Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Home Duties

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?


  1. Mer, have you tried dishes that you could somewhat modify to those who are more picky, without having to make a separate meal? SO your one meal can easily be tailored a bit to accommodate picky eaters. That way you're all kinda eating the same thing. Like pasta for instance. If you make a nice pasta with sauce, chicken, veggies, whatever, you can pull out some of the plain cooked pasta before you add all the "stuff" to it and give that to the pickier ones with some butter on it and maybe grated cheese? You may even be able to mix in some pureed zuchinni (peelied of course) or cauliflower with the plain pasta that will give the kids some veggies without them knowing. Zuchinni and cauliflower don't have much of a taste so they shouldn't be able to discover it....especially if you grate some cheese on top.

    Quesadillas would be a good thing too...very simple, and you can fill them according to each person's liking. Some may only have cheese in them, but again you should be able to sneak in some pureed veggies without them noticing....like purreed carrots or sweet potatoes.

    Just a couple of thoughts.

  2. Tator tot casserole. 1 lb hamburger cooked (bell pepper and onion mixed in if you like), mix with cream of mushroom or chick soup, put on bottom of casserole dish, layer with velveeta, and then top with tator tots, bake till tots are golden brown. I also do lots of stir frys with chicken breasts, ms dash, and zucchini and squash. It takes like 10 minutes.

  3. I'm with you. 4 kids and they eat very differently. They all like fruit of some sort. SO summer is better for that. They will all eat pizza so I keep the mini-pizza crust and a jar of pizza sauce and then cheese and pepperoni. Then I can make the pizza to their liking. Other than that, they eat PB&J or grilled cheese or corn dogs or nuggets. I feel like such a bad mom. I make the veggies and stuff for Randy and I but for the most part they won't eat it. Two of mine will eat noodles with a small bit of pizza sauce on it. The other 2 won't eat noodles. 2 will eat plain rice, 2 won't. (Not the same combination that likes noodles) They all like mac-cheese. In fact, that may be the only thing all 4 can agree on.
    Good luck,

  4. Sounds like my house. I told my hubby the other day that I can't stand it any more. Take me/us out or he can cook!!!

  5. I hear you... I have a sandwiches and cold sausage daughter myself and have just about given up getting her to eat anything else (she has a gastrostomy though so I can cheat and shovel things down there!).

    Our family favourites though - macaroni cheese with bacon and hard boiled eggs in it.

    stuffed marrow (large zucchini) rings - you can tailor those to tastes if you like - we put savoury rice in them or a bolognese sauce, sometimes tuna and cheese. Bake them with cheese on the top until the marrow is all soft. Even if the child then picks off all the marrow and refuses to eat it, the stuff inside must have taken on something from the marrow (that's my theory and I'm sticking to it!)