Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bringing My Family Back To The Table

The table setting

Stuffed Bell Peppers

The Happy Boys (my favorite boys too)

As most of my friends and family know, I am not one known for my "cooking" skills.  In fact I really dislike cooking.  I don't know why that is, but I have never found cooking something that seemed enjoyable.  I am always the one cleaning, that I am good at and I actually don't mind it (cleaning). 

However, I realize that I have a family now and two boys in my home that LOVE to eat.  Although Mark will sometimes put something together for us all to eat, or throw something on the grill.  It has ever been consistent enough to keep us eating together at the table as a family.  I normally feed the kids and myself and Mark fends for himself as well.  I have occasionally made tacos and small things that are "healthy" enough that Mark would eat, but again never consistent enough.

One of my favorite things about growing up as a child was always having dinner ready for the family every night.  I always sat down with my brother and sister and ate.  Mark grew up with the same thing.  I want Hunter to experience this in his childhood and keep it going for when he has kids of his own.  

Although Mark knew before marrying me while attending "pre-marital counsel" through our church that I didn't cook, and he at the time was okay with it.  I realize now he "wishes" that I would at least try to cook sometimes for our family.  In truth I never had the true desire to "try" because I was actually afraid to fail.  It seemed like a burden to me, and something that only stressed me out.  

Well I think I may be changing my view a little bit.  For I have had the "itch" in wanting to try to cook something, almost anything, just something that would be considered "cooking", and something that was healthy and attractive to my family.  Not "Misty's diet" of sausage and mac, or hamburger helper.  A real meal!!!

So I got a little frisky yesterday and I pulled out one of my cook books that I have had for years now, but never once have I made anything from it.  I found this recipe for "Stuff Bell Peppers".  I have ever heard of such thing, all I know is that it looked pretty, it was healthy, it had all the ingredients that Mark loved (peppers, corn, rice, lean ground beef, muchrooms etc.) and it could be done in 45 minutes.  I have 45 minutes to spare to make my family a meal.  I thought for sure that Mark has probably had this before so I really wanted to make it right.  

So I took Val to the grocery store with me, for she likes to cook and I knew she could help direct me to where all these ingredients that I needed could be found.  I have never purchased so many ingredients in my life. I go home and I begin my experiment.  

I am super excited about this, I want to do my best and surprise Mark when he gets home from work. Well it starts out very stressful, for I have to pick up Hunter from school, and I am late because I was getting "ingredients" at the grocery store.  Then we run and pick up Payton (Val's dauther) from her school.  Get home unload groceries, lay everything out and start trying to read directions.  All of the sudden this is the time that Morgan picks to be fussy.  Nothing seems to be doing the trick in entertaining her.  So now I can't concentrate on what I am supposed to be doing because I hear Morgan screaming at me (as she is doing now).  

Mark walks in the door and I give him the "rescue me" look and point at his daughter. So he takes over and then I begin!!! 

To make my long story short, I made the "Stuffed Bell Peppers" and they turned out great. I made Hunter "Cheese Quesadilla's" (home made) and then myself "Sausage and Mac".  Now although I did manage to do all 3 meals and have them all complete pretty much at the same time. I realize cooking 3 different types of meals, while trying to make something new, while not being experienced in the kitchen to begin with was a really bad idea. Next time, lets keep it to one meal for the entire family to all enjoy!!! 

Mark said it was 'excellent' and was excited to take the leftovers to work the next day. And he had never had them before. He was surprised with the creativity of it and and he loved it.  I had candles going, music, wine and a nice ceasar salad to start with.  On the side I had spinach for him. I took a couple of pictures of my two happy customers to post here and to be a marker for the night I will from now on try to have the "desire" to BRING MY FAMILY BACK TO THE TABLE. 

Who knows, I may just grow to like cooking and you may ask me for one of my recipes. Okay-okay I know that is stretching it.  But a girl can dream can't she???

Gold Coast Grill -

A week before I had Morgan my girlfriends treated me to lunch at a place I had never been to before called "Gold Coast Grill".  It was such a fun time and wonderful food.  We all had made a little "pack" to make this our little girls club (the group of girls that is) and to try to get out to lunch once a month.  Well as everyone knows that life alone is busy, but you place a child or two or three....then life sort of just happens with out any time frames because you are too busy to even look at a clock kind of busy. Before you know it 5 months has gone by.  Wow, 5 months already!!!!  Yea all you mommies know what I am talking about, don't you?

Well I finally was able to get the girls together for a lunch yesterday at "Gold Coast Grill" to introduce the new 'club' member, Morgan Paige. Carolyn brought her little girl who is 17 months, another new member.  With the two young new members, we had a total of 10 girls show up.   I tried to get a picture but it was just too hectic, so instead I had Val take one of me and my girl on our first 'girls lunch date", for I am sure there will be plenty of these in our future (God willing!) 

Here is the one shot we got from yesterdays "girls lunch".

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

-Dr. Seuss
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