Monday, August 31, 2015

This week in dinner....and a little about dessert

Dessert seems to be one of those topics that moms don't discuss a lot.  I don't know if they fear judgement of their mom peers or it just doesn't come up in the dozens of discussions about feeding youngsters, but I want to share how we do dessert in our house and how it has blessed us with children who don't beg and whine about sweets.

Before Atticus was born, dessert was a sort of haphazard thing that didn't happen with any predictable regularity.  Many times Little Ish and Lily would ask about it and Ish and I would say, "No, not tonight" as we didn't have anything planned.  Cue whining and disappointment from the kids.  They also, not knowing when they would get a sweet treat again, would often spend a lot of time pestering and whining for sweets.  Shortly after Atticus was born, I read the book French Kids Eat Everything and it inspired me to change the way we handle dessert in our home.  As an experiment, we started having dessert every single night.  Within less than a month of doing this, Ish and I both noticed that our children had stopped asking about sweets at all.  We realized that since they knew they would get dessert after dinner, they didn't have any need to ask about them.  Kids like routine and they like knowing what is going to happen.  Demystifying dessert by making it a routine did that for Lily and Little Ish.

How does your family do dessert?  

And now onto what we are eating for dinner this week:

Monday: Nachos at the request of Lily.  These are served with tomatoes, guacamole, refried beans and sometimes corn if someone requests it.

Tuesday: Irish Rice.  There is actually nothing Irish about the rice.  When I was growing up my dad made a dish that his family calls Irish Spaghetti.  It is diced tomatoes, ground beef, and onions all cooked up and thrown into a pound of thin spaghetti.  When I was pregnant with Lily, I had gestational diabetes and pasta was not a good food option for me.  Ish suggested we make the dish with brown rice instead of pasta.  It was delicious and the dish has stayed in our rotation ever since.

Wednesday: Potacos at the request of Little Ish.  I don't know what website I originally got this idea from, but basically it is a baked potato topped with taco meat and other taco toppings.  This is my family's favorite taco meat recipe; it freezes well so double the recipe for a quick meal some other night.

Thursday: Breaded baked chicken,  corn on the cob, and green beans

Friday: Dinner with family.

Saturday: A birthday BBQ for friends.

Sunday: Pizza at Ish's parents' house.

Linking up with Simcha!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

What's cooking?

We are a meal planning family.  Ish and I have actually been planning meals together since before we were married.  After I graduated college, I spent a summer living in Delaware just a short walk from Ish's childhood home.  We spent the summer cooking dinners together in the basement of the St. Thomas More Oratory and all of our meals were made according to a meal plan we had devised together.  It was no surprise when we got married two summers later that meal planning fell naturally into place. 

Even though we use a meal plan regularly, we are not impervious from the occasional falling away from this strategy.  In the past couple weeks we have failed to meal plan and it has led to insufficient leftovers for lunches, a couple of take out dinners and a handful of rotting food.  These few weeks away fro meal planning have led me to want to be a little more on top of things, so when Simcha decided to start a weekly meal planning post on her blog, I decided to join her.

How does meal planning happen here?  The process has evolved over time.  I used to do all the meal planning with a pencil and paper, but Ish discovered Trello last year and now our plan and grocery list are digitized.  Ish and I have shifted meal planning responsibilities back and forth over the months and years.  I am working to make that my domain right now, but he is incredibly competent when it comes to meal planning and grocery shopping so it is easy enough to swap off when necessary. This is an especially big blessing during 1st trimesters and the first few months post-partum.  As for actual meals, we only plan dinners.  Lunches are generally leftovers of some sort and we just make sure to always have oatmeal, eggs, and chapati on hand for breakfasts. Also we generally don't generally need to plan dinners on Friday, Saturday or Sunday due to generous family and friends.

What's cooking this week?

Monday: Chicken Curry over rice or possibly  over spaghetti squash if it is ready to be harvested.  This dish consists of chicken and vegetables in a curry sauce that Ish makes.  We will also be eating corn on the cob from the farmers' market.

Tuesday: Roast pork, butternut squash from the garden, applesauce, and green beans.

Wednesday: Lazy Man's Lasagna  This is a new recipe for me but it looks similar to a dish my mom made when I was a kid.  We will probably have raw vegetables on the side.

Thursday: Chicken Tacos

Friday: Grilled Cheese Night at Ish's parents' house.  I am hoping to contribute some more tomatoes from our garden to the salad.

Saturday: Dinner with friends.

Sunday: Pizza at Ish's parents' house.  My father-in-law makes the best pizza.

What's cooking at your house this week?