Now that school is out and we have just 2 days with any commitments during the week that are reoccurring, I've been attempting to get the hous into a bit better order (yet again, yes, it's a constant thing I'm sure!) and as with any 'down time'... my thoughts go back to... COOKING.
It's not that I don't like to cook, or that I don't do ok at it when I do cook... it's not that I don't have the TIME to cook, because I could often take the time to do it. It's mostly the fact that although there are 6 of us in the house, only 3 of us will eat a majority of the things I would cook. Emma's our one cild that eats any and everything we put in her mouth (including things she puts in her mouth like 3 day old cheerios she finds hiding in the crack of the highchair). Kristopher will eat a majority of things, but sometimes getting him to do so makes dinner time a battle field. Brianna is a SUPER PICKY eater and though we make her try things, she doesn't eat a whole lot to start with so after forcing in a few bites, we generally go for a 'staple' we know she'll eat. And Micah's still on bottles and purees...
I just sat down with a stack of cookbooks that have been taking up space in my cupboard for the past 2 years and aren't pulled out except when I'm making something I know is tried and true and just need to remember that one other ingredient or ratio. Including 4 magazines of Kraft Food & Family magazine. I went through those and 4 cookbooks... I marked pages in the magazines... and I realized that the things that I picked out as potentially good for at least a majority of the family are all sandwiches, super-simple veggies, and "appetizer like" sides. Starches, fresh deli-meats, fresh fruits, simple veggies, and some dairy and cheeses. I looked at chicken dish after chicken dish after chicken dish... beef, tuna, pork, and other meals at length... ingenious pasta casseroles after another... and it still came back to the basics.
So maybe I should just get a ton of deli meat and cheese, the fresh fruits and veggies, some bread, rice, and potatoes, and see just how many meals we can make that differ slightly from one another?? I'm pretty sure the kids and I would be just FINE with that. Mike, on the other hand, might not be quite so happy... But really, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, pizza, mac'n cheese, crackers, PBJ, corn dogs, and french fries really do get old. Maybe deli meat will too after a time.
Any summertime favorites? Easy dishes your (picky) kids love that are easy on the time-table and on the budget?