Thursday, July 5, 2012

Getting Out of the Desperation Dinners Rut

I don’t really like to eat. Seriously, if I could take a pill every day that gave me the appropriate caloric and vitamin intake I would happily never eat again. Or maybe only once in a while when I wanted a good cheeseburger.

Unfortunately, I have four kids and a husband who do not feel the same way about food as I do. They want to eat. Three meals a day, 365 days a year. So inconsiderate of them, isn’t it? How I feel about that?:

Feeding a family of six is not easy. I have one kid who loves spicy food, but one whose palate really can’t handle it. I have one child who just wants healthy foods, another who just wants gravies, sauces and starches. I also have one who is smart enough to slip what she doesn’t like to the dog. And considering the dog is pushing 100 pounds, maybe I should keep a closer eye on that.

I don’t prepare separate foods for the kids – they eat what we’re having or they don’t eat.  I did allow the kids to pick one food that they don’t ever have to eat. Their choices:
Kid #1 – Mashed potatoes
Kid #2 – Stuffing
Kid #3 – Squash
Kid #4 – Peppers
Although I pretty much think their choices are crazy, I work around these “least favorite foods” and everybody stays relatively happy. Except the child who wants to put Ranch dressing on everything, from pizza to vegetables to casseroles. Sigh.

I do cook because going out to eat regularly with a family of six, three of them with significant appetites, gets expensive quick.  I’ve never really understood why people ask if someone can cook? Anyone who can read can cook. Maybe not the most delicious, complex meals on the planet, but they can brown some ground beef and make some tacos or boil water and make spaghetti.

So can I cook? Yes. But am I very creative with it? Not always. Not even usually. Let’s put it this way, my two main cookbooks for the last ten years have been: Help! My Apartment has a Kitchen! and Desperation Dinners

In an attempt to get out of the cooking rut I’ve been in since..., well, forever, the last few months I have resolved to try one new recipe per week.  That has gone well some weeks (who knew you could cook babyback ribs in the crock pot and they would turn out AWESOME????). But there were other times not so great, like when I almost burnt the house down cooking curry.  

Other new recipes have included chicken and dumplings, broiled tilapia parmesan, homemade bbq chicken pizza, garlic cheddar chicken, potstickers, black bean enchiladas, Philly cheese & beef casserole and Mexican street corn. Some have been more popular or successful than others, but no matter what, we have tried them together as a family. And then sometimes tossed them and made PB&Js – but again, together as a family.

Tonight’s new recipe? Fish tacos. We’ll see how that goes – kids are not thrilled. But at least it’s new and different. And will hopefully delay my search for the food pill a little while longer.  


  1. Food pill?!! The chef in me weeps... :)
    Maybe I should start a blog with dinner ideas for you?

    1. Anu, I definitely think you should! If you send or post me some recipes I will certainly try them!! :)