Sometimes I feel as glamorous as a chicken meatball.
Ehhh, let me explain. Where should I begin?
Maybe from the end. Yes, the end. That’s was when I heard the sweet sound of the word “yummy”. It came out of the mouth of a sweet, but stubborn, and picky, little boy, who mostly likes to eat cheese with carbs. Cheese pizza, pasta with cheese, crackers with cheese, cheese tortillas, cheese panini… and hot dogs.
Yes, that’s a better start. To tell you right away that this story has a good ending. After all, we all love a story with a conflict, problem solving, unconditional love, and a happy ending, no?
Because, you see, lately, I’ve been feeling very unglamorous when it comes to cooking. I’ve got to a point where any of the following can get the creative joyful cooking wind out of me (people with no little kids be warned, there’s poopy involved!):
1. there’s a toddler in my house with a daily afternoon routine of trying-to-poop-for-45-minutes episodes accompanied by crying, whining, screaming, nagging, while trying to hold the poopy in, which makes me want to scream sometime “let it go”.
2. a first grader who turns his nose away from most food that is not of the “cheese & carbs combo”- family as mentioned previously with an occasional smoothie, yogurt stick , and a few types of fruit which makes me want to pull my hair out sometimes
3. an almost daily dinner time with one or both kids whining and/or complaining and/or making constant silly noises and/or keep jumping from their chairs and mainly not leaving my husband and me a chance to complete one sentence or eat peacefully for more then 2 straight minutes which makes me want to poke my eyes out sometimes (Thank god for date nights)
4. and a very rare appearance of re-energizing words like “yummy” or “thank you for dinner” or “dinner was great” or “you’re a wonderful cook, darling”, or even “that cake you made is awesome, mom” and that sort of stuff, you know… which makes me think I’m being taken for granted sometimes
5. before making dinner I need to multi-task like crazy. For example, play chess with my son using the left side of my brain while reading a book to my girl with the right side, or whatever’s left of it, while poopy episodes interrupt in the middle, that basket full of laundry staring at me, and other fun stuff, which makes me dream of a vacation on an isolated island all by myself sometimes
And then, around 6 PM, I get my 20-30 minutes to be a diva in the kitchen and whip up some magic.
Ahhhhhhh, I don’t think so. No can do.
Of course I did not expect to hear “yummy” about something as delicious as the roasted cauliflower with apples and red onion
Not even when I made the chicken and noodles soup my boy has requested. Alas, I missed his emphasis on the “noodles” and i put some veg in there.
Not when I baked Challa bread which everyone loves so much
I knew it. I had no expectations. Only hopes.
But last night, hallelujah! I finally heard it.
Out of the blue I heard “yummy”. Oh, what a sweet little moment it was. T’was a good thing I was sitting, otherwise I would have fallen off my feet.
I made these meatballs I found on Smitten Kitchens’ blog and my 6 years old liked it and announced it “yummy”.
He only ate one meatball, but that’s different story. Don’t worry, I have leftovers for him for tonight’s dinner, hi hi hi…
Baked Chicken Meatballs
Adapted from Smitten kitchen who had adapted it from Gourmet
Serves 4, or 2 adults + 8 kids, or makes 12-14 meatballs
3 slices white bread, torn into small bits (1 cup)
1/3 cup milk
3 ounces sliced pancetta, finely chopped (or Canadian Bacon)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 large egg
1 pound ground chicken (I used dark meat but next time I’ll try ground breast)
1 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons ketchup
oil for greasing the pan
Preheat oven to 400°F with a rack in the middle.
In a small bowl, soak the bread in milk until softened.
Meanwhile, preheat a medium skillet over medium heat and start cooking the pancetta. Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper and cook until the onion is softened, about 6 minutes. Cool slightly.
Squeeze the bread to remove excess milk, then discard milk.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg, then add the chicken, tomato paste, parsley, pancetta mixture, and the bread. Mix well and form 12 meatballs.
Lightly spray or oil a baking sheet (I used a 9×13 Pyrex dish) and place the meatballs in it. Squeeze a little ketchup on top of each meatball and spread with a teaspoon.
Bake until the meatballs are cooked through, about 20 minutes.
By the way, his sister, 20 months old, is entering the picky eating stage now, so it seems.
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