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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

adventures in family-friendly cooking

so last week i was in las vegas babysitting my niece and 2 nephews in the afternoons while their regular sitter (a.k.a. grandma) is out of town. i decided it would be fun to be their personal chef for the week (or "auntie chef" as the kids are now calling me), but it has been more of a challenge than i thought it would be cooking for 3 kids and 2 adults that don't necessarily eat the same way i do. i had some success... and some failure and just thought i'd share my adventures with you.

first of all, a quick bio on my eaters last week:

my brother, definitely a picky eater, a very finicky palate, often tough to please, spent most of my summer cooking trying to figure out how to do just that
melissa: my sister-in-law, good eater, not tough to please
jacob: nephew, 12, likes plain noodles, plain rice and chicken - as long as you don't season it wrong
emma: niece, 7, can "pound the sushi", a more adventurous eater than i, unless you venture into the realm of "healthy" (which i often do!)
abe: nephew, 4, funniest kid you'll ever meet, prefers hotdogs and doughnuts above all else

next, my menu with reviews (recipes will be last or click links for recipes):

monday: easy baked pasta
jer, mel and jacob: m.i.a.
emma: loved the meat, got sick of the noodles 1/2 way through her plate
abe: hilarious. kept telling me he wouldn't eat it because "i tried it 20 times" and "i don't like it". i promised him i'd make him something else as long as he tried it. he tried it, admitted that he liked it, then caught me in my own promise by reminding me i only said he had to take one bite and then opting for the previous night's pizza in the fridge. funny kid man.

tuesday: turkey chili and corn bread (thanks to abe for "making" the corn bread. he's the most fun cooking buddy i've ever had) (yummiest corn bread ever. seriously. email me for recipe if you're dying for it. it can't go on skinny bovine because it is not... i repeat, not, good for you. :) )jer: liked the chili, loved the corn bread
melissa: loved both
jacob: m.i.a.
emma: loved both - even had seconds of the chili!
abe: loved his corn bread. wouldn't touch the chili. he's 4. what do you expect?

wednesday: chicken tacos and quesadillas
jer: loved them, even raved about them you might say - surprised me and opted for quesadillas, though
melissa: loved them. doesn't usually like chicken, but she loved this chicken. opted for tacos. jacob: m.i.a.
emma: loved the quesadillas. had 2.
abe: talked about the upcoming quesadillas all day, devoured his when it finally came and discovered a new love for sour cream

thursday: orange chicken (click here for recipe on previous post)
jer: m.i.a.
mel: liked it okay
jacob: really liked it
emma: liked it for the first 5 minutes and then changed her mind. haha.
abe: said it was the "best chicken i ever eat". :)

friday: homemade pizza (a frequent request. they love my pizza.) lots of variation is easy with this one to please different eaters - andouille sausage and kalmata olives for jer, chicken pesto for mel and i, and simple cheese for the kids
jer: has since declared this his "favorite food right now" and said he wouldn't hesitate spending another $250 bucks to fly me in if i made the pizza for him again
mel: loved it - "what did you put in that crust?"
jacob: loved it
emma: loved it
abe: loved it - and even had seconds despite the fact that he'd been begging me to make him "shells and cheese" for dinner


Katja said...

Wow Britt you are amazing. You must be something like superwoman. You can come and stay with us any time if you have the desire to cook for a German (a little bit picky) a Grad student (not picky at all, after all he has to eat my cooking if he wants to eat) and an almost 20 month old (who only eats when she really feels like it, or when we bribe her with chocolate pudding).

BrittWilk said...

oooh!! if i'm ever in ohio i'm totally taking you up on that! that sounds like a challenging combination, but i think i could come up with something, katja! :)

healthy cooking on a budget

disclaimer: i don't claim to be an expert on cooking, weight loss or even healthy eating, but i do love to cook, find healthy, taste bud-friendly tricks and most of all, i love to eat!

qualifications: what qualifies me to blog on cooking healthy on a small budget? well, as my husband is still a student, my budget is not what you'd call large. and as for the healthy part, when i was 10 i was diagnosed with pancreatitus - a disease that doesn't effect me much anymore unless i eat food that is too greasy or has too much fat (in which case, well, let's just say i get really sick). this had steered my experience and limited cooking expertise in a health-conscious direction.

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