The past 2 weeks of March have flown by. We continued our “March Culinary Madness” despite the speed of life. Having this self-assigned food challenge helped give us back the time around the table that is irreplaceable.
Spring Break week was also totally busy my kids going in 6 different directions (plus the addition of 3 more kids for 3 days). We didn’t have many opportunities to make dessert. Nonetheless we did manage the following:
- 5 different boxed cakes to do a blind taste test
- Bananas Foster
- Kiwi pie
- Strawberry shortcake
This was super fun. The kids enjoyed trying new things blindfolded, granted it helped that they knew they were all pieces of cake – how could they go wrong?
They were all able to accurately identify each piece of cake correctly. Either it was super easy or they are just that astute of cake connoisseurs. Most importantly, the came to discover they really like carrot and butter pecan cake. A big win for “new things.”
I used the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Bananas Foster and it was super-duper easy. The kids really enjoyed watching the rum catch fire.
Some kids said it was too sweet. Whatever that means….
So they gave theirs to Adam.
Who promptly ate them all. Even though he was very clear how disgusting this sounded leading up to me serving the dessert.
**By the way, did you notice his handsome new haircut! He finally agreed to get it cut!**
Everyone was scared of the Kiwi Pie, another Pioneer Woman recipe.
Funny, once I forced them to try it, they loved it! Amazing, how that works.
This recipe was NOT Gluten/Soy/Dairy free so Ryan and I didn’t try any. I cannot vouch for it’s tastiness. I did, however, offer it to Adam’s friend who tasted it with absolute hesitation (over the trash can in case he needed to spit it out). One bite was life changing for him. He had a whole slice and I could still hear him saying how good it was as I left the kitchen.
Ryan made the strawberry shortcake while I was at work one evening. Thus, there are zero pictures to prove it happened.
This took more planning and cooking than I had time to do but we were able to get a few new things squeezed in. Here’s what we managed to try:
- Sushi and Sashimi
- Pad Thai
The sushi and sashimi I bought at our local grocery store sushi stand. It’s pretty legit so I let them do the work and I just paid the pretty penny for their pre-made. Some children REFUSED to eat the sushi. Their loss, it was pretty fantastic!
The Pad Thai I ended up making from a box kit from Taste of Thai. I couldn’t find the ingredients at my store to make from scratch (could be because I was grocery shopping with 4 kids).
I made everyone eat it. It was that night’s only meal option.
The chopsticks, however, were optional.
Overall, it was liked. Maybe not loved, but again, we celebrated trying something new!
The finale of the whole month was Moussaka, a Greek dish with eggplant and potatoes.
It took me almost 3 hours to make it so even though Ryan and I LOVED it, I most likely won’t make it again soon. This Mama doesn’t have 3 hours for dinner.
I was able to make this recipe GLUTEN FREE. I used a combination of Ian’s GF Panko breadcrumbs and Udi’s GF bread pulsed in food processor until in crumbs in order to bread the eggplant. Even though I don’t know the difference, I will proceed nonetheless and tell you that the eggplant cooked up perfectly with the GF crumbs.
I was not able to keep the dish from being dairy free. I used a bit of Parmesan cheese and frankly, the Bechamel sauce wasn’t worth the risk of ruining with coconut milk. I went ahead and added all 4 cups of milk to ensure my recipe stayed edible. I did use King Arthur All purpose Gluten Free flour to make the rue of the sauce, keeping it gluten free.
Ryan, myself, X and Peter all went back for seconds.
Then we sat down together and watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding. The kids really wanted to see the 3 second clip (which turned into watching the whole movie.) I had told them about when Tula is asked by the preppy girls in grade school “What is that?” And Tula answers: “Moussaka” At which this point the preppy girls are shocked and laughing and say,
My kids called it “mouse caca” all week. I slipped fairly often and called it that as well.
And with the moussaka, we draw our culinary experiments to a close for now. I’m so proud of my kids for really stepping out there and trying foods outside their comfort zone. What a successful month!