Did your mother ever tell you not to play with your food? I know mine did. And sometimes I catch myself saying the very same thing to my husband. Yes, my 34 year old husband still plays with his food on occasion. That is if it lasts long enough for him to play with. That man is the fastest eater I’ve ever seen. He’s usually done with his meal before I’ve made it half way. So, he usually gets the task of feeding Joelle so he slows down! It was the opposite in my family. My dad was the slowest eater! We’d all be done and cleaning up and he’d still be sitting there savoring every bite. I guess he was a great mindful eater.
Sorry, there I went off on a tangent. The title of the post implies I want to talk about having fun with your food. You’re probably asking where am I going with this?
Wow, this is a blast from the past. I’m not really sure how this food fight started, but it involved quesadillas and sour cream. Oh the things you do before you have kids.
Now, that was fun. But it’s not the type of fun I was thinking of. I can imagine that some of you have kids that get tired of the same old same old dinners. Meat, starch, veggie. Repeat. We do our best to keep dinners interesting but sometimes (most of the time), it’s just a struggle to get something on the table let alone a Pinterest Perfect meal (while you’re over there on Pinterest, why not follow me here).
My oldest girl, Corrine is 2 1/2 and hasn’t entered the really picky stage yet. But I’m definitely anticipating it. Kids, along with adults eat with their eyes first. So if the food looks good, then they are more likely to at least try what’s in front of them. I’ll make a visual demonstration of this point later.
Keeping this in mind, I tried to re-imagine two very common (boring) meals I serve to my family: tacos and meatloaf. I didn’t change the ingredients. I used the same recipes, but I just presented them in a different manner.
Let’s talk about the tacos first. Have you every used your waffle maker for anything other than making waffles? You haven’t? Well, you should. I used a corn muffin mix to make a savory corn muffin waffle. Then, I topped the waffle with all the taco fixings: meat, cheese, sour cream (yes, I resisted the urge to slap some on my husband’s face), guacamole, hot sauce and green onions.
A taco waffle! That’s fun to say and even more fun to eat! I even made a little butterfly for Corrine to eat. She ate it all and really liked it 🙂
Let’s move on the meatloaf. The tired old meatloaf. Ugh. Some love it, some hate it. Some, like me, think of it as comfort food. Give me a slice of meatloaf and mashed potatoes and I’m set. But Corrine has never really like my meatloaf. It could be because there’s visible onion chunks in it, or she’s just being picky. So I wanted to re-imagine this in the hopes she’d eat it.
So I made meatloaf “cupcakes”! I prepared my normal meatloaf recipe, which is a barbecue based meatloaf. Instead of baking in a loaf pan, I baked individual servings in a cupcake pan. I used mashed potatoes for “icing” and a barbecue sauce glaze for a garnish.
Behold, the meatloaf cupcake!
Doesn’t that look too good to eat! I’m damn proud of myself on this one!
And here’s my point about how we eat with our eyes. Which side of Dave’s leftovers for lunch looks better to you?
How have you re-imagined your food to make it more fun?