I spend a great deal of time scouring the internet and and my many cookbooks for recipes I think everyone will enjoy. However, the online recipes that claim, "Your children WILL eat this," are not things I would put on a plate in front of my husband. They are dishes such as tater tots covered with cheese or weiner wraps or slices of bread baked under shredded cheese and milk. And I am most certainly NOT going to cook two separate meals for the kids and the adults.
So almost every evening, I say a little prayer, and proceed to prepare dinner. Each night is hit or miss. Some nights the kids are happy and hubby politely thanks me for dinner (we all know what that means). Some nights hubby raves about the meal and the kids refuse to touch it. And then there is the rare night that everyone actually cleans their plate. Tonight was one such night. I had taken the kids for a walk in the afternoon and was quite exhausted upon our return. I was convinced that there was no way I could cook dinner tonight and called hubby to see if he wanted to pick up some already prepared food from the deli at the grocery store. When I found out that he was no where near ready to leave work, I sat dejected on the couch while the children played. Then common sense kicked in and I realized that we'd spend way more money piecing a prepared meal together than if I just got my butt up and made something - especially knowing that I had plenty of time since hubby was still at his desk.
I pulled some chicken breast tenders out of the freezer and thawed them. I sauted a couple cloves of minced garlic, sliced up the chicken and added that to the pan, cooked it all for 10 minutes then added some soy sauce, brown sugar, ground ginger and chopped veggies. I let that cook for 5 more minutes and then added cornstarch to thicken. I boiled a pot of low mein noodles and served the chicken dish on top of the noodles, topping with crunchy chow mein noodles. It was a tad salty (too much soy sauce) but everyone's plate was clean by the end of dinner, save a stray noodle or mushroom.
There are only a few dishes that turn up successful results (defined by how much food is left on the plate) and I realize that I need to begin keeping track of them. A while ago I started a log of everything I make for dinner, so that I can eventually make a monthly dinner menu. However, the majority of things on the list are meals the kids (or the kid and her devoted apprentice) won't eat. Maybe if I just write down the things that everyone likes, I can ensure that all plates are clean every single night! What a miracle that would be. It would probably take me a year to build a month's worth of dishes liked by all! Oh well, I can dream can't I?