Category Archives: Food

Winner winner chicken dinner

It’s about time I brought this up. I wanted to a few days ago, but it just wasn’t enough. But today’s lunch of leftover pot roast and potatoes with yummy gravy, all made into an open-faced sammich of love… well, that just put me over the edge. In fact, I’m a little distracted from writing this, because I’m still focused on devouring it.

Here’s the deal: I am not a great cook. Not terrible, just not great. I can follow a recipe, sort of, and I can pull off a lot of simple dishes. And to match that, I don’t enjoy it.

However, I like to eat good food. Also, food is kind of a necessary thing, and my family looks to me to make sure we have it. If they had it their way, they would eat junk and processed foods all day. But I am not okay with that plan, as my children are still growing, my husband is diabetic, and I have M.S. So healthy eating, kind of a big deal to me.

Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, good food. So the pot roast and potatoes are super delicious. It earned two thumbs up, one from me and one from my husband. I made pancakes and sausage the day before, and the pancakes earned some very enthusiastic thumbs up from everyone. Definitely a winner. Before that, it was penne pasta with marinara sauce and Italian sausage. This one earned thumbs up from the boys, and some thumbs to-the-side from the girls (we are big on thumbs, it’s a very effective rating system). The biggest surprise to me was the parmesan crusted chicken. Super easy, only FOUR ingredients. If I can count the ingredients on my hand, it passes, and four is great because it leaves one digit for rating. And I’ll tell you, the chicken earned thumbs up from all four of us, to my pleasant surprise. In fact, my husband went back for seconds. Of chicken. Which is amazing because he’s always had weird issues with chicken. Something traumatic when he was kid, but I don’t remember the details. Not that you would want to know. But I digress.

I take my weekly meal planning very seriously, and I strive to find healthy meals that the picky eaters will eat. If they eat it, it passes, but if they love it, that’s a real winner in my book. And so I made one. A book. And I’m putting the winners in it. It’s actually a binder, but let’s not be nit-picky. We shall call it The Dinner Winner Book.

Do you have a favorite meal that’s super easy and sorta healthy and picky-eater-approved? Let me know by leaving a comment here on the blog. Maybe I’ll comment too, with links to the winners in my book, just as soon as I finish eating my yummy sammich.

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Perspective

I just watched a video showing the easiest way to cook corn on the cob (in the microwave, shucks on) and then read the comments on the video. Holy hell, these people were having some seriously heated arguments about corn and microwaves. One guy posted the f-bomb twice in one sentence, and another was apparently booted for cursing at another commenter. After the super lazy day I’ve had today, I was beginning to think I needed to get a life, but these people gave me some perspective.

It’s all good. Peace, love, and corn on the cob…

Bad Idea

Natalie likes to help me. With just about everything. She often helps me make coffee in the morning, and today was no different. Only I had set it up the night before with the timer, so there really wasn’t much to do. So she picked out my coffee mug for me and brought the half & half out of the fridge. Both were waiting for me on the counter, next to the pot of freshly brewed coffee. I so love this girl. And just when I think she “gets” me, she says things like this: “You should sometimes not drink coffee.” When asked for clarification, she said (with an air of astounding gravity) “just skip a day of drinking coffee”.

Uh…. NO.

I am not opposed to bribing the children

I had a wonderful afternoon with my son today. It was his last day of school, and it was a half day, so he spent the rest of it with me. Natalie went to daycare as it was still “officially” a school week, and that’s where she always went on Fridays during the school year. So Luke and I had some quality time. We ate hot dogs for lunch, snacked on carrot sticks and hummus, and had a good talk about what it’s going to be like being home with Momma this summer. I told him that I expect him and Natalie to have fun and make messes, but to clean up the messes before moving onto the next. I’ll be monitoring them and scoring them using the reward chart app on my Kindle. They will be able to earn stars by cleaning up after themselves, putting away laundry, helping Momma, etc.

Luke is totally on board with this idea and he already had an idea for a reward to work towards. I was thinking smaller rewards, to keep it going on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, but he had something bigger in mind. He wants to go on vacation to Great Wolf Lodge. I want to know who told him about this place, and thank them (<sarcasm font>?), but he tells me he saw a commercial. When? He hardly ever watches tv? Ah, he must have been at Grandpa’s house. We’ll talk later.

Anyway, hopefully a vacation is big enough and exciting enough to dangle above their heads and keep them in line through the summer. We’ll see. I suspect Natalie will lose interest with the reward chart and end up just following Luke’s lead. They are very close, even though they are 2.5 years apart. Also, she loves a clean room, so sometimes that’s all the motivation she needs (she did inherit *some* of my traits).

Oh! I can’t leave you without mentioning the new friends we met! There is an older couple who live around the corner from us, and they remember when Mike was a little boy (he grew up in the house we live in). We ran into them last night at the park at the end of our street. Their grandchildren are visiting for the week, so they were letting them play. Today Luke asked to go over to their house to play, so I accompanied him so that I could exchange phone numbers and make sure it was okay. Turns out, the woman knows my old boss and his wife, and their children. Small world there. And, she knows ASL! Because she used to teach deaf children! Get out of town! So she was using all kinds of ASL with me, and was able to share in my excitement about my upcoming ci activation. And then we scheduled an official playdate next week with the kids at the local waterpark. So exciting.

Oh, and ice cream. Natalie and I whipped up some brownies after dinner and threw them in the oven. I sat down to wait, but 30 seconds later Luke comes to me, excited that Daddy is taking him to Quality Dairy to get an ice cream cone. Mike asks if I want to come too. I am a sucker for ice cream in a cone. So yes, I’m in. We got our ice cream and drove back home and I am trying to sit down to finish the melting messy thing, and Mike and Natalie are trying to get my attention. “What? I’m having a moment here!” They are pointing to the kitchen. Because the oven timer is going off. And of course I can’t hear it. Yup. The brownies are Done. Thankfully they were only in for a few minutes longer than they needed to be, and since I always plan to undercook my baked desserts, they turned out just fine.

I am absolutely loving my new life. Why? Because I’m IN it. No longer working my tail off for some unrealistic expectation or human ideal. Just enjoying my family and friends and all that that entails.

Slacker

I’ve been kind of a slacker about writing, both here and in my private journal. It’s because of this darn trilogy. I just can’t seem to put it down! However, I think I’m keeping the necessities taken care of, showering, feeding the kids, morning devotions, etc.

The challenge I’ve recently taken on is that of NOT internalizing the “chaos” around me. It’s nearly impossible to keep a house neat and tidy while young children are present, so I need to be okay with that, and just relax already. It’s not like our house is up for sale, so who are we trying to impress? No one. We are healthy, happy, and we are together. That’s what matters and that’s how I can let it go.

With that said, there is one aspect of this new role at home I take very seriously. FOOD. I love food. Food is delicious, and food is fuel. I believe that you can enjoy eating healthy foods, and I strive to teach that to my kids as well. I want them to grow up with healthy eating habits. It will save them in the long run on medical expenses and counseling fees. So, each week I decide on a set of meals, and then make a grocery list. In the past I’ve had a friend take me to the store to help me with the shopping. That’s been nice, but that may prove more difficult having the kids with me during the summer. Mondays will be my kid-free day, so maybe I can find a friend who could take me on Mondays. That would be a great way to start the week, wouldn’t it?

What do you think? Do you struggle with feeling chaos at home? Do you have a book you can’t put down? Do you like to go grocery shopping? Are you seizing the day today?!