...one woman's decision impacts her family's diet....how long can they last without a trip through the drive-thru?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Kids CAN Cook!

It was decided at the beginning of the week that we would be making my Grandma Honey's meatballs for dinner on Sunday night. I was getting ready to make them when my 8 year old son asked "Mommy, can I cook?" I decided sure, at least let him get all of the ingredients together. So I called out what he needed, and he got everything together. Then he measured out the rice, put it in the pot and said he was ready for the next step. I helped him add water to the pot and turn on the stove, then told him how to assemble the meatballs.

At first, he said "ew" when I told him that he would be mushing the meat together with the egg and the breadcrumbs but after a couple minutes he was done. I then demonstrated how to roll them into a ball and after heating up the skillet for him, he carefully placed the little round balls of meat into the skillet all by himself.

He was such a cute little chef. He timed the rice, made sure to lift the lid whenever the bubbles started to come out over the edge, and carefully put the lid back into place. He even turned the meatballs in the skillet to make sure that they browned on every side and cooked throughly. I am so proud of him, and the meatballs tasted great. It's nice to know that I have another little helper around the kitchen.

Meatballs with Rice
Serves 6
1 cup dried rice prepared according to package directions and set aside
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 lb organic ground beef
1/4 c diced onion
2 Tbsp of bread crumbs (I used the Italian Seasoned kind)
1 egg
2 cloves garlic diced
1 tsp worcestershire sauce

1.) In a bowl, mix ground beef with bread crumbs, egg, worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion and salt/pepper to taste. 2.) heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet. Roll meat into small balls and cook evenly on each side in the heated skillet until meat balls are cooked through. 3.) drain grease from pan, add in 1 can of soup with 1/2 a can of water to the cooked meatballs. Stir until soup is mixed. Heat throughly until soup is warm and bubbling. Serve over rice.

I think I am going to have to pick up a book or two for the kids and let them cook more often!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Garlic Chicken Pasta with Veggies

Tonight was an easy dish that I had thought might work, but didn't know if would taste good. I love garlic, I love pasta, so I was thinking that I could put the two together in a combo Asian/Italian dish. Yeah, I know, I am probably not the inventor of the dish, but I figured it was worth trying.

I got home from work and spent a little time being crafty. I helped my friend make her baby's footprints into a cute heart shaped project. It was a lot of fun, but she was determined to also capture her baby's handprints. Have you ever tried to get a 1 month old baby to hold their hand open long enough for you to put ink on the hand and put the inked hand onto a piece of paper? Yeah...it doesn't work so well. Here is how that scenario worked out for us:

1.) Mom latches baby on to help relax baby.
2.) I carefully pick up the baby's hand and then placed it onto the ink pad. This then causes the baby to unlatch, and wiggle around...oh...and clench her ink covered fist.

Ok...starting over....

1.) Wipe off ink.
2.) Re-latch baby.
3.) Position baby's hand over ink pad, then carefully spread the fingers.
4.) Coat the fingers and hand quickly with the non-toxic washable ink.
5.) Grab paper.
6.) Put baby's hand down on paper....oh...crud....ok...so baby decided to make a fist just as I was getting the paper close.

We repeated this madness four or five times before I finally gave up and started dinner. At least the footprints turned out great. Dinner managed to be made without a hitch, and absolutely no leftovers. Here's the recipe:

Garlic Chicken Pasta with Veggies
Serves: 5 or 6...depending on how much you eat!

1 box (13.25 oz) of Barilla Whole Grain Rotini Pasta
2 Tbsp Olive Oil (you might want more or less depending on how 'wet' you want your final dish)
2 tsp Sesame Seeds
Lemon Pepper
Whole Garlic Cloves (we used a whole head of garlic because we love garlic, you can use less if you want)
3 or 4 large organic chicken breasts, sliced into 1" strips
Teriyaki sauce
1 cup Frozen mixed veggies

1.) In a skillet, heat a little olive oil (not the 2 Tbsp) until hot and prepare pasta according to box directions or personal preference in a separate pot and continue with remaining directions while it is cooking. 2.) Add whole garlic cloves to hot oil....be careful, it might pop! Brown the garlic and then put them in a bowl off to the side. 3.) Add cut chicken into hot oil and cook throughly. Season with salt and lemon pepper to taste. Sprinkle Teriyaki sauce over chicken, again to taste. I found that 1 1/2 tsp worked well. Add in frozen veggies and toss together until fully cooked. 4.) In a large bowl, place olive oil, sesame seeds and sprinkle (1 tsp or so) of teriyaki sauce and whisk together. Drain pasta and toss with the oil mix coating thoroughly. Add cooked chicken and veggies to pasta and mix. Sprinkle bowl with a little more sesame seeds for garnish. Serve warm.

I have to admit, I don't know if I got everything in the recipe so if there is anything missing. If it doesn't turn out right, feel free to email me. I have been working long days at work and my mind is on 10-million things right now including baby handprints...my friend is still here, so here we go...attempt number seven....

The Reviews:
Dad: "It was delicious."
Friend: "It was yummy-licious."
9 year old Girl: "Yummy Wummy Wokka Mummy."
8 year old Boy: Thumbs up and wanted seconds.
19 month old Baby: When asked if dinner was good he nodded his head. I take that as a positive.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day 1 (v.2.0): BBQ Chicken Salad...Revisited

I had fast food at lunch...I know, I know...but I spent two days away from home at a work related conference (it was GREAT!) and completely over-indulged in some absolutely amazing food. Including lunches that started with salads, then graduated to filling main dishes and finished off with an amazing desert. I got home late last night and didn't sleep very well, so...too tired me rolled out of bed this morning, got ready for work, then ran out the door without grabbing lunch. The baby was sleeping so the hubby couldn't bring me anything, and with gas prices going you know where I wasn't about to drive anywhere. Luckily, or unluckily, for me there is a fast food mexican place located at the gas station at my work. They have some pretty yumm-licious food there and I have to say that I was thrilled to indulge in a couple of shredded beef tacos. I walked to pick up my food, and enjoyed the nice weather on my stroll back to the office which helped lower the guilt level a smidgen.

After a couple of days of over eating and today's not so healthy lunch, my body was practically crying out for something healthy. So, we are re-visiting Day 4 of my blog from back in October (follow this link for the recipe and reviews: http://bit.ly/hNXaBr#).

Another bonus? The hubby cooked! He cut the chicken into chunks and didn't shred it, but it was still amazingly good! Kudos to my amazing husband, I am one lucky working mom.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again...

It's been a bit since I have been on to post anything...Between a mix of no internet, no time to cook, and the holidays, I was unable to post anything exciting. But, now I am re-dedicating myself. I am going to try to post at least 1 recipe a week, and hopefully will have time for even more.

I haven't had much time to cook, so my amazing husband has been cooking a lot. He has been experimenting with different recipes to keep our family entertained and on a little tighter budget than usual it has given him room for creativity (think meatball sandwiches, buffalo and barbecue chicken pizzas, pulled-chicken sandwiches etc) . I am very impressed with his culinary skills, and will be posting recipes from the both of us....

So...renewing my commitment to this blog and also renewing my commitment to no fast food. I have to admit, I have messed up a couple of times since I first started this blog. *sigh* I am back in the saddle though, and will be renewing my desire to make meals at home, without hitting the drive-thru. Wish us luck!