I used to not stress so much about what I was making for my kids to eat, for the most part I felt like it was balanced and always had a veggie so they're good right? Now, you may or may not know that my kids get sick a lot in the winter. They are both in daycare and what kids don't get sick? What does sick kids have to do with cooking? Well, since you asked I'll tell you.
Awhile ago HB and I had a discussion about how we'd tell each other things our children said even if we didn't think the other would want to know. Mostly I was talking about sex and drugs but it can apply across all things.
Anyway, HB told me my Daycare Diva asked her about my carrier monkeys (what I call my sick kiddos) always being sick and asked if I fed them a lot of processed chicken nuggets and stuff. HB said not to her knowledge and shrugged it off.
Then her little Logan happen to tell her that my carrier monkeys are always sick because all I do is feed them junk. HELLO?!! WHAT??!! Sister HB asked Logan where he heard that, and guess what? From Daycare Diva's youngest Parrot daughter. I have no doubt that she said something in front of her and she was parroting it back to Logan. So fine! Whatever! Needless to say I was FLAMING...FLAMING I tell you. But oh well, whatever.
But truly, I don't just shove chicken nuggets in my kids mouth every day and even if I did, who doesn't feed their kids something like that every now and then? Isn't it a toddler staple? Seriously, when you're a working mom sometimes the time you have to cook is so minimal that chicken nuggets just seems like a good option.
Being a working mom and also having a husband that doesn't work your average 8-5pm job sometimes makes it more difficult to meal plan. I leave my job a few minutes after 5pm and drive the 10-12 minutes to daycare. By the time I get the kids in the car and make it back home it's already 5:30pm and they are starved! Plus they got to bed at 7:00pm so there is not a lot of time for cooking, eating and quality time there.
Now because I can't have them snacking on Cheetos and not eating their healthy dinner I toss them a few crackers and let them fight over those while I try to make dinner. But I don't like the mess that comes with two young kids scrapping over crackers so I came up with a plan. Sure this plan sucks up a good chunk of Sunday but when I do this I can dodge the misguided mother guilt bestowed upon me by Daycare Diva plus feed my kids yummy easy meals.
First I cook as many things as I can. I spend probably half the day cooking different things, lagsana, fried chicken, different soups, whatever I can think of that is yummy and not too hard. This is what I spent my Sunday doing.
For breakfast fun I made these Apple Cinnamon Pancakes. I got the idea from Jen and they were fabulous.
That's one Big Pancake. This was an experiment that turned out nicely. I did it because it was breakfast time and the boys were begging for an apple but I was making pancakes so I peeled one yellow delicious apple and cut it up into the batter. The batter was your basic box batter that you just add water too so it was quick and easy and a few shakes of Cinnamon and you're good. JimmyEatWorld liked these so much he even said he'd take them over his usual Chocolate Chip pancakes (which I try not to make since as HB would say "thats just eating a cookie for breakfast"). I like to make a lot of batter so I can make extra pancakes to refrigerate for during the week.
Then for lunch I made this. I got this recipe from HB (she wanted to make sure i gave credit to her) and its super easy.
- Brown 2 lbs of ground beef. Drain and set aside. You can add some taco seasoning if you want, but its not necessary.
- 3 cans of Rotel tomatoes (2 original and 1 mild for my family)
- 1 lg can of corn
- 1 can of pinto beans drained and rinsed
- 2 cans of condensed Minestrone soup
- some water, I don't know how much. I just put enough so it looks right. I'd guess 1 cup
- Salt and pepper to taste and cook.
And you get what is pictured below. YUMMEE! I made some corn bread to go with this dish and it tastes great on the side or crumbled into your bowl to make one big dreamy soggy goodness. And with making such a large batch JimmyEW and I can take it for lunches. Its perfect to jazz up my boring sandwich and warm and yummy enough to keep me from running across the street and spending $5 at the restaurant there.
Then for dinner I made Shepard's Pie. JimmyEW did NOT want me to make this. He thought this was going to be disgusting but since he was having some flair up issues with his wisdom teeth and needed to eat something soft I said too bad and decided to make it. Mind you, I've NEVER made this before but had it as a child and always loved it.
I found a simple recipe online, because I am very simple so I need simple.
- Start boiling 4-5 potatoes medium sized potatoes. Peel them and I cut them so they cook faster
- Brown 1.5 of ground beef and drain it
- saute onions and carrots in a skillet with 1/2 stick of butter, then add peas and corn. Now I used fresh carrots that I chopped up but I used frozen peas and canned corn. That seemed to work fine.
- Once your veggies are all soft and cooked add it to the meat and combine with about 1 cup of Beef broth. You can add more or less depending on how moist you want it to be.
- Potatoes should be done, drain and whip them with the other 1/2 stick of butter, salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour meat and veggies into a casserole dish and spoon potatoes on top. Use a fork to fluff up the surface, you don't want it to be smooth or else it might not look as pretty as mine. Then bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.
- Broil for another few minutes so the top potatoes will brown and look all pretty like mine.
And this baby will feed us for probably 3 meals plus JimmyEW loved it! Add the hearty soup that can also act as a meal and I've got 4 of 7 meals for the week. Sure it may get boring, but I have to say they both taste better than frozen chicken nuggets and the boys seem to like them.
What are some things you do to make your life easier? Any tips? Share them in the comments section by clicking the little Gimme Me Some Sugar.
BTW, this title isn't meant to lock out any working dads who struggle with what to make for dinner-its just a catchy title. Just thought I should add that :)What's that? You want to comment? Just click on the itty-bitty words below that say "Gimme Some Sugar". Can you see them? Good. We can't wait to chat with you.