Saturday morning and I am sitting in “my office” – – corner booth in the completely windowed addition at the local McDonalds. I have a cup of Diet Dr. Pepper beside me and an endless supply of soda just beyond two white columns. Ridiculous as it is, this is my “happy place” and I can think here in a way I can’t really explain. Maybe it’s the music of “my people” (70s and 80s hits) pumping through the ceiling speakers? Whatever it is, I am thankful to a little gal from church who is with my children so I can be here.
Honey is at the church participating in a special called session meeting. The session is comprised of the elders of our church (elected leadership). There are so many decisions to be made at our church and I am thankful that my Honey has a voice in those decisions. He is a wise man and I become more and more convinced of that as time passes. I am praying that he will be strong and courageous today and say the things that need to be said. Until last month he was the youngest man on the session and so it can be a bit intimidating – still, his agenda is much less personal than some and his love for God’s church is immense. His gifts for taking what is and making it work better. . . these are gifts that are presently needed.
So, that was a rabbit trail for sure. What I really planned to write about was the work I am supposed to be doing here at the McDonalds. I am planning our meals for the week and creating a grocery list. This has been a fun activity for me over the years- – i have really enjoyed cooking and love trying new things.
My children have reached an age that is sucking the life from this once pleasant activity. Example? I over heard a conversation in the car this week that went like this:
KB: “My mom is better than your mom.”
LW: “Na-uh. My mom is always better.”
Me: “Yep – I think you are probably right.”
LW: “Mrs. Kicklighter – why would you say that?”
Me: “Well, your mom does so much to take care of you and cooks special things for your family and plays with you. . .”
KB: “Yea, your mom is pretty great. My mom makes yucky food.”
If I counted how many times I heard, “Mom, I have to tell you . .. that looks disgusting” just this week. . . well I would probably get so mad that it would affect my happy place.
So, I am writing a blog post and hoping that you will send me a message with some help. I need to know what you serve your family that they love. . . everyone loves.
I want to know things other than spaghetti, folks, and not things that take two days for me to prepare!
I don’t care if your kids are allergic to everything but broccoli. . . how do YOU make broccoli in a way that your family eats it??
Do you shop at Trader Joes and have a favorite thing from there that is a consistent “go to”?
What shows up on your table time and time again?
Please take and minute and help a sister out!
Coralie – I want to know what those things were that your kids had for lunch on Thursday.
Regan – I want to know about that thing you sneak vegetables into.
Amy – you are revamping your entire food world. . . help me!
Emily – Your baked pancakes are a big hit. . . what else have you got for me???
I’ll be waiting!!!
have you tried eMeals? they send you a menu for the week AND the grocery list for said menu. it’s amazing! we just got back on there a few weeks ago; have used it off an on for about 5 years. as low as $4 a month!
Penny – you sound like a commercial!!! 🙂 Yes, I have used eMeals over the years but my real concern now is a few things I can bet my kids will like. Got any ideas?
I love menu planning and talking about recipes! Some hits with my three kids are chicken and dumplings, quiche, Italian chicken (recipe from Sherri Smith), meatloaf, Lima beans cooked a la Maryanne Bradford style, meatloaf, broccoli steamed with lemon pepper seasoning, roasted chicken,and pork tenderloin. My oldest and yongest will eat anything while our middle child has a precious few veggies he’ll eat. I sneak spinach in our fruit smoothies, and anything with eggs or a red sauce. Just puree fresh spinach and it looks like spices. Looking forward to others comments!
Oh, and chicken pot pie!
