Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A little something on the side...

"Variety is the spice of life"... right? And variety is most definitely the key to eating - I love to graze. A perfect meal for me is an entire appetizer spread - delicious bites that I can sample, taste, nibble, and enjoy. As far as feeding little ones, I've always offered a great deal of variety - 4-5 different choices, focusing on quality not quantity. And anytime I can add a side dish to my "go to" choices, more power to me! Here are a couple of my newer faves:

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

  • 1-2 organic sweet potatoes
  • 2 T organic olive oil
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp kosher salt
    • Slice sweet potato into fry-shapes (can do with or without the peel)
    • Toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt
    • Bake at 450° for 20-30 minutes, flipping over halfway
    • John and the girls love these with A-1 sauce for dipping

Roasted Brussel Sprouts
adapted from HERE
  • Organic brussel sprouts (I probably had about 15-18)
  • Organic olive oil
  • Organic real maple syrup
  • Whole grain dijon mustard
  • Bragg organic apple cider vinegar
    • Wash and halve brussel sprouts
    • Toss with 2 T olive oil and roast at 425° for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through
    • Mix 1/4 C olive oil, 1 T maple syrup, 1 T Dijon mustard, 1 T vinegar
    • Toss roasted brussel sprouts with sauce and serve
    • Yum-O!

Let's face it: the more options there are on the table, the longer everyone stays. The longer everyone stays at the table, the more powerful family dinners become. The more powerful family dinners become, the more we talk, eat, laugh, and love. To say that family dinners are a big part of our life would be a tremendous understatement and, after our 90+ minute dinner at Freestate last night, I think it's safe to say that Abby and Elise have a good understanding, and appreciation, of our mealtime routines.
Lastly, I'll leave you with a few sides from the girls:
  • Abby to me, as I was nabbing a bite of her ice cream: "Now Momma, this needs to be your last bite."
  • Elise to me, as I was trying to hide the chocolate-covered pecan that was in my mouth:
    • Elise: "Momma, what do you smell like?"
    • Me: "A pecan."
    • Elise: "Hmmm.... that's funny because it smells like a chocolate chip."
  • Abby, singing herself to bed one night (as overheard through the baby monitor): "I drink a beer... I drink a beer... Hi-ho the dairy-oh... I drink a beer."
  • Elise to Gran, talking about something that happened over the summer: "Gran, that was so long ago I can't remember what I was wearing!".
  • Abby to John: "Fix your attitude, Daditude."
  • Elise to me, at bedtime: "Thank you for snuggling with me, Momma. I just love you."

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