Cooking for Ten

I’m not sure when or why it happened, but food has become a passion for me (again).  I’m pretty sure it’ll be a passing passion because this isn’t the first time I’ve gotten into cooking, but the thing that gets me most excited right now is trying a new recipe.

We are not trying a new recipe tonight.

Tonight’s dinner is Rotisserie Chicken Casserole from  Mom on Timeout, with Slow Cooker Orange Glazed Carrots from Life Made Sweeter.  Because there are 10 people in my family, I have to double the casserole.  (3# of carrots should be enough, so we won’t be doubling that recipe.)  I think we will have 8 people eating at home tonight.

I have fallen in love with the food side of Pinterest.  Both of tonight’s recipes were found there.  Almost everything I cook is something I found there and added to my personal Pinterest boards.

The two teenagers (Chef & Baker) do a lot of the cooking lately.  Like an executive chef with two sous chefs, I decide the menu, write the shopping list, make any alterations to the recipes I think are needed, dictate who is making which dish or sauce, oversee everything, assist with things I think won’t get done correctly otherwise (or quick enough), and try to keep the meal on track.  The nursing baby often has other plans for me in the evening besides helping with too much of the physical work of cooking.

There are many benefits of making your teens help with meals.

  • Cooking side by side with your children is a great way to teach your children to cook.
  • Having a nursing baby is a great way for you and your teens to learn that they can solve problems on their own.
  • Cooking with teenagers is a great way to discover where the limits of your patience actually are.

Cooking from scratch for all 10 of us is taking a lot of my time and energy right now.  But that’s okay.  After almost dying last year along with Baby, healthy eating is part of my plan to improve the overall health of my family — especially myself.

When you’ve got 8 kids to take care of, you need to stay healthy.

Tonight’s dinner isn’t especially healthy, but it is easy and yummy.  Healthier eating is happening simply because we know what is going into our foods and that it is prepared fresh at home.  Healthy eating needs to be balanced with yummy eating.  We can’t eat non-stop rabbit food.

UPDATE: I just realized the slow cooker carrots take hours and I didn’t plan ahead.  Into the Instant Pot they go for 3 min of pressurized cooking.  The Instant Pot is quickly becoming my favorite kitchen appliance.  The chicken for the casserole was also Instant Pot’d today.

Tonight’s dinner included two steps I thought were simple enough for the 1st grader and the preschooler, so Fire learned to rock the chef knife and diced some celery, while Hero used a rolling-pin and ziplock bag to crush corn flakes.  Kids love to contribute when they are young.  It’s even supposed to help them try eating new things.

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UPDATE: We ended up Instant Pot’ing the carrots on high pressure for 4 min, then did the cornstartch slury and low pressure cooked them for 2 min.  It didn’t thicken up great, but it was as good as we’ve managed in the slow cooker.

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RESULTS:

  • Helping cook didn’t get Hero to eat his dinner.  He ate most of it after threats (of bedtime) and bribes (of a treat).  I finally went for “just take 4 bites” and he ate most of it.
  • Fire ate it without trouble.
  • Baby just sucked on the carrots and spit them out and shredded the chicken in his fingers.
  • Aqua had thirds on casserole.
  • Baker actually ate a full portion.
  • No problems expected with Chef.  No problems occured.
  • Grad came, she ate, she left.
  • Me?  Rice casserole=comfort food=take it away before I eat more.

 

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