Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Boy is The Awesome

[edited to add: The ladies over at Crazy Hip Blog Mamas and LTDChix have asked us to share our "Living the Mommy Dream" stories. This one is one of my favorites. May 29, 2007

edited further to add: I won! June 21, 2007]

On Monday, while my family enjoyed the traditional Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday bar lunch (doesn't everyone do that?), we made a meal plan for the week. I know, I know. Stop flaunting my superior organizational skills, right? Well, we did. And I wanted some buy-in from the under-five-foot crowd, so each kid (and husband) took ownership of one meal. They chose the menu and would be responsible for at least hanging out in the kitchen during the preparation.

So last night was The Boy's meal. Spaghetti. But we are physically incapable of stopping at just spaghetti. That would be too easy. So we also did Mock Chicken Parmesan (which contains neither chicken nor Parmesan), Italian spinach, spinach and cheese ravioli, and salad. Which is enough fun for two people right there, but as the phrase goes, The Boy "kicked it up a notch."

Because he insisted that we pretend during our preparations that we were on a cooking show. So we had to address the camera and demonstrate techniques and have witty banter and, get this, go to commercial. Yes, we had commercial breaks in which we commiserated about the hot lights and the annoying guy with the camera. Because? We're totally on crack.

Best part? Hard to say. The food was fabulous. Watching my son wield a santoku knife and slice a tomato very carefully (and quite well) was pretty great. But making a mundane task into some seriously fun mother-son time? Was awesome.

Plus, he totally ate spinach.

Recipes? I'm almost ashamed since it was so easy.

Italianish Spinach
Thaw a package of chopped frozen spinach (the 10 oz. size). When it's thawed, squeeze out the water. Mix spinach with 1/2 cup lowfat or nonfat sour cream and about 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

Mock Chicken Parmesan
Pour about 1/2 cup prepared spaghetti sauce into a baking dish (I use Ragu organic garden vegetable). Place four vegetarian "chicken" patties into the dish (Boca is our favorite). Spoon about 2 tablespoons sauce over each patty, then sprinkle each with about 1 tablespoon mozzarella cheese. Put in the oven with the spinach. Watch how fast it disappears. Whine that Boca only puts four patties in a box when everyone knows they should put six.

The rest of it is not worthy of recipes since it simply involves raw vegetables, the remainder of the jar of sauce, and some pasta.

Susie's night is tomorrow. She chose "Picnic night" so we'll be making sandwiches and sitting on the floor. Except if we want to sit on chairs. She's nice that way.

1 comment:

The Imperfect Christian said...

I LOVE cooking with my kids, it's so much fun!

I'll have to try this mock stuff...my son spreads spaghetti sauce and shredded cheese on his McD's nuggest, so I'm sure he'll like this!