In the fall months, my family loves heavy, savory meals. Beef pot roast, chicken noodle soup and lasagna are some of our favorites. And now we have a new favorite – and I am so excited to share it – Chicken Pot Pie.
I’ve always loved chicken pot pie – with the flaky crust, the chicken and vegetables covered in a delicious sauce – it’s fantastic. But The Goose took a little convincing – mostly because he thought we were having actual pie for dinner. But, once he took his first bite he was hooked. And you will be, too.
A few days ago I was perusing Facebook when I came upon a friend’s status that really struck a chord. She wrote about being busy with kids activities, meetings, and work and all the stress that comes along with it. But she wasn’t complaining. Instead, she was grateful. Grateful to have a job that she enjoyed. Grateful that her children have the opportunity to do so many things. Happy to be the ‘good kind’ of busy.
As I read what she wrote, I started thinking about my life. How things have been so incredibly busy since the start of school because of The Goose’s swim classes, soccer practice and cub scout meetings, PTO meetings, festivals, baseball games, popcorn selling, Etsy orders to fill, food to cook, and a house to clean. In fact, for 13 straight days we had a commitment each and every day.
Last week, I wrote about how to get kids in the kitchen. And I’ve gotten several e-mails asking what some of our favorite recipes are. So today, I am sharing one of The Goose’s very favorite recipes, that we make over and over again, Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Now, while you really can’t go wrong with a batch of gooey chocolate chip cookies, these kid friendly chocolate chip cookies are a favorite for us because they make a small batch, they always taste good (even if they are accidentally left in the oven a little bit longer than they should be), and with just a few ingredients, they are easy to whip up any time.
I love to cook, so when I’m home I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. And when The Goose is home with me, he likes to be right there with me. He loves helping out in the kitchen, whether it is making his own dinner (he makes a mean turkey and tomato sandwich), or choosing a recipe out of his favorite new cookbook (C is for Cooking). He always tries to be helpful… and sometimes he actually is.
If you’re new to cooking with kids, here are a few tips to make it a little easier on both of you…
Years ago, long before my husband and I were parents, we liked taking vacations in New York. We’d go shopping, watch plays on Broadway, visit museums, eat pizza for lunch and have dinner at fabulous restaurants. We enjoyed the salmon at Aquagrill, pasta at Puglia and fried potatoes at Peter Luger Steakhouse in Brooklyn.
Yes, you read that right. Peter Lugers, the steakhouse known for being one of the best steakhouses in the world (rated the #1 New York steakhouse by Zagats for the past 30 years) served us the absolute BEST fried potatoes I had ever tasted. They were crispy, full of onion flavor with just a hint of spice, and had the perfect amount of salt. And I couldn’t get enough of them. Even now, years later, my mouth still waters when I think of those potatoes. They were that incredible.
Sit down with paper and a pencil and number the lines 1 through 30. On each line write the name of a meal that your family enjoys having for dinner. Then, look at your list and arrange it based on logic. (For instance, if two of your family’s favorite meals are barbecued chicken and barbecued ribs, don’t list them back to back. Or if your family likes oven roasted chicken and chicken noodle soup, list them within a few days of each other so that you can used the leftover chicken for the soup.)
The Goose is not a morning person. And neither am I. As you can imagine, this makes for an interesting, and frustrating, start to the day. Especially on school days when he needs to get up, get dressed, pack his backpack and be ready to leave the house before the bus comes. But the worst part of all? Breakfast. Hands down.
Well, the problem comes from choosing. When The Goose is groggy, upset that he can’t use the iPad before school, or irritated that I made him get dressed, the last thing he wants to do is eat a healthy breakfast. And just how does he remind me of his unhappiness? By doing the one thing he knows makes me crazy: refusing to choose. Or choosing the one thing we don’t have. Or choosing something and then, when it is placed in front of him, crying because it wasn’t what he really wanted.
We are in the throws of tomato season at our house, and it is fantastic. So far, we’ve picked over 30 pounds of tomatoes from the family garden and The Goose’s Garden – and there are plenty more on the vine waiting to ripen. We’ve been using the tomatoes to make my husband’s favorite Roasted Eggplant Soup, The Goose’s favorite Veggie Plate, my favorite Basketweave BLTs, and everybody’s favorite Homemade Marinara Sauce.
Homemade Marinara Sauce
5 pounds tomatoes
1 small onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons oregano
5 tablespoons basil
1 tablespoon black pepper
5 teaspoons sea salt
5 teaspoons thyme
We’ve had a few chilly days in Michigan this week – a reminder that fall is on its way, school will be starting soon, and the lazy days of summer will be far, far behind us.
Last year I shared my love of using cookie cutters to make The Goose’s lunches a bit more fun. This year, I am partnering with Nature’s Harvest® Bread to introduce their back-to-school Nature’s Harvest® Sandwich Art Photo Contest.
When I was pregnant with The Goose, my husband and I loved Tuesday nights. Because every Tuesday, we’d make a big batch of brownies and sit down to watch The Biggest Loser. Disgusting. I know. But it was our new tradition.
During those nine months, we tried nearly every kind of boxed brownie mix on the market. We tried traditional brownies, extra thick brownies, cheesecake brownies, peanut butter swirl brownies. We even tried a brownie/chocolate chip cook fusion. They were all good. But they didn’t compare one bit to my homemade brownie recipe.