Two Tortillas, and I’m Good

Molly’s current favorite meal is two tortillas from Taco Cabana. This “meal” fills her up for hours.

And she does not want anything else. Beans? No, thanks. Rice? Nope. Beef fajita tacos? God, no.

Water on the side, maybe. She’s a monk.

Pound cake

Claire wanted to do some baking, so we picked a lemon pound cake recipe. It was a fun project and an expensive cake – $39 in supplies since I don’t do a lot of baking. At least we’re all set for the next baking project now.

I Mean, Really

I decided to make up a fresh, healthy, homemade meal for the girls today. ¬†I got the recipe from a¬†cooking magazine called “Cooking for Two”. ¬†While technically I am cooking for three, I realized that this magazine was perfect because I can cook for Claire and myself and just assume Molly won’t eat it. ¬†Molly is still only¬†interested in six¬†foods total: yogurt, lil’ smokies, raspberries, PB&J sandwiches, flour tortillas, and black beans. ¬†So why not just go with it? ¬†I decided to¬†make a real recipe¬†for Claire and myself and let Molly have an Uncrustable¬ģ and some¬†raspberries.

I decided on the tandoori chicken because Claire always likes chicken. ¬†Let’s add in some fresh apple slices, try sneaking in¬†some steamed spinach, and toss in some potato chips to ease things along. ¬†This was a serious cooking magazine from America’s¬†Test Kitchen designed basically for at-home dates. ¬†This was not a “quick dinner” recipe. ¬†I spent 90 minutes making the tandoori chicken from scratch and finally presented the final meal to Claire for a slightly late dinner. ¬†I was so proud. ¬†Claire and Molly helped out with the cooking some, which made it more fun.

Once I served up the mean, Claire gobbled up the potato¬†chips and apple slices and picked at her chicken. ¬†She ate a few bites and said it was pretty good but couldn’t finish it because she wasn’t very hungry. ¬†Molly ate her¬†Uncrustable¬ģ in like 2 minutes. ¬†It was maybe five minutes before the girls were finished and off to other things while I sat¬†alone eating my hard-earned tandoori chicken. ¬†Okay, the chicken¬†was slightly dry and bland, but I worked hard for it! ¬†And really, it’s tandoori chicken. ¬†It’s supposed to be that way!

So I worked for 90 minutes on a fresh, healthy meal that was partly eaten in five minutes.  This is why Chick-fil-A makes so much sense.   I could have spent only $10 and 10 minutes getting them Chick-fil-A and spent an extra hour playing with them.  After 11 years of practice, parenting is still tricky.  You can never win!

First Grade Guide to Austin Restaurants

Molly’s first grade class did the cutest assignment to hand out to the parents as a Christmas present. ¬†Each kid in the class wrote a review of a restaurant¬†they were familiar with. ¬†Molly choose Chi’lantro, a regular favorite of ours. ¬†Molly’s review followed the same¬†format followed by most of the other kids. ¬†“Chi’lantro is good. ¬†The parking is okay…” etc. ¬†But it was support sweet, and Molly had some good observations about Chi’lantro. ¬†Way to go, first graders! ¬†BTW, the most popular restaurant was P. Terry’s, which got several independent reviews.

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Strawberry Shortcake Seeds

According to Molly, these are Strawberry Shortcake seeds.  They were left on her plate after eating some Strawberry Shortcake.  If you plant them, a Strawberry Shortcake will eventually grown from the ground.  Molly is not kidding about this

Blind Taste Test

Claire convinced Molly to do a blind taste test today. ¬†Their nanny, Sarah, sent us this picture of the fun with the caption, “Blind taste test was fun. ¬†Molly was a great sport!”

Cooked Pizza is So Last Year

We did make-your-own pizzas pita tonight. ¬†Claire was hosting a sleepover, and make-your-own pizza is always a safe bet. ¬†Molly decided that her cold uncooked pizza looked pretty good and maybe didn’t needing any cooking. ¬†She wanted to eat it raw. ¬†I talked her into cooking some of it and trying the rest raw. ¬†So as her pizza cooked, Molly say down at the table with an oddly shaped¬†pita topped with cold pizza sauce, cold shredded cheese, and cold pepperoni. ¬†She observed that¬†this uncooked cold pizza was extra messy, so she put on some disposable plastic gloves to keep the mess down. ¬†Molly did eat all of her uncooked pizza, and she reports that it was delicious.

Budding Vegetarian?

