Thursday, May 08, 2008

3 Moms ~ 3 Kitchens ~ 31 Days: Day 8 & Our Kids' Eating Habits

Once again, par for the course, there was at least one thing in my kitchen that did not go as planned today. Quite honestly, I'm not sure why I even mention it anymore. Maybe it just makes me feel a little better to be able to vent some of my frustrations.

I had planned on making a double batch of chicken in gravy today, one for chicken and dumplings tonight, and another to put in the freezer to be used in any one of many dishes. However, I made a mistake after our initial grocery trip and did not take the time to separate my 10 pound bag chicken leg quarters into individual bags. So when I went to pull two out this morning they were completely stuck together. Eric was not home to chip them apart for me. I decided I'd have to resort to plan B, which was to use a small bag of already shredded chicken that I had in the freezer from last month and just make an easy dinner from that.

I did get some baking in today though. I made chocolate chip cookie bars. For the first time I used almost all whole wheat flour in my recipe and they turned out delicious. I think I'm confident enough that I could do all whole wheat flour and no one would notice any difference. I have also been using only half of the chocolate chips called for in recipes lately and I am amazed at how chocolaty things still are. I don't know if I'll ever go back to using a full bag again.
I also made some batter rolls for dinner. This is a wonderful recipe that is very economical, delicious and easy. I can make the dough in my Kitchen-Aid with just the regular paddle attachment and it doesn't require any kneading. The recipe makes a dozen and so I always plan on having leftovers for the next night, but that rarely ever happens. They are so good, especially right out of the oven, and all of us could easily eat two at sitting, although I do try to save 3 or 4 for Eric.

Easy Batter Rolls*

3 c. all-purpose flour (or 1 1/2 c. white, 1 1/2 c. wheat)

2 T. sugar

2 1/4 t. yeast (or 1 pkg.)

1 t. salt

1 c. water

2 T. butter

1 egg

Melted butter

In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a saucepan, heat water and butter to 120-130 degrees. Add to dry ingredients; beat until blended. Add egg; beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then on high for 3 minutes. Stir in remaining flour (batter will be stiff). Do not knead. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Stir dough down. Fill greased muffin cups half full. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 1 minute before removing from pan to a wire rack. Brush tops with melted butter.

* This recipe is from Taste of Home Celebrations Cookbook.

For breakfast today, we had oatmeal and bananas. We finished off the pizza pockets for lunch (I did not make nearly enough!), along with some mandarin oranges. Snacks were leftover hot pretzels. And for dinner we had chicken in gravy (with celery, onions, and peas) over egg noodles with batter rolls. The kids had cookie bars for dessert.

I was asked by Candace the other day if any of our children are picky eaters. The short answer to that is NO! We are blessed with children who are not picky about the food that's put in front of them. Like anybody, they all have meals that are not their favorites. They know they need to eat a little bit of it anyhow. I don't make separate meals for the children ever (unless I am making a special date-night meal for just Eric and myself).

We have made a concentrated effort with each of the children, since they began eating solid foods, to ensure that they have varied palettes. I will feed Gracie the same spicy lentil and brown rice stew that we are all eating, all though I may tone hers down a bit with some sour cream. I never feel guilty serving something that I know may not be applauded by everyone, nor do I feel bad if someone only eats a few bites of a meal. They are learning that it is important to eat what is set before you. (And I'm sure they realize that in our house, it will never be very long until they have the opportunity to eat again, although this is never pointed out to them.) So far it has worked beautifully. As you can see, they are all fabulous eaters. And all that being said, we are still definitely blessed that the children are not picky eaters! For anyone that does have inherently picky eaters though, please share with me how you handle it. I would love to know for if I am ever in that situation in the future.

Don't forget to stop by Joy and Toni's blogs to see what adventures they have been up to in their kitchens today. Also, if you have a chance tomorrow evening, please stop by and join our live 3 Moms, 3 Kitchens, 31 Days discussion at Talkshoe at 10pm EST.


Anonymous,  1:46 AM  

I noticed in this picture you have the kids sitting at a little play table. Do you all eat together at the Dinner table for a certain meal?

Jen,  8:21 AM  

I've been reading since the beginning of your 31 days - thanks - you're experiences are always helpful or funny just when i need them!!

Care to share your recipe for chocolate chip cookie bars????

Nancy 9:30 AM  

The batter rolls look yummy. I'm such a bread eater - I could make a meal out of that alone. I'll have to try them.

Grace 12:23 PM  

As far as picky eaters go, I certainly was one. My parent's rule was that we had to eat two bites of the particular food we didn't like. And they portioned out the bites- not me. :)

Their theory was that I would learn to like the food eventually. Looking back as an adult, I can say that it worked- for the most part.

There were a couple of meals (Stuffed Bell Peppers and Clam Chowder) that I simply couldn't stand (and still to this day do not like).

Mom didn't fix them very often, but on days that she did, I was given a choice- eat what she had fixed or go hungry. She wasn't being mean in denying me food, she was simply not going to be a short-order chef and teach me to be grateful for having food.

Though I never learned to like those particular foods, I learned some important lessons: You don't always get what you want and you always eat what someone serves you at their house.

Candace 5:02 PM  

Hi Kate,
Thanks for addressing my question in your post.
I guess I can't deny that I have created picky eaters because I am a pushover in that department.
I'll have to pray that the Lord will give me some wisdom and a backbone!
On another note, I am working on a whole wheat cookie recipe too, one that includes soaking the flour.
I posted my working recipe yesterday on my blog if you're interested.

I'm gonna try to make it to your BIG live event tonight.
Keep up the good work in the kitchen and on the blog:)

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