Thursday, November 8, 2012

those silly things you do as a parent + a recipe

As a parent, I find myself doing and saying some things that I never thought possible.  Conversations and creativity that I never imagined.  One particular time of day that requires a lot of creativity is dinner time.  My little sweet-ums is a PICKY eater.  Very frustrating when all your 3 year old's menu consists of are ahem... chicken nuggets, pop-tarts, yogurt 50/50, and occasionally fruit-but her likes there are ever-changing and I can't seem to keep up.  I buy banana's for the week and all of a sudden she doesn't like banana's she wants grapes, I buy grapes for the next week, and it's "I don't like grapes, I wanted strawberries!"  Ahhh, makes me want to pull my hair out. 
Lately, I have been trying to encourage Presley to eat what we are eating because I get tired of making 2 meals.  One that Phillip and I eat, and one for the princess.  We have been trying to sit down as a family, at the dinner table, no cell phones, limited TV and just EAT.  In other words, no distractions because my 3 year old is easily distracted to say the least.
 Most of the time, Presley is less than excited to eat what we are eating BUT I have been encouraging her to at least try what we are having.  Usually, getting her to try the food is a battle so we developed a "cheer" system.  Which goes a little like this.

"Presley, if you take a bite of that lasagna noodle, I will cheer for you!"
and after she takes the bite, Phillip and I scream, shout, YAY!  YOU DID IT!  and that usually encourages a few more bites, but the reward has to get bigger. 

Dinner time these days, has turned into a full on cheerleading squad.  Now, she asks for it.  Bargains with us.  And we are the dummies that agree to it.

She will hold up her spoon with a bite on it and say, "Ill eat this, but you have to spin for me!" and when she does, we get up and cheer and do a spin and clap our hands.  She now prefers, "pom poms" when we cheer.  So, we hold up imaginary pom poms as she takes said bite.  I am sure our neighbors think we are nuts.  And well, we probably are for encouraging these behaviors but it gets her eating and that gets me happy.

This week, I tried a little something new in hopes to appease my pre-schooler.  Instead of the same old meatloaf, I put them into cupcake liners thinking Presley would think that they are the bomb dot com.  I have seen the idea floating around on pinterest and the world wide web {like that?} but never stopped to read one because, well I love my adapted over time meatloaf recipe and what's left besides putting them into cupcake liners.

so, Here's my take of meatloaf cupcakes.

I like to use ground turkey in my meatloaf, come to think of it, 9 times out of 10 I prefer ground turkey over beef in my recipe's.  I also, thanks to some late night conversations at work {thanks Annette} have started putting oats in my meatloaf, and honestly this is where the magic happens.  Makes it Awesome Sauce!  For reals! And then all the usual stuff, some onion, some onion soup mix, 1 egg, and a little BBQ sauce.  Mix it all together, and pour into your cupcake liners.

Bake on 350 for 25 or so minutes until the meat is cooked throughout.  I then make a glaze of BBQ sauce and brown sugar and pour over top and bake another 5 minutes.

I whipped up some mashed potatoes {no, not from the box this time} and then put them into a large ziplock bag and frosted my cupcakes!  Sprinkled a little season salt on top and there you have it!

I was rather pleased with the results, and thought to myself, Yep! I've got her now! She is going to love these cupcakes.. And for the moment of truth.  She took one look at it and said "what's this?"  a cupcake of course!  "no, that is not a cupcake"  Yes! Yes it is, go ahead and try it, it's very yummy.  "mom, I only eat cupcakes with sugar in them" and that was that!  While daddy and I scarfed down these sugar-less cupcakes, the little miss had a cheese stick and mandarin oranges. 

I am thinking my days of cheering at dinner time are not going away anytime soon.  What about y'all?  Any silly quirks you do for your littles?  I'd love to hear them!


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