Everybody likes tacos, pork tenderloin, quesadillas with veggies pureed and hidden, pasta (I make my oil and vinegar sauce and puree veggies in it), chili, breakfast for dinner (I put flax seed in pancakes), enchiladas (I sneak veggies in this). My kids eat raw veggies like carrots, cucumbers, and celery. They dip it in ranch. They also eat cooked broccoli, green beans, and veggie burgers. I have been feeding them salad since they could eat it, but Grace is the only one that will enjoy it besides me. Everyone has to take 5 happy bites of everything in my house, even the adults. My kids have started eating things that I wouldn’t have expected because of the happy bites. I just keep serving them things, and one day they eventually will eat them. The new thing is that I like to drink smoothies I make with plain or vanilla yogurt (only natural stuff – no high fructose corn syrup), frozen fruits, and 1/2 – 1 cup oj, (I put whey protein in mine too.). We have this bullet blender, and I just make one for everyone with minimal clean up. I cut up bananas that are getting really yellow / brown and any fruit I don’t think we will eat before it goes bad and put it in the freezer for smoothies. They all drink it down like it is nectar of life. I think the key for us is me realizing I needed to change our eating habits and realizing everyone was feeling better because of the food choices. We all eat the same thing here. I also wrap anything up they won’t try 5 bites of, and that is what they eat the next time they are hungry. When one is getting a smoothie for a snack, and the other is not, then that other food is eaten so quickly. It is amazing.
Hope you all are well!
Becky: Although you write….I think so much like you. When our girls were young, I would go to my “office” at McDonald’s and have a large Dr. Pepper and relish the moments of quiet thought/reflection. I have been doing e-meals for the last 6 months. Not very child/adolescent friendly. I really like the idea of “happy bites”. Very important to model this to our younun’s. A, G and Cory LOVE broccoli. Well, I have to take my “happy bites”. It is so stinking hard. I just don’t like broccoli!!! I think kids like to see parents challenged. Enjoy a good challenge with the kids. Maybe there is something you don’t like that they might like. And, I LOVE my magic bullet as well. When there is a deficiency in fruit intake, I make a fruit smoothie as a special treat. I cheat though…we add spray whipped cream to make it extra special. If I was really, really healthy, I would make sure the cream was real….I use the artificial stuff from Aldi’s. Praying steadfastly! I LOVE the way you think!!!!!! Keep writing!!!!!
Hi, My mother (and I) opened a can of tuna, a can of cream of mushroom soup and a can of shoestring potatoes. We warmed the tuna and soup and maybe added some milk to dilute, then poured it over the potatoes.
This is worthy of a phone chat. :). Starting point though, what do your kids like, and what do they hate?
Hmm. The constant question–what to have for dinner that at least the majority of the family will eat? Our girls are now old enough that they will eat at least part of most things that we have, even if they don’t like them. There are very few meals that we ALL like, but some of our family favorites are: spaghetti 🙂 (and pretty much any version of noodles, ground beef and red sauce), taco salad, quesadillas, Ranch chicken salad (your recipe), Ceasar salad with grilled chicken, several kinds of soup (white chili (your mom’s recipe), chili, taco soup), red beans/rice/sausage, breakfast for dinner, grilled items (chicken, wings, steak, pork chops, burgers), tortilla chip chicken, and Monterrey chicken (recent pinterest recipe). If you need recipes for anything, let me know. Hope this helps and happy meal planning :)!
i loved cooking for a little while. now i dread it. i am no help to you.
How about easy? I love my crock pot! Have you tried crock pot roast beef with carrots, onions, potatoes? I have a simple recipe that makes it own gravy even, if you want it. I also “rotisserie” a chicken in my crock pot. WAY easy! Very simple tasting. Kids like it! I serve it with rice and a veggie. We also love good southern pulled pork bbq (made in my crock pot of course!) on a bun with homemade ‘real’ mac and cheese and coleslaw. I can give you all those too if you like. Let me know if you want any of them and I’ll send them on!
Have you tried veggie lasagna- zucchini, spinach, carrots, onion instead of the meat? My kids love that. We also make veggie pizzas a lot too. Have you tried the moneysavingmom recipe for the dough. Pretty easy. And it’s easy to hide veggies in quiche too. My kids also love minestrone. I’ve also started making little pizzas out of the eggplant parmesan from TJ’s frozen section.