Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chicken Thursday? Nope, Not Here!

Every time I make tacos or anything similar, I think of that commercial. I tried to find a video of it online, but was not able to.  Otherwise I would have posted it here to get it stuck in your head too!

I am not a menu planner like that. I know a lot of people that are. I'm sure that, ages ago, Mom was like that too.  But it still doesn't get the image of a chicken in a Thursday sweater out of my head.

Last night the kiddos wanted tacos. I had no soft tortillas in the house (or at least not enough for them!!) and I really didn't feel like tacos.  The thrill of a taco is purely in the act of putting them together, and I just did not want to get it all together.  Especially since I have to cut up all the usual options to please the family even though they hardly eat all of the ingredients. I have had to make a deal with the kids that the first taco MUST HAVE MEAT.  They could care less if it was a vegetarian meal, it's really all about the salsa and cheese.

So instead of regular tacos, I made the taco beef, grated cheese and cut up a tomato.  I layered these in a pie plate and baked it a few minutes to melt the cheese.  It wasn't taco pie (the kids didn't want taco pie) so we called it taco DIP and they ate it with tortilla chips.  They ate a TON without me having to fight about it!

I also had a strange craving for refried beans.  Which is NOT a normal ingredient for anything in my house.  Usually only something found in my dinner if I order a 7 layer burrito at Taco Bell.  I don't even know if they make that one anymore.  So, I googled refried beans and found that it is often made with pinto beans but can be made with kidney beans.  I have an incredible collection of cans of kidney beans. It's a make or break ingredient for my chili.  I don't think chili is quite right with out them, but can't get the kids to eat any of it if they see the kidney bean in there.

So, I drained and mashed the kidney beans, spiced them up and fried them up.

I actually learned yesterday that refried beans does not mean beans that have been refried, but actually that the 're' prefix is often used in Mexico in place of 'well'.  So refried beans are actually 'well fried'.
I was incredibly impressed!  That was super easy to make and absolutely delicious.  Only one of the three kids would eat it, but it was all used.  Of course when you mash them up and fry them until almost all of the moisture is gone, there really isn't a lot of bean left....

Some days I wonder where these ideas come from.  I don't know what drives me to figure out how to make things that no one but me even likes.

After all of that, I found that giving things the right name will make kids eat anything. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

How To Make Your Kids Eat Dinner

Tonight, I had this massive craving for pasta.  The trucker was working later, still home in the evening but not home for dinner, so this worked perfectly.  He's not a noodle guy.
I decided on Chicken and Mushrooms with Penne and Pesto sauce, which I loved and the little princess inhaled!
My boys don't like mushrooms (when they can see them) and they are not big fans of 'fake chicken' (the kind with skin and bones removed).  They believe that all pasta should be like KD.  Super cheesy and only in that shape!

I had store bought pesto that had just a hint of lemon in it.  My boys LOVE lemons, they often ask for them and will almost always eat them like oranges.  So for tonight's dinner, I sliced up a fresh lemon and lined the pieces up on the edge of the plates. The meal looked gourmet!!

A little sprinkle of lemon over the pasta, then they ate what was left of the fresh lemon... and then cleaned their plates!  They ate a meal full of things they don't like, simply because of a few slices of lemon.

Don't I wish I had thought of this earlier!

Oh, and before I forget... for those who are curious... 
Yes, the potato salad was great as was the pork, the company and the entire evening with friends and family!!