Friday, January 6, 2012

What’s for dinner?

Our kitchen is closed, at least that’s what the sign on the refrigerator says. It’s really not closed, but sometimes I wish that were true. My husband cooks and enjoys it, so I’m always happy and relieved when he prepares a meal. Although I’m the only one at our house who prefers not to cook, we are a family of big and little foodies. We like watching the cooking shows, sampling different foods and visiting new restaurants. At our house a commonly heard question is: “What’s for dinner?”
Fortunately, my family doesn’t always expect a gourmet meal. Last week one of our kids raved about a friend’s home-made mac and cheese lunch. Our children like our mac and cheese, so I figured this friend’s lunch must have been great! When I approached the mother about her recipe, she laughed and willingly described her very simple “secret”—jarred cheese sauce poured over wheat pasta.
I froze for a second and hoped that our kid, with the discriminating palate, wouldn’t show visible signs of disappointment about the recipe. No worries. My little munchkin, who has helped make oven-baked mac and understands the complexities of mixing in specialty cheeses for fuller flavor,  grabbed a pen and wrote down both ingredients. Of course, if I try to serve wheat pasta for dinner, I’d hear, “Hey, what is this stuff?” I suppose we can all benefit from expanding our perspectives on creating  simple meals. Watch this:

I probably wouldn’t serve that food combination for dinner. Maybe that’s the beauty of a meal, if it’s quick, healthy and it works for you—go for it. Things don’t always need to be expensive and complicated. What do you enjoy that’s simple, yet satisfying?              

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