Saturday, October 16, 2010

Change of Plans

Some days just don't work out as planned, yesterday was one of those days.  Once a week I plan a meal that the kids can help fix in its entirety.  The rest of the week there is always something they can do to help, but on Wednesdays I plan a meal with a lot of easy components so each child can help.   Wednesday is our slow day of the week, I can start dinner early and move at a kids pace.  I expect the unexpected, I know dishes won't turned out exactly as planned, I make an effort to put my type A side away for a while.  Yet there are still those days when everyone has their own agenda and nobody is willing to budge.  It is on those days I want to just let the kids watch TV and not worry about their healthy growth and development.  TV was invented for a reason, to entertain grumpy tired kids, or keep kids entertained when adults are grumpy and tired.  Yet there are days when not even TV works, little bodies are too tired and can't even be distracted by our good friends Nick and  Disney.  On those days food gets thrown together and we hope there is enough to go around and that everybody will find something they are willing to eat.  Usually when I do a throw together dinner, nobody is happy Marshall complains there isn't enough to eat and the kids complain everything is gross.  But last night something strange happened.  The kids were grumpy, little bodies were constantly flopping on the floor, dinner didn't get started until about 6:00, and yet everyone enjoyed the dinner and there was just enough to go around!  This probably won't happen ever again so I am going to bask in this small triumph and not worry that I don't have anything to share for my weekly cooking with kids update.   In my world, and after my miserable day happy bellies and happy people is much better than what my kids would have learned if they had helped me mush some ground beef together.
Now speaking of the ground beef, I had planned on making Salisbury steaks using this recipe.  Well I read the recipe once when I first decided on it at the beginning of the week, but I never printed it.  So, when it came time to make dinner I basically had to make it up as I was going along, and hope I remembered most of it.  The final result was very tasty, but different from the recipe.  I ended up doing a meatloaf recipe and instead of doing one big loaf I made 4 smaller loaves.  I served it with mashed potatoes and roasted carrots and fennel. 

Here is my version of the Salisbury recipe:
Meatloaf:
2lbs ground beef
1 onion finely chopped
1 glove garlic finely chopped
2 carrots finely chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 cup ketchup
3 tsp mustard
1 Egg
1Tbs. McCormick Hamburger seasoning
1 Tbs. Worcestershire

Mushroom Gravy
2 Tbs. butter
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbs. Flour
2 cups Beef Broth

Mix all meatloaf ingredients together and shape into 5 individual loaves.  In a high sided pan brown each loaf, the middle will still be raw, remove from pan.   Dump some of the beef fat and add a tablespoon of butter, once melted add sliced mushrooms and sauteed briefly.  Add remaining tablespoon of butter, melt then add flour and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add broth and return beef to pan.  Cook until beef is done.