Sunday, May 11, 2014

Feeding the Family, Part II

My mom gave me a big sticker last year that says "Love People, Cook them Tasty Food".

That's pretty much sums up my life now! If I'm not cooking in the kitchen, I'm feeding the baby. If I'm feeding the baby, I often need to be doing something in the kitchen.

Lately I've started to tap into the help the boys can provide. They can peel potatoes, mash bananas, grate cheese, and get out ingredients. It gives me some good time with them, especially if just one son is helping, and they learn things, too!

I recently posted "Feeding the Family, Part I", about some of the logistics of feeding my crew. This second post is pictures and links to some recipes!

These pictures do not represent our top dishes or favorite meals. I just snap pictures when something strikes me as a particularly pretty meal. As for the pictures, those are usually made after dark (which comes earlier now as we head in to winter), so the quality is often terrible, but I find getting great pictures of food beyond my reach anyway. (Bolivia suffers with the same problem, ha.)

Special Breakfasts:

Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Toast on a special wheat/nut/seed bread, scrambled eggs, and strawberries

Homemade Breakfast Cookies, also known to be served around here as a snack or with lunch (the recipe is very flexible according to the ingredients you have on hand)
 Chocolate Granola (recipe from a former volunteer)

Easter breakfast! Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls made it special.  

Jake praying at Easter breakfast 
Our lunches:
I'm not creative at all for lunch. Mornings are too hectic with all four kids, homeschool, housework, and often important Casa de Amor calls or business to take care of. Jake generally arrives around 1pm and we love seeing his face!! That's when lunch happens. Sometimes I feed the boys first then send them outside to play so that Jake and I can enjoy a peaceful (if Sophia is napping) time of sharing about our day so far.
When I have lots of bananas lying around, I make Tia Elena's favorite banana bread recipe.
Sometimes, we have bean and cheese burritos.
I like reinventing dinner leftovers for lunch, on the rare occasion that we have them!

 Sandwich assembly line

The boys are beginning to get used to our most common lunch, sandwiches. They have eaten up to 3 and still ask for more, as their 10 year old bodies are pretty used to heaping portions of rice and potatoes (or soup) for their midday meal. I am better learning how to have at least a little leftover from dinner or fruit or veggie sticks or some other side dish to help lunch "stick to their bones" and send them off happy.

The boys know how to prepare their own sandwiches from start to finish - pretty awesome!!
 Baked Zucchini Sticks make an occasional lunch appearance (best hot out of the oven served with any tomato dipping sauce!)
 Not So Irish Soda Bread, a very tasty lunch addition or snack

Our dinners:

Honey Roasted Vegetables, before the oven 

This dish is SO TASTY!!! I eat it like candy. I've used several different vegetables or leftover vegetables or potatoes in my kitchen and it's always come out great.

This is also the best way I've found to feed the boys Brussels sprouts. The son who struggled the most with those in another dish ate them up here without even realizing what they were!

(I didn't save the link when I saved the recipe. If someone would like it, email me and I'll send along the document!)


 Honey Roasted Vegetables, baked and YUMMY!

This is one of our favs!! I've made it for guests more than once, particularly those on short term trips so that they can try a local grain - quinoa! The salad is even more flavorful the next day.

Another new favorite because it's crock pot and easy, flavorful, versatile, and stretches to 2-3 meals for us! We eat it over rice or in tortillas. When you store it, just dump in the extra rice and grated cheese for an even better leftover meal!

Homemade Pizza, Hawaiian style

 Cheese Pizza with Italian Seasoning

Chicken Nuggets is a special request of the boys. Here I served them with baked potatoes, steamed broccoli, and cheddar cheese. 

 At the Dinner Table...

On the third try, I felt like I finally got this recipe, but by then it seemed the boys were struggling with a "grown-up flavor" dish so I'm going to wait a bit to make it again. It is colorful and smells wonderful! I serve it with mashed potatoes and a zucchini vegetable sauté.

I found this dish after a specific search for casserole recipes. Jake really likes casseroles, but most of the recipes I see have lots of canned soups (hard to find and expensive here) and LOTS of creamy dairy products. This recipe fit the bill for something more wholesome! Jake also loves the combination of rice, curry, and raisins.


Here I tried to make homemade phyllo dough for the Indian Spiced Chicken (an optional ingredient), but it didn't really work. All the tutorials warning of the difficulty were correct! I couldn't get my layers quite thin enough so they didn't cook thoroughly and I ended up peeling most of them off before serving my family, ugh! At least that's the biggest kitchen flop I've experienced so far.

Easter Dinner

Whole Roasted Chicken (no picture but it was impressive looking!)
Creamy Cayenne Carrots (from the Voeller's "From the Kitchen of Two Sisters")
Pioneer Woman's Potatoes Au Gratin (a new favorite dish)
Honey Yeast Rolls
Coconut Pie

 Father's Day Dinner

Broccoli & Three Cheese Lasagna
Tossed Green Salad
Grandma's Chocolate Cream Pie

A couple desserts:

 My Grandma's Chocolate Cream Pie!
I had to place a call to Tyler, Texas, for a little help on this one. :)
Chocolate dessert crepes with homemade strawberry sauce (easy and very tasty on pancakes or ice cream, too!)

So that's it, for now! Happy cooking for your own family! :)

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