Claire contemplating dinner (this one just happens to be vegetarian)

Claire has been on a bit of a vegetarian kick lately. ¬†It started two days ago, when she was recalling a fun part of Kindergarten. ¬†A couple of months ago, the class had adopted several chicken eggs, which eventually hatched into live chicks in the classroom. ¬†It was a really exciting development for the kids, and the chicks came out super cute. ¬†They were tiny little fuzzy friends, and each of them received a name. ¬†Claire’s favorite was Coco.

After recalling this fond memory about the cute little chicks, Claire concluded, “Then they send the chicks back to the farm. ¬†Then the chicks grow up into chickens. ¬†Then they roast the chickens into chicken.” ¬†A little bit of anger has creeped into Claire’s face, and she proclaims, “Which is why I’ll never eat chicken!”

Claire is also now offended by hunting and trapping. ¬†Yesterday at Claire’s summer camp, apparently some girls were trying to create a squirrel trap on the playground out of blocks. ¬†I asked Claire if they were just making a pretend trap, and she said no, they really wanted to catch a squirrel. ¬†I asked if they would let the squirrel go if they caught it, and she said no, they would keep it and maybe eat it. ¬†This really angered Claire, and she said she did not like those girls, and they should leave squirrels alone.

This immediately reminded Claire of hunters. ¬†She ¬†launched into how much she hates hunters. ¬†They are “dumb and boring and stupid and mean”, she said. ¬†Finally, she said she was not going to eat meat. ¬†She wanted to be “one of those people who only eat lettuce. ¬†And artichokes and stuff.” ¬†¬†Vegetarians, I gather. ¬†I helped her come up with a few other non-meat choices to eat. ¬†Pasta, beans, rice, bread. ¬†We agreed even milk was okay since it didn’t hurt the cow. ¬†She did not seem too excited about the list, and so far Claire’s heart-felt vegetarian stance is only rhetorical. ¬†Last night, Claire ordered pancakes with eggs and bacon at IHOP. ¬†I’m sure she didn’t think about where the bacon and eggs came from. ¬†If she did, she would have had second thoughts. ¬†And before long, she may realize that¬†we are just as bad egg thieves as the pigs in Angry Birds!

The Daily Menu

Here is Claire’s menu these days. This is actually handy just for myself as a quick reference when I feel like there’s nothing for her to eat. Plus it’s taken a while to work out a good eating plan, so I’d like to document this success.

Breakfast
Always starts with whole milk, and on alternating days one of…

  • Whole wheat “baby” oatmeal
  • Frozen whole wheat pancakes

She definitely prefers the “pancakecakes”, as she calls them, and requests them often, even for dinner. It is often the first word out of her mouth in the morning.

Occasionally when I have time in the morning, I cook up a tomato/onion/pepper/cheese omelet instead, which she enjoys. (Hmm, I should try this sometimes for dinners to vary things up.)

She used to eat fruit in the mornings too, especially watermelon, but lately she is not so interested.

Lunch / Dinner
Start with a vegetable, which is pretty much down to one of:

  • Sliced tomato (aka, a ‘mato)
  • Canned green beans
  • Steamed brocolli (which she can actually say well and occasionally requests)
  • Maybe black beans or black eyed peas

At either lunch or dinner, she gets 4 oz full fat yogurt or cottage cheese for the main course.

For the other meal of the day, she gets one of these for her entre:

  • Frozen “Doctor Praeger’s” broccoli or spinach and potato pancake
  • Cheese ravioli or tortellini
  • Sliced deli turkey
  • Rice & beans
  • A quesadilla, aka a “kadeeya!”, such as a frozen one from Sam’s Club, or a”Mini Me” quesadilla from Moe’s if we’re out. I have not perfected the homemade quesadilla yet.
  • Random leftovers from our meals or eating out. If she’s lucky it’s beef brisket, pulled chicken, or something like that, ideally something with some fat and/or protein.

Then a fruit:

  • A chopped up orange, which she usually likes
  • A few strawberries, which she often requests as “strawburdy!”
  • Grapes (sliced up to avoid choking!)
  • Watermelon
  • She’s medium on most other “misc” fruit as everyday fare, but we have had some success with the occasional peach or pear.
  • Bananas are completely avoided since they are constipating, although she knows what they are called and can say “banana” real well.
  • Apples were on our no-eat list until recently, because one of Claire’s doctors told me it was constipating too. That has since been rebuked by another doctor, so we might give them a try.

Finally, a bread:

  • Usually a whole wheat pita
  • Maybe some sort of grainy cracker
  • Occasionally a tortilla or bagel
  • A graham cracker if she’s real lucky (“Cracker! Cracker!”)