Thursday, October 8, 2009

Spaghetti and Meatballs

For the first time in, well forever, I was able to cook 1 dinner, put it on the table and have all 4 of us eat it without any argument!
I have been making spaghetti and meatballs for years. As stated earlier, I am not the world's greatest cook. I'm not even the neighborhood's greatest cook. But, spaghetti and meatballs is my signature dish. Granted, it is not that difficult of a meal. And, yes my sauce does come from a jar. Don't judge. I have made the homemade sauce and my family agreed it wasn't much different than the jar. So, I save my efforts for the meatballs.
In all this time that I have made spaghetti and meatballs, Jackson has always opted for the pasta with butter and cheese and No Sauce! So, basically a plate full of empty calories and no nutritional value. I utilized, again, the "starve them 'till dinner" tip by not offering an after school snack, which really works wonders on my youngest, by the way. He sits down and practically inhales his dinner! As a working mom, I think I relayed very heavily on snacks. I would be so tired from the day, that I wouldn't have the energy to fend the kids off while I was making dinner. I am sure many nights they came to the table stuffed full of the goldfish they ate while I was slaving over the dinner! Now that I am able to plan their day better and have more energy and focus on them-no more goldfish before dinner! Watch for the stock of Pepperidge Farm to decline:)
I made Jackson's bowl with the sauce and meatball, cut it up and served it to him. He said "Hey! I didn't want the sauce!" and I said "Sorry, that is how it is being served" and then quickly changed the subject to saying grace. I don't know what got in to him, starvation must have made him weak for battle, because he picked up his fork and took a bite! I know because I was inconspicuously eyeing him over my fork. A few bites in we made eye contact and I witnessed a slight head nod and a smile. "It's good, mom", he said! He later confessed to me that he ate around the meatballs, but still! I think the best tip I have found is not to make a fuss. Don't beg, barter or bribe. Just serve and then move on! If he eats, he eats. If he doesn't, oh well! There is always another meal.
Tomorrow is sandwich night due to my son having a baseball game, but next week's menu will be more of a challenge. Maybe I am just overly confident from my success tonight:)
I have decided that writing the blog about a picky eater has helped turn him into a good eater, though. Is it possible the blog has magic powers? Let's test this theory. Tomorrow I am starting a blog titled: "Make a million dollars by sitting on the couch and watching my favorite shows". Or! "I will lose 20 pounds eating n0thing but dessert while sitting on the couch watching my favorite shows". I'll keep you posted on my progress. In the meantime, here is the recipe for my war winning spaghetti and meatballs (it is really quite simple, Giada De Laurentiis-I am not!):
*Any jar will do (I usually use the 3 cheese variety)
*Dash of sweet basil
*An indecent amount of garlic salt
*Dash of Oregano
Simmer on low.
Meatballs (mine are all beef as I am intimidated by anything other than beef or chicken):
*1lb of ground beef (I use the 75/25 and we never miss the fat)
*2 eggs
*Parmesan Cheese (about 1/4 cup)
*Bread-crumbs (about half a cup, give or take)
*Parsley (1 tablespoon)
Pre-heat oven to 400. Blend all together. Here is the secret which I got from Sandra Lee's Money Saving Meals (see link below)-take 2 mozzarella cheese sticks and cut in to small pieces. Take 3 tablespoons of meatball mixture and form into little patties. Place a cut up piece of cheese in the middle then fold the mixture over until it covers the cheese and resembles a meatball. Place on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray and bake for 12 minutes. Then add to sauce and continue to simmer. So yummy!
Notice that my youngest, Wrigley, is holding up his finger and not his thumb. We will be working on that tomorrow! Also, he couldn't be bothered to take the chocolate milk out of his mouth for the picture:)

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