Tell us what you have cooked lately (that's interesting)


#8534

Also, @Chappers, how do your kids feel about pasta and sauces? Are they into alfredo or pesto? Are they tomato sauce people?

-xtien

P.S. I recommend drafting some of them to help you in the kitchen. It’s really fun.


#8535

Yes I do, I have my wife’s crepe recipe in case of emergencies.

In terms of veggies, generally we don’t get much success or agreement. One of them likes Broccoli, another carrots and cucumbers, another mushrooms.

I’m a picky eater myself, not keen on cucumbers unless they are pickled and for some reason celery and fennel overpower my taste buds in a very unpleasant way.

I could look at some premade curry sauces and mix that in with some veggies and chicken breast.


#8536

They do like my Alfredo sauce recipe which is one and half bars of butter melted with two cloves of minced garlic. Once fully melted add a pint of heavy cream and then about 400g of Parmigiana, stirring in slowly.

I’ll have to do that one evening.


#8537

Make some single-pot something, like gumbo, or jambalaya, and get them to help prepare it. Having kids help make something like that sometimes affects whether they like eating it.

A big single pot meal is easy to make with limited cleanup.


#8538

That sounds great. My Alfredo is generally a hit. I used to cook for a vegetarian and it’s hard to handle a lot of different tastes, so I generally put a platter of fresh vegetables out. My kid prefers the veggies raw, which makes things easier.

How are your kids on potatoes?

If you have a stand mixer, you need to be making pizza with your kids. I have a really easy–I mean REALLY EASY–recipe I got from folks on here. In fact, I made it for him just the other night without even thinking about it. And I made it for breakfast for me this morning. TRUE STORY!

-xtien


#8539

Please share, my wife has made pizza with them a few times. I suppose the key is how you make the tomato sauce. They all like potatoes.


#8540

No. The key is the crust. Don’t bother worrying about the tomato sauce. Just get something from the store that will appeal to everyone. For instance, my son doesn’t want huge chunks of tomatoes in his sauce. Or even much sauce at all. So pick something simple that appeals to you and them.

The stand mixer is for the crust, and I used to be afraid of that. It’s so easy, and it produces about four pizzas. Which for us is basically a few meals. Probably different for you since you have a larger brood.

  • 4 1/2 cups of flour go in the mixing bowl.

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar go in next.

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt next.

  • 2 teaspoons of instant yeast next.

Use your dough hook (it’s the thing that looks like a ceramic hook) and mix this stuff for a few seconds.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil next.

  • 15 ounces of water next.

Turn on the mixer again and let it all get together. Once the dough starts to cling to the dough hook of the mixer, give it about 15 more seconds and then put out your cutting board and put some flour on it. Just a light dusting. Dump the dough on it. Work it a bit, adding flour as you need to. Make it into a round shape. It doesn’t have to be perfect, believe me. Then section it into quarters. Make those into balls. They don’t have to be perfect. Don’t worry about that.

It’s nice to let them rest a couple of days, but you don’t have to. If you decide to lay some aside for a meal a couple days out, just put them in a gallon sized ziptop bag (or plastic container). Spray the bag or container with some non-stick stuff just to make it easier.

When you’re ready to make the pizza, put it back on the floured surface and flatten it into a 12" circle. This takes a bit of practice, but my kid is having fun learning it. I don’t have a rolling pin, so I generally use a wine bottle that I rub flour upon.

Then I put the pizza on a baking sheet (if I have cornmeal I sprinkle a little on the stone for safety…but you don’t have to do this). Then the pizza goes into a 425 oven for about 15 minutes.

Boom.

The dough lasts for about 5 days in the fridge. So it’s a great thing for a day when you get home and want to make something fast. Just pull it out and let it sit on the counter for a couple of hours then make it into a circle.

This may seem complicated. It’s not. And it’s fun.

-xtien


#8541

I am gonna share a couple of Word docs with you. They contain several complimentary recipes. I want to stress as hard as possible that it is not incumbent upon you to make all of the recipes, or even to make most of them at once. Make a couple every night for 2-3 nights, and for the rest of the week, you’ll have a lovely plethora of mix-and-matchable cuisine!

The first is for Mediterranean-inspired fare:

For starters, I’d recommend the chicken, rice, and white sauce. Prepare chicken, prepare rice, prepare sauce. Put down a bed of rice, cover in chicken, drizzle with white sauce. Very, very tasty. Feel free to sub out the spices (coriander/cumin/cayenne) in the chicken with Curry Powder, if that’s easier to find; heck, you could probably sub out the cumin/turmeric in the rice with a nice yellow curry powder, too.

If the kids like falafel, or you think they might, I think the Falafel and Tzatziki sauce next are a good call. I’d probably skip the Tahini sauce (it’s quite bitter) and the slaw (it’s obviously very veggie heavy) for them, but feel free to make the call that sounds right. The hummus and homemade pita chips might be a big hit, though!

The Chicken Zakis mentioned on the last page are a real showstopper. A big tortilla wrapped around poor man’s pesto aioli (mix mayo and premade pesto), mozzarella and feta cheeses, chopped chicken, and sundried tomatoes, toasted or griddled till crispy and brown. A very tasty wrap-sandwich!

