w/tomatillo sauce and corn soup (Simply Mexican)
Thurs – Spaghetti (from freezer)
Fri – Pizza
Alts – breakfast
Modified the black bean soup recipe by adding chicken, blending all the beans to keep suspicious kids at bay, and using twice the tomatoes. It turned out great, and I learned that I now have at least 1 child that will eat soup. That's 100% increase over previous years.

We have a babysitter that likes to cook, so we put her to use a few weeks ago when the majority of her stay was going to be when the kids were sleeping. She made a batch of our favorite "Grandma Barb's Spaghetti Sauce" which was originally attributed to someone named Kay Zantow, but in my kids' memories will forever be ascribed to Grandma. We'll thaw that sauce for an easy Thursday dinner.

It's cold out there. Stay warm. Happy cooking.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Bad dinner guests

Never bring your child to someone's house for Thanksgiving dinner when they were sick earlier in the day, no matter how healthy and recovered they look.

You might end up being really really bad dinner guests.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving carrots

Other than some appetizers, I am only responsible for carrots this Thanksgiving. Blessings! Think I'll try these: Carrots with Shallots, Sage, and Thyme.

Hope you have a great holiday with lots of tasty eats.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hot Dogs, Big Pretzels, Roasted Peanuts, Pizza

These are a few of our favorite things...when traveling in NYC, anyway.

We have a Little Critter book at our house, I think it's called "Just Me and My Mom." Critter and his mom visit the city and a museum that looks a whole lot like the Met. They get kicked out of a finer eating establishment due to Little Critter's frog, and end up eating hot dogs outside the Met. Frog incident aside, my kids shared an equal thrill at eating hot dogs from vendor carts outside the Met this past weekend. As a result of this, my 18 month old now says "hot dog!" every time he's hungry. No bun required.

I noticed 2 trends in vendor stands since my last trip to New York:
1) Where are all the doughnut vendors? Has everyone gone anti-trans-fats??? What is the world coming to?
2) Gourmet vendor carts are everywhere. That's no ordinary giant pretzel being eaten in the photo below. It's special. Special because it sits next to pretzel flavors like "bacon and scallion" and "rosemary garlic." Special because it costs ya' an extra buck. My take? It's probably worth it. It was really good.

Monday, November 14, 2011

votes are in

Skipping the weekly meal plan this week. Actually, there is a plan called "Let's empty out the fridge" since we're headed out of town for a few days. Always a good chance to reclaim some old plastic containers that have harbored long-forgotten left-overs a few days/weeks too many.

On another note, I have learned two lessons so far this week:

1. No amount of persuasion will convince your 4-year-old boy that wearing his sister's old dark purple and black winter boots is cool, or even just ok. He's used to hand-me-downs, but purple is NOT ACCEPTABLE.

2. Same 4-year-old boy that breaks down in tears upon learning sweet potato pancakes are being made instead of the usual Bisquick follows up by single-handedly eating almost half the batch.

Tally: Purple boots, 0 / Sweet potato pancakes, 1.

Louisiana Sweet Potato Pancakes recipe, from So sweet you almost don't need syrup. Almost.

Friday, November 11, 2011

If I do this a THIRD time, send help.

I hate these crackers. No one in my house likes these crackers. So why have I bought them twice now, only to have them go almost completely uneaten?

I must be attracted to the colorful package and exploding cracker. A weird image by all accounts, but I do appreciate that it's not a tarted up image of cheap crackers staged on a shimmering serving platter near a casually laid cloth napkin.

Or maybe it's my desire to actually be eating some "Vermont White Cheddar" as the package flavor tells you you'll taste inside. What I really want is the cheese, and believe me, the crackers do not deliver.

I guess the point of all this is...
does anyone want a box of crackers?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Be honest.

Who has eaten more of your kid's Halloween candy? YOU or YOUR KID?

(probably not relevant for parents with kids ages...7 and up?)

I'm confident I am crushing the youthful competitors in my house. We're running out of chocolate though, so I'll be slowing the pace.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Week 106—Cupboard Follies

Mon – Chili on baked potatoes w/feta
Tues – Some kind of pasta-something w/stuff found in cupboards/fridge (UPDATE: alfredo w/squash)
Weds – Beef stir-fry w/rice
Thurs Sloppy Joe's w/pear, gorgonzola salad kit
Fri Pizza out
Alts – omelettes
I've tried those bagged salad kits a couple times and kinda like the convenience when I'm feeling exceptionally lazy. Which made me think what a product of our time "salad in a bag" is. Which then made me think, does anyone buy a head of iceburg anymore for their typical salad? That's what I grew up on.

My grandmother had a special Tupperware container onto which you'd stab the cored iceburg head to keep it extra fresh and flavorless. It was pale green with a translucent plastic lid. We had no such kind of high-end Tupperware products like this in my house growing up, so I pondered what this meant about my grandma's kitchen.

She wasn't a gadget collector. Did it make lettuce last a long time? Did it taste better this way? I wonder where that container is now. Probably neatly stacked on a shelf in the basement of her house where just my grandfather lives now, nestled with hundreds of other pale green, yellow, pink, and orange Tupperware from decades back.

Happy cooking.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Banned? Really?

I was delighted to come across a pint of Ben and Jerry's Limited Edition Schweddy Balls ice cream a couple weeks ago after reading about all the quaint folks who were protesting its existence in their supermarkets. Happily, my local grocery stop was not too Puritan for this product. It is funny. It is tasty. And for parents who need some adult humor in their lives while little kids who don't know about Saturday Night Live sleep softly in their beds, it's a nice late-night treat to share. Go get some Schweddy Balls to share with your loved one. Make it a date and watch the SNL outtake at Ben & Jerry's website.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Scenes from a Halloween Kitchen

I think my son was secretly delighted that he stained his hand green w/food coloring while mixing frosting for our Halloween cookies.  

A few days before Halloween he declared that the kitchen was not creepy enough. So we brought in some newly obtained seasonal lighting (bottom photo). Thanks, Colleen! Creepiness attained.