Expecting the usual whining, moaning and groaning about how her food was not good or tasted funny or had a weird feel, smell, look, sound (...yes, she once claimed that my parmesan couscous was making a popping noise at her)....I put tonight's dinner in front of her and waited; running over my usual come backs and ultimatums in my head. She took her first bite...not a word....then a second....and out came these sweet words
'Wow mom! This is the best meal ever! I'm going to eat it all up!'
It stopped me mid bite and nearly brought tears to my eyes! What!? I wanted to live that moment on repeat, forever....hang on to those words until she turned 18....I never thought such a carless expression of food gratitude could strike such a cord, but it did. -- And, without hesitation, coercion or bribery she ate every. last. bite. Honestly, the greatest gift...for this worn out, is summer almost over!?, mom.
In fact the mood at our dinner was so different tonight, that I actually savored my food AND my family! My daughter was so overcome by excitement that she jumped out of her chair, skipped over to grab the IPod, plugged it into our radio, (something my husband and I do when he runs late at work and we eat together after the kids are long done) turned on her playlist of 'Old MacDonald's Farm, Happy Birthday to You and London Bridge Is Falling Down!' My husband and I kept giving each other 'what just happened??' glances of disbelief while at the same time grinning from ear to ear at the new mood at our table.... it was a great dinner -- one I will remember for a long time :)
So although I had no intentions of pleasing my toddler crowd with this meal, it turns out it is both adult and kid approved! Maybe it will work miracles at your table as well :)
Grilled BBQ Chicken: just grill and brush w/ your favorite sweet BBQ sauce (like honey BBQ)
Pineapple LIme Rice:
Homemade King's Hawaiian Bread: yes!! a homemade version!! it was to die for!
* quick notes*
I cut the Hawaiian bread recipe in half and used 2 eggs and 3/4 cups of sugar. I used a 20oz can of crushed pineapple and was able to get just enough juice for a half recipe of bread.
I used the crushed Pineapple for the rice (and had leftover) -- but because there was no juice left for the rice, I just used that much extra water and added about 1 Tbs of sugar....oh and I omitted anything green, that would have been an immediate turn off for my daughter :)