Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dinner: Uninspired

In some abstract sense, I love to cook. But right now? I wish for a futuristic state where we could all pop a pill to end our hunger and just skip the whole cooking, eating, and clean up steps, kind of like Violet Beauregarde's gum did in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.  (Except minus the blowing up like a blueberry part.) 

Yes, I've given myself a bit of a pass in the kitchen due to having a baby, but still, I don't want my children's consumption rate of black bean and cheese quesadillas to over time make them resistant to eating anything else.  

Why does dinner have to come every single night? Does anyone have any brilliant, easy, kid-friendly recipes to share?  Because I am feeling rather uninspired.

On the upside, I stumbled upon a brownie recipe that is so easy it may put the boxed variety out of business in your home, so easy that it came to me via a friend's Facebook post, pasted below:
1 stick unsalted butter
2 squares of unsweetened baker's chocolate
Melt in a bowl in microwave for 1:30 or so
Add 1 cup sugar
Make sure batter is cool enough, and beat in 2 eggs
Then add 1/2 tsp vanilla
Finally add 1/2 c flour and a pinch of salt (for me a pinch is about a 1/2 tsp)
Pour batter into a square brownie pan.
Don't forget to lick the spatula.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 mins (don't overbake! Gently touch the middle - it shouldn't give way too much at all, and hold pan to your ear to listen for some minimal crackling)

(2 squares chocolate = weak. 3 squares = too strong. Next time I'll try 2 1/2. Not that I've made this three times in a week or anything crazy like that, of course.)


Emily said...

Two words for you: slow cooker.* Beef with carrots and beer or sweet potatoes and dried apricots. Vegetable curry (search for slow cooker vegetable curry on apartmenttherapy.com) - it's what we're having for dinner tonight. Pork with Mexican spices shredded and added to burritos, although maybe that doesn't solve your quesadilla problem. Chicken with diced tomatoes and couscous.
*I seem to recall that you had a bad slow cooker experience, but I think you should give it another go!

Sara Struckman said...

I've started to post the good, easy recipes that I make so I don't forget about them: http://lifesabear.blogspot.com/search/label/Cooking

We've been keen on roaster chickens lately. Super easy, super delicious, super nutritious. Oh and homemade pizza. If I can find enough time in the early afternoon to throw together some dough for crust, I top it and bake it. Voila, dinner in less than 30 minutes!

Recalling the newborn stage, however, we ate A LOT of burritos and mac cheese. A LOT.

Ann said...

Wait, you're cooking? for your kids?? I'm definitely down with the brownies (and truth be told have made two batches of the box variety this week), but cooking for elisa usually involves steaming frozen veggies, dicing a hot dog and maybe, MAYBE, giving her a deconstructed version of our dinner (spaghetti with no sauce, shepherd's pie without too much mashed potato). Good for you for attempting and hopefully you get some recipe ideas. I got nuthin.

Sarah said...

I totally agree. And going from feeding Mia one meal a day to 3 after I quit work was like, "whoa, this girl needs 3 different meals in one day???"

I typically resort to the frozen aisle -
1. Mac & Cheese - secretly add a jar of baby squash

2. frozen chicken cilantro wontons (from Trader Joe's or Annie Chun) - serve plain or throw in chicken broth and call it soup (add green onions if desired)

3. Amy's frozen pizza or pizza bites

4. gnocchi or ravioli & sauce

5. potatoes as a side or add cheese and broccoli and call it a meal.

Hopefully you have some room in your freezer and it's not totally taken over by breastmilk!

Oh, and they'll be fine even if they eat quesadillas everyday.