None of the prep is especially tough; the most kitchen work you’d be doing for the chicken/rice/sauce is mincing some parsley, garlic, and oregano and measuring various ingredients together, plus steaming rice and searing chicken. I think it’s very doable, and very much the kinda thing the kids can be brought in on :)

I made a portion of the menu (chicken/rice/sauce/hummus/pita chips/Greek salad ingredients and dressing) for a dual-birthday at my regular Monday night RPG group (one girl on the 3rd, another guy on the 4th). It was a big hit :-D


Other doc coming later, I just realized the recipes aren’t compiled yet. Oops.


#8542

That’s amazingly helpful, thanks Randy.


#8543

Great. Three simple things to do with potatoes.

  1. Heat up your cast iron skillet again, as I said for chicken breasts. Cut your potatoes into quarters. If they’re large, cut them into eighths. Anything under the size of a golfball will work. Then toss them in a bowl with some olive oil and salt. Pepper if your kids like that. Once the oven is up to heat, put the potatoes in the heated cast iron pan and put non-skin sides down so they’ll brown nicely. Set a timer for 15 minutes. Take them out. Turn them to the other side so they can brown some more, and give them another fifteen minutes.

  2. Take a couple of russets. The big potatoes. And slice them about a quarter inch thick, but not all the way. Just down to the skin, so their still attached. Like a slinky. Melt some butter and drizzle it between the slices. Then season as you guys like. Salt. Pepper. Whatever. Then sprinkle some cheese on them and bake them in the oven at 425 for about 45 minutes or until they’re tender.

  3. Slice a potato similarly to above, but all the way. Peel the skin if you care to. I don’t, but YMMV when it comes to potato skin. Some folks don’t like the texture. Some folks think pesticides are a problem. Do what you will. Lay them fanned out in your cast iron skillet. Spiral. Like an ammonite fossil. Brush them with some melted butter and season them with salt. Cook them in the oven until they are brown. You’ll start to smell them when they’re done, but check them whenever.

-xtien


#8544

Making pizza dough can be fun with kids but it’s messy and kind of a pain in the butt. I would suggest buying dough from your local pizzeria and then letting it cold-ferment in your fridge for 2-4 days before using it. Easy, cheap, and just as tasty, assuming your pizzeria isn’t a nationwide chain. I mean, skip Sbarros. In that case buy it from the grocery store.

Grocery store puff pastry is another great product to make ham, tomato, and swiss tarts and such.


#8545

I have to disagree. I just think it takes a bit of practice. I can make a pizza now pretty quickly and with very little mess.

That said, the pizzeria solution (by Robert Ludlum) is a good idea. I’ve never found one that will do it, but I haven’t tried all that hard. If you have a Trader Joe’s they sell a decent premade pizza dough for about $2. So that’s an option as well.

-xtien


#8546

It’s certainly messy with kids, and you need to wait for it to proof, etc.


#8547

I think it can be, but I’m teaching my kid my method of clean-as-you-go while cooking. Makes mopping up at the end of the night much easier. He’s 14, and is getting it.

You’re right about the proofing, but you don’t have to do that all the time. You can make a pizza right away and it’s still pretty good. It gets better over a couple of days, but that’s a plus too. Because you know you have a meal waiting for you in the fridge for the weekend if you do it in the middle of the week.

I find it really comforting to know that Saturday lunch is already taken care of on Wednesday.

-xtien


#8548

Alrighty, this took longer to compile than I expected; apparently I didn’t have a TON of these recipes saved on my computer anywhere. Oops!

So, here’s the Mexican meal prep doc. Like with the Mediterranean one, you are not supposed to cook everything at once. Do 2-3 dishes that work well together. The next night, cook 1-2 more. Maybe 1 more a third night. Use the components you are making to assemble interesting, creative food for lunch and dinner (and even breakfast–Chilaquiles is a great breakfast!) all week long.

As with the Mediterranean, a lot of these recipes aren’t terribly difficult. A fair amount of vegetable dicing, and lots of slow simmering of meats and beans. The doc is long; don’t let that overwhelm you. Focus on what your family would like and what sounds good :)

I’d recommend starting with the Chicken Tinga and Cilantro-Lime Rice; you can make tasty tacos and quesadillas with just those and supermarket ingredients like sour cream and cheese, easily! Add in some beans and maybe guacamole the next night. Make it fun for the kids by making a taco or burrito bar for them with ingredients you’ve made and bought.





#8549

You really should start a blog, man.


#8550

Make sure to include 7 page discursions on your personal history with the recipe and your childhood before ever getting to the recipe.


#8551

I would do it like seriouseats.com, you have one post talking about the recipe, providing all the context, the reason why you built it the way you did, and a story, and then a second post that’s just the recipe straight-up.

Collards article and such: https://www.seriouseats.com/2017/03/how-to-make-collards-greens-pork-ham-vegan.html

Collards recipe: https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2017/03/collard-greens-ham-hocks-recipe.html

By the way, I vouch for this recipe bigtime. I use better than boullion for the chicken stock. The cider vinegar at the end is not optional.


#8552

HEY!

-xtien


#8553

I did, technically. But it wound up being a TON of work getting decent shots of cooking in progress, breaking down the steps for every single thing I made, testing the recipes to the point I felt comfortable sharing them, and just maintaining all the website crap + social media. Perfect, enemy of good, etc.

I’ve gotten a lot more experience since then, but also gotten a lot busier. I’d like to go back to it someday.