Happy Monday. I hope you all are enjoying the beginning of summer.
Two weeks ago I made red beans and brown rice in the slow cooker and it turned out bland. My son ate it and so did we. But I couldn’t do it leftover.
I was talking recipes with a coworker and she said she makes beans and rice “Cuban style.” So I googled it and am going to try this Cuban Black Beans and Rice Recipe from Betty Crocker. The secret seems to be the combo of onion, garlic, and bell pepper. I’m determined to find a flavorful, beans, and rice recipe.
I’m also going to try fish tacos, which means we are having fish twice this week. For more on nutrition goals and meal planning see 7 Must-Do’s for Family Meal Planning.
And for more meal plan ideas see Org Junkie.
What’s Cooking this Week
Monday: Fish Tacos with guacamole and a side of beans
Tuesday: Spaghetti with Trader Joe meatballs with roasted asparagus and salad
Wednesday: Cuban Black Beans & Rice with cauliflower and cut-up fruit
Thursday: Potluck/leftovers (more beans)
Friday: Grilled Balsamic-glazed salmon, Mac and cheese, and grilled broccoli (SOS Cookbook).
We don’t have dessert after dinner every night. On some nights, when my 14-month goes to bed early, we’ll have ice cream with my daughter. For some reason, she’s been fixated on it lately. Maybe because she sees me buy it at the store (“Banilla,” her favorite) so she knows we have it.
The problem is she’s been asking for it every night after dinner. Here’s an example of one of our conversations:
Anna: Mommy, can I have ice cream….please!
Me: We don’t have ice cream every night but we’ll have it again soon.
Anna: Daddy, can I have ice cream?
Dad: Anna, you know mommy makes those decisions.
Anna: Mommy, can I have ice cream? Can I have ice cream?
I sit her down and tell her that mommy decides when we have ice cream. I tell her that she’ll have it again soon but that it’s not something we eat every day. This seems to get her off the ice cream subject.
I think I’m having trouble with this one because ice cream after dinner falls out of our regularly structured meals. We don’t have night-time snacks because my kids go to bed early, about an hour after dinner ( 7:30.). Usually when my daughter asks for a certain something to eat (repeatedly) I tell her I’ll plan it for some near-future mealtime. But with ice cream, it’s just something we randomly have after dinner.
I really don’t want ice cream, or anything sweet for that matter, to become the thing she wants because she can’t have it. I believe this push and pull — her asking and us saying no — will inflate her desire for sweets. This is why I don’t say “no” but, instead, inform her that even though we aren’t having it that night, she’ll have it at some future date.
I’m not going to make any changes right now but will let you know how this develops.
Last week I posted a Washington Post story on my Facebook page about bringing home economics back to schools. Right now, it’s an optional class that consists of teaching basic cooking skills. The article talks about making it a required class but modernizing it to be less gender-specific and teaching children how to make quick, tasty, and nutritious meals.
I think this is a wonderful idea and it got me thinking. I’m grateful for the women’s movement because it’s given women like me so many amazing opportunities. But I also feel that cooking and regular family meals took a big hit in the process. As a result, convenience foods and fast food options popped up everywhere. And years later we can see how this has negatively affected the health of so many Americans.
But the worst part is that many people grew up not knowing how to prepare meals for themselves. What I’ve learned in the past 10 years since starting to cook is that it’s not that hard. It’s actually empowering being able to make tasty and nutritious food that doesn’t take oodles of time. Even though I wanted to marry someone who could cook, I’m glad my husband can only make mac-n-cheese because it made me step up to the plate.
So, yes. I like the idea of bringing a new kind of home economics back to the classroom. What do you think? Did you take home economics in school? Who taught you how to cook?
Want to create your own dinner rotation? Get step-by-step help in Maryann’s book The Family Dinner Solution.