Saturday, August 30, 2014

Mary had a Little Lamb, Whose Meat was Tender and Delicious

     It never fails.  Every time I get the wild hair to take both my husband and my daughter to the commissary for groceries, I wonder if I'm a glutton for punishment or if I simply block out the memories of how horrible the last time was.  Thankfully, this time the car didn't magically disappear on me, but I do think my daughter is permanently scarred from the experience.  Let me fill you in on the conversation that took place in the meat section.

Monkey:  Daddy, what's that?
J: That's veal.  It's a type of meat.
Monkey: What's veal?
J: Well, it's baby lamb that was killed when it was really young.
Me (only hearing the tail end of that statement):  What on earth are you telling her?  Don't tell her stuff like that.
At this point I noticed a random onlooker stifling giggles.
J: Well it's true!
Monkey:  Mommy!  Do they really make veal out of baby lambs?
Me: No, of course not!
J: Yes they do! Don't lie to her.
Me (whispering):  It's not a lie; veal is actually baby cows.  They use the babies, because the meat is more tender.
J (to Monkey):  I'm sorry, kiddo.  Mommy's right.  It's not baby lamb.  It's baby cows that they kill for their soft meat.
Monkey: crying over sweet baby cows being killed for their meat
Me: Oh my goodness!  Are you freakin' kidding me?  Why would you tell her that?
Random passerby is now outright laughing.
J:  What?  She'll figure it out eventually.
Me: You're going to turn her into a vegetarian!

     At this point Monkey was crying/whining over the fate of baby cows; I was flustered and worried about my child's sanity, and the random passerby walked by and commented, "that's awesome", which of course, encouraged J to do it again with the remaining products in the meat section.  Someone, please remind me next pay day to leave one or both of them at home!

     On a less disturbing note, couple of weeks ago I posted a week's worth of lunch ideas for little ones.  Well I think it's time I share another.  Here's a week of yummy, healthy lunches for your kiddo.

Monday: Hawaiian Kabob Bento

     For a bit of a tropical twist on the Ham and Cheese Kabobs I shared last time, try these by threading diced ham, cubed mozzarella cheese, and pineapple chunks on a wooden skewer.  I added some pretzels, chopped cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and black grapes as sides.

Tuesday: Under the Sea Sandwich Box

     This is my favorite so far.  No, it's not as flawless as the original that was my inspiration, but I was proud of it.  (I know; I need a life.) It's a ham sandwich that I cut into the shape of an octopus using a pair of meat scissors.  The head and two front arms are all one piece, but the remaining limbs were cut out separately and arranged so that they resembled an 8-legged octopus.  I added the spots using bits of grape tomatoes.  I cut the eyes and mouth from a cucumber, using the peel for the green pupils and the mouth.  Next I used a cookie cutter to cut out 4 dolphins from watermelon.  Then I drew a swirly design on a boiled egg using food markers to resemble a conch shell.  Lastly, I threw in some goldfish, and voila! Under the sea fun!

Wednesday: Tuna Fish Sandwich

     As cheesy as this one was, it made me giggle when I thought of it.  To make the fish I used one whole English muffin, and another English muffing cut to look like a tail using a heart-shaped cookie cutter.  I filled the sandwich with some tuna salad.  I sent Monkey to school with the sandwich and a few sides that aren't pictured.

Thursday: Not-so-sushi Tuna Rolls

     I like this one because it's something I would fix for myself, but Monkey liked it too.  I made two rolls, using one tortilla each.  I layered some julienned cucumbers on the tortilla, and then spread the tuna salad on top.  I rolled the tortilla and sliced it like a sushi roll.  I added some cheese cubes, grapes, grape tomatoes, snow peas, and broccoli as sides.

Friday: Rainbow Bento

     I thought that this bright, colorful box was just the thing to help Monkey end her week at school on a high note.  The bottom of the box held grape tomatoes, a bit of corn, sliced carrots, broccoli, and black grapes.  The top layer held colorful goldfish, an eggs dotted with food markers, and ham and cheese on an English muffin with a fun rainbow drawn on top by yours truly.

     When I'm not packing lunches or attempting to repair the damage to my child's psyche caused by her father's frankness, I'm usually trying to come up with meals for my family.  I like to do one meal each week without meat to cut down on the grocery bill, but since J is such a carnivore, it's not always easy to find things that he'll truly enjoy.  Tonight, I think I succeeded, since he ate 3 servings, and then fussed at me for putting the rest in the refrigerator for later.

Penne with Roasted Marsala Mushrooms
From "Quick from Scratch Pasta"
Serves 4-6

1 lb mushrooms, cut in halves or quarters depending on size (I used baby bella mushrooms) 
2 TBS cooking oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry Marsala
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 TBS tomato paste
1 TBS butter
3/4 lb penne pasta
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  In a roasting pan or dutch oven, toss the mushrooms with the oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper.  Roast for 15 minutes; some liquid will remain in the pan.

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add penne, and cook until just done, about 13 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove the mushrooms from the oven, and transfer them to a large sauté pan or skillet over medium-low heat.  Stir in garlic and Marsala.  Simmer until liquid is almost evaporated, about 4 minutes.  Add the broth and tomato paste and simmer until about 1/4 cup of liquid remains, about 2 minutes longer.  Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the butter and remove from heat.

Drain the pasta and toss it with the sauce and parsley.


1 comment:

  1. I will share my meatless Monday favorites when she decides that the fate of baby cows and the like is too traumatizing to take.