My two toughest critics are 3 year-old twins. “Look!” I say to the little girl, “Banana bread with chocolate chips in it!” After seeing what she did to her previous day’s lunch, I think that maybe explaining to her what it is that I’m giving her will make her more inclined to eat it.
“I don’t like choc-whate chips,” she says in her best toddler voice.
What 3 year-old doesn’t like chocolate chips?
“You don’t like chocolate chips?” I ask, incredulously.
“What do you like to eat for lunch?” I ask her. She’s distracted so it takes several times before I get anything out of her. The answer: strawberries.
Since September, three times a week I go over to this family’s house and cook them dinner in their beautiful kitchen and pack lunches for their 3 year-old twins to take to school.
Sometimes I see the lunchboxes when they come home from school with the remainder of the day’s food smooshed and soft in the containers. Other times I have no idea. After talking to their mom about what they might like and perusing a picky eaters’ book that she tossed my way, I thought I’d try a few new things. So I made homemade chicken nuggets, which I thought they would love, and I threw in some ketchup for dipping and a treat of homemade chocolate chip banana bread. I had made banana bread the week before with some browning bananas and (apparently) the kids had loved it.
On chicken nugget day, the little boy forgot to bring home his lunchbox and his sister hardly ate. Not a nugget was touched, nor the string cheese, and the chocolate chip banana bread (before I found out that she doesn’t like chocolate chips) had been dunked into the ketchup. I tried not to be personally insulted. They are little kids anyway.
Luckily the parents have been more than pleased with my cooking. The mother will walk by while I’m making lunch and say “Oh doesn’t that look good?” or “Mmm smells good in here.” And the father expresses equal gratitude when he comes home from work. Kids will be kids – I guess I’ll have to work on them.
Meanwhile… back at home
I have begun to adjust to the longer days and sometimes still even have the energy to cook more when I come home (sometimes). During Angie and Dave’s Fat and Happy Tour, Dave told me about this wonderful roast chicken recipe he had made that was fast, easy, and delicious so (despite not really having the actual recipe) I decided to make it last night. While my chicken butchering skills could definitely use some refining, the chicken turned out delicious. Moist and flavorful and surrounded by veggies soaking in chicken juices, it is definitely a good one-pan chicken to have up my sleeve. Next time I’ll watch the video on how to cut up a whole chicken before I cut up the whole chicken. Makes sense.
I completed my long day of cooking with homemade sugar cookies for Halloween (originally for Sam to take to work, but then the batch was too small) and my signature ginger cookies (insert trademark sign here) for a dear friend who is leaving the school where I work for another job. I hate goodbyes, but I love a good excuse to make cookies. I’d give you my recipe here, but I can’t give away my secret 😉
I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful fall days as much as I am. When I am not cooking I am biking back and forth to work (thank goodness for some exercise with all that eating I do) and marveling at the vibrant hues that nature produces.