Monday, April 12, 2010

Domestic Domination

I have had Jessica Seinfeld's "Deceptively Delicious" on my recipe book shelf for over 2 years without ever even opening it. Yep, 2 years. I got the book as a gift when I was pregnant with Emily and I had good intentions of being all sneaky with my vegetables but lets face it: I'm lazy. I'm also a terrible housekeeper but that is beside the point.

The 5 a Day hand idea has been ridiculously clever and the kids are having fun with it (and it is helping to get them eat fruits and veggies) but I still don't think they are getting enough. Nor would any pediatrician. Or dietitian. Or any other -ian's. So this weekend I busted out the book, my blender and made a little trip to the grocery store. And I'm not gonna lie--the kids come by it naturally because I AM NOT KIDDING YOU I had to ask a lady shopping near me, "Is this a sweet potato?"

Saturday night after the kids went to bed I spent 2 hours steaming and pureeing vegetables. Butternut squash, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes and avocado.

Let me pause for a minute to make a plea...
Dear Magic Bullet Folks,
My blender is from hell. Satan literally resides in my blender. I need a Magic Bullet. Kara says I need one and so does Jessica Seinfeld. If Jessica Seinfeld says I need one then I must really need one. I know I'm not a famous blogger but if you send me a Magic Bullet I will blog about you in every post. Seriously, every post I write I will somehow fit in a way to say how much I love my Magic Bullet.
Jennifer Henderson, a mother who desperately needs/wants a Magic Bullet

After I pureed the veggies I divided the puree up into 1/4 cups and put them in snack size ziplocs and then I put all the bags in to one big gallon size freezer bad. So now my freezer is plum full of 7 large freezer bags full of pureed veggies.

It truly was two of my finest hours and it got me all misty eyed thinking of my glory days when I used to make my kids' baby food. I know, its true. I really did make their baby food. It surprises me too and I'm the one who did it.

Now I know I've got my haters out there who will criticize me for hiding vegetables in my kids' food. They will say its deceitful and how will they ever learn to eat healthful food if they don't know it and blah, blah, blah. I'm sure my haters will say that I lie to my kids about Santa Clause so this was just the natural progression in my big web of deception I disguise as parenting. To them I just say this: SUCK IT. No, I mean it, really you can just suck it. The night after I spent 120 minutes pureeing vegetables until my kitchen's windows were wet from steam and my blender was smoking (no lie) my kids ate pancakes for breakfast with carrots snuck into them. They also ate a whole banana each and chased it with some yogurt. For a snack they had a cheesy quesadilla with pureed beans spread sneakily on the tortilla under the cheese. For lunch: mini-pizza with spinach tucked quietly into the sauce. Afternoon snack was some organic, gluten free granola bar that they love and have no idea is good for them and strawberries (I've been doing those for a couple of weeks now). Dinner was homemade chicken nuggets battered with pureed sweet potatoes and cauliflower and panko breadcrumbs with steamed carrots and homemade bread and finally, their bedtime snack was an applesauce muffin I had made earlier in the day that had butternut squash baked into it. Yummy. They ate awesome without complaining and Hot Jeff and I were thrilled at all the yummy vegetables they had eaten without knowing or without complaining.

My theory on this, besides that I just don't care and am going to keep on doing it, is that they will acquire a taste for these items because IT IS IN THE FOOD. Secondly, I just don't care and am going to keep on doing it. Third, at some point they will get old like me and know they need to eat their vegetables so they don't keel over at 55 and they will buck up, throw some garlic on them and eat up.

I'd like to give a shout out to Gigi also. Gigi was sneaking vegetables into food before sneaking vegetables into food was cool. Gigi used to put zucchini into her brownies. Ok, I hear you...yes, it was because she had a surplus of zucchini and not because she gave a rip about nutrition but nevertheless, Gigi was sneaking vegetables into food before it was cool. Woot, woot Gigi.

Today was Day Two of Deceptively Delicious and it has gone great. Today is Samuel's 4th birthday and he requested macaroni and cheese for dinner. I know better than to make it homemade so I made the blue box kind he so dearly loves but I snuck in pureed carrots! No one knew except for me and I don't eat that crap!

While I was doing all my muffin baking this weekend (I also made peanut butter and banana muffins with carrots in them) I got nostalgic for my bread making days up in Alaska and have made several loaves of fresh whole wheat bread! I'm now on an unrealistic quest to feed my family homemade bread. We'll see how that goes. That is taking the Going all Little House on the Prairie thing a little far and I may have to start channeling Laura Ingalls Wilder so I'll keep you posted on that. I do have 2 loaves rising right now