How many cookbooks do you have? How about tiny recipe cut-outs floating all over? If we add them all up, we probably own thousands of recipes and yet why do we resort to the same 5 dinners over and over? What would be really great is if we all had our 15-20 “tried and true” basic recipes that cover the gamut of vegetables, meats, and starches. Imagine going an entire month without repeating the same dinner while exposing your kids to a variety of basic foods?! Imagine going out for dinner and you all eat and share from the regular menu?! Yeah baby, now I’m talkin’…..
HAM STEAK: Ham steak with boiled carrots and sweet potatoes was one of the first dinners I gave Mac and Mia at 10 months old. It’s an oldie but goody and certainly speedy! Try to get a good ham steak from the butcher or Fresh Market if you can. It’s already cooked so all you need to do is heat it up. Simply lay it on a foil lined baking sheet, sprinkle a tiny bit of brown sugar on it and pop it in the oven for 10-15 minutes. You can also heat it up in a frying pan with a little maple syrup and butter.
CAULIFLOWER MAC N’ CHEESE: This is so good and if you over-cook the cauliflower a little bit, it has the same consistency as the pasta so it goes literally unnoticed.
- Cut cauliflower into small pieces and boil for 10 mins. or so. Drain cauliflower out and boil pasta in same pot of salted water. Drain pasta.
- Finely chop onion in a drop of EVOO and saute in pasta pot until soft (onion not required but does add flavor)
- Simmer 1 1/2 cups of (low-fat) sour cream (1 cup of regular cream plus 1 TBS butter is o.k. too)
- Stir in 1 TBS of Dijon mustard, 1 1/2 cups of (sharp) Cheddar cheese and
1/2 cup of milk
- Add salt/pepper, take off heat and stir in cauliflower and macaroni
- Pour mix into sprayed baking dish
- Top with 1) italian breadcrumbs mixed with a little EVOO OR 2) sprinkle of Cheddar cheese
- Bake for 10-15 minutes (with Ham steak) on 400.
This makes a huge portion. Not bad to serve larger family group at Easter with spiral ham.
Keep a bag of frozen string beans, corn and peas from Fresh Market on hand at all times for a quick veggie side. It tastes like they grow and freeze them in the back of the store!
How the Kids Can Help:
- Mia loves to point out which piece of cauliflower to cut next. Which one is biggest? “That one!”, she points.
- Press foil on baking sheet and sprinkle ham steak with brown sugar
- Measure and stir ingredients for cauliflower mac n’ cheese (tricky learning the 1/2 on the measuring cup)
- Watch “Jake reads Green Eggs and Ham”:
- Watch Sisters Cheer Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
- Leprechaun Activity Page: http://www.bry-backmanor.org/actpag32.html
Did You Know?
- St. Patrick was actually italian?! Born in Scotland, St. Patrick’s parents were both Romans so technically, yes it’s true, he was italian.
- Green Eggs and Ham was published in 1960 and as of 2001 it was the 4th best-selling children’s book of all time.