Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Real Vacation, Yes!

I think we have finally entered the fun zone. The place where you can actually have fun with your babies without everything being chaos, a battle or down right war. 

  We have been on vacation in Edisto for five days and today was the first time we "ate out."
  Mostly because we had hit the local fish shop, Edisto Seafood, and bought a good amount of fresh Shrimp, Grouper and Tuna.

I whipped up some yummy eats and we enjoyed the coastal vibe.

  Five days of breakfast, lunch and supper was a lot for this momma, so we opted to hit McConkey's Jungle Shack, for lunch today.  I had the Traditional Fish Tacos and Jay had the Mahi Tacos.  Both were quite good.  Mine was deep fried and paired with a cabbage slaw, while his were grilled then topped with a traditional pico and Iceberg blend.
  I was secretly holding my breath in anticipation of when the melt down would occur.
  We managed to order, get served and eat some of our lunch, before we saw it coming. 
  The fidgety feet, the squirrelly butt and then the high pitched hollers followed. It was time to get out of dodge, and let others enjoy their meals. 
  On our way out people actually commented to us how well behaved the kids were! That's when I realized we had entered the new era. 
  I have really enjoyed the babies being babies, but now it's time for kickball and ponies. 
  And of course another level of food exploration, which always makes me smile. Yay for the stages of being parents! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I have had a lot of parents ask me the age-old question. "How do you get your toddlers to eat brussels sprouts?" For that matter, how do you get them to eat any green food?! This is what I tell them: start early and disguise it.

I cannot remember the first time I fed Jesse or Daisy brussels sprouts; it's just something we always have eaten. Yeah, yeah, get it out ... I know you want to laugh that I named my kids after "The Dukes of Hazzard." It was a fluke, but that's another story.

Anyhow, I'm sure I introduced brussels sprouts like any other food, and I just kept offering it to them. Yes, I probably paired bacon with them at first. Everyone loves bacon, right? Maybe not, but do you see what I did?

This is what I do with the non-veggie eaters who I feed: mask that seemingly non-edible veggie with something they like.

I love to use a thick-cut, applewood-smoked bacon. I only use about two crumbled slices while roasting the vegetables. Once the brussels are browned and the bacon is crispy, I'll toss it with a bit of lime zest for good measure.

Each time I make the dish, I cut back on the amount of masking. Next thing you know, everyone is eating happily and enjoying themselves. The veggies are usually the first thing that disappears from the plate.

That is how I get the littles and the hubs to enjoy eating their veggies.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Lost in the Box

Ok, so, yup. I fell in. For a brief moment, I fell into the trap and now am locked in for a year. The big-box store, Sam's, has struck again.

If you follow me on FaceBook or Twitter, you know I am all about eating fresh and local. Sam's is everything but that. Yes, I suppose they have the "fresh" part ... or do they?

We eat a lot of brussels sprouts, like enough-to-feed-a-large-family-twice-a-week-for-a-month a lot. So while at Sam's, I figured I'd get the giant bag. I mean, it was only $10, and I could get about ten meals out of it.

The first night I made some, I was so rushed to get something in the kids for supper that I didn't think too much about the amount of time it took for these brussels to finish roasting. I mean, come on: when kids are hungry, it's like a weird time warp you enter just to get dinner on the table!
However, last night was different. I had lots of time, after all, it was Mother's Day so I was able to pay more attention. I did my normal routine of cutting them in half, seasoning with sea salt and olive oil, while preheating the oven to 425 degrees.

About fifteen minutes went by, and I checked them. Nothing! No browning, charring or anything ... well, maybe a handful were roasting but definitely not the normal coloring that should have taken place. I tossed them anyway and continued on.
By that point, the grilled chicken was done, and I was ready to get everyone fed and into bed.

Finally, they turned that roasted color! I plated everyone, and we dug in. Bite after bite of the brussels, and I was thinking to myself that the flavor was off. But you know when you think about something so much, you start thinking you're just being paranoid?

Thankfully, the hubs questioned them, too, which he never does. They were like when cabbage becomes transparent after being cooked, definitely not your green, normal, tasty brussels sprouts.

My final analysis is that I have no idea what they did to those poor brussels, but I will not waver again from my strong belief of eating fresh and local.

Sam's can keep its massive amounts of "fresh" product. I'll keep eating food where I can track its origins and where I can meet the farmer if I so choose.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Out Past Eight??

Last night was a treat from heaven! We went out to supper as a couple, without our children! This last took place in February so literally it happens "once in a blue moon."

My mother-in-law was kind enough to take the kids for, not one, but two nights! After a quick scramble of finding clothes, toothbrushes, and well, Jesse's entire toy box and bedding, we were off to Manning! I was back in no time, and the grownups were off to supper.

In a bit of shock, we found DeLucca's Italian Grill and headed in. The girl that served us was awesome. I'm kind of a stickler for good service; there's something about having done a job that makes me have really high expectations. Sometimes unrealistic expectations. Anyway, she was great.

She filled us in on the specials and proceeded to explain that they have flavored butter that comes with the fresh-made bread. WHAT? Flavored butter? Yeah, it was peach, and I wanted to lick every last bit off the plate; it was so good.

As we looked over the menu, I asked Jay what he was leaning toward. He had the sweetest response: "It all sounds good, but I know it's not going to be as good as what you cook". He proceeded to say that it's stuff I would normally make on a Wednesday night.

This is so sweet, but not very true. There was a ton of stuff on the menu that I have no idea how to cook. We ordered, ate, and laughed at ourselves. I mean, after all, we were just talking about our silly kids.

You would think that we would talk about something more worldly, friends, or future happenings. Nope, just the response we'd get out of our three-year-old if I went to pick him up and had bleach-blond hair.

As we got in the car, we realized it was 8:30 and giggled as if we were out past curfew. We called the kids to say goodnight and headed home.