Valentine's Day is a family affair at our house - I made this barbecued chicken casserole with a corn bread topping. Everyone loved it and it was so easy - you use Jiffy corn muffn mix for the top (my favorite - always better than my home made).
My girls are really getting into baking on thier own - last night they made brownies - they are also doing well with cooking breakfast and easy dnners like pasta and pizzas. The hardest part is getting them to do an adequate clean up. Are your kids into cooking?
Valentine's Day is today and we are celebrating it as a family! What are your special plans for tonight or for any special occassion for that matter? Do you like to cook or go out? We are going out tonight but other times we have made special meals at home, which I like even more!
Can't believe we had another snowstorm in the Northeast! We must have gotten 2 feet. Kids were cooped up and after some sibling bickering I had my 8-year old son become my assistant in the kitchen. We made soup! He really did it all! I helped him chop a carrot and celery. Had I not been with him, he would have flailed the knife around and lobbed off a finger. It's very important to teach them good knife skills early and it isn't that easy for everyone so be careful!
Next, he stirred the chopped veggies in oil and added tomato paste, a pinch of red pepper flakes, broth, a bay leaf. Then, in a separate bowl I had some chopped chicken and he grated lemon zest on top and I made little meatballs. Together we made Chicken Meatball Soup and it was pure joy for both of us!
I wanted to pass along this healthy snack I made for a Super Bowl party - crispy roasted chick peas - they were a hit and a lot of the kids at the party liked them too. They didn't know what they were which helped!
That's a great idea. This week we are battling the flu in my house so we're all about chicken soup! Their appetites are not great, but just so long as they are getting liquids, I am happy.
I got my kids to eat veggies by roasting them - I told them they are like french fries. I roast anything - broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, green beans - anything - toss in a little olive oil and salt, and roast until crispy. They pick them up just like fries - very satisfying and so much better than the mushy lima beans of my youth.
Good tip from Rach to get the family to try new veggies! I am not above hiding veggies in certain foods, ie veggies in pizza sauce, but isn't it even better when you try a new twist on a recipe that gets everyone actually admitting they're eating that ingredient? I recently tried Rach's Kale Caesar salad where she makes a traditional Caesar salad fressing, but tosses it with chopped kale and romaine instead of just romaine. It's delicious because the kale really can stand up to that dressing! I grew up thinking kale was the purple decorative plant outside people's homes, and while yes it is indeed, it is also a very delicious green veg. I prefer the kind they call "dinosaur kale" or "lacinato kale", which is flat and dark green. Plan B Mom, what deceiving tricks do you have up your sleeve?
What I am finding is that my son seems to have a meltdown hour, still at 8 years old! I happens around 4 or 5 every night and I am thinking this is when total exhaustion hits him because of course after dinner he is full of energy and can't get to sleep. I like your idea of giving them a real snack after school and then maybe a lighter dinner. I recently tried to sign my son up for basketball from 5-6 and he just couldn't make it through that first hour without crying. I thought fruit after school would be enough, but you have to also assume that they might not be eating everything you pack them for lunch so by 4 or 5 look out!
I totally agree. We actually don't eat until 7 most nights - my kids are starving when they come home from school and they usually have something pretty substantial - a bagel, cereal with milk, a sandwich - so they are fine waiting until then. I also do a lot of double duty meals so i will cook a lot of chicken breasts one night that I serve with rice and a vegetable, and then we will have chicken paninis the next night - no real cooking and I can throw them together in about 10 minutes.
You mentioned dessert - do your kids have dessert every night? I know my kids do (take after their mother), plus I am able to use it as leverage for them to get tasks done (ie, no dessert until they practice piano, shower, pick up their rooms, etc.). However, I know a lot of families who never have dessert or only on special occasions and think we are hedonistic over here.
Trying to start the year off by eating more meals together as a family-I am not home from work by 5:30, which is when my kids like to eat dinner. I feel bad making them wait for me, which may mean eating at 7:30, by the time I get home and cook the dang meal, but honestly, I don't mind it. They can have healthy snacks before I get home to stave off hunger, and the chance to sit around the table together, eating my home cooking and talking about our days is priceless. It's so worth it! Weekends are obviously not a problem because we are together all the time, but during the week, I am finding that this is am important ritual. Now, if they do eat without me, I can also convince them to sit with me while I eat and they can have dessert. As long as we have that time together, that's the most important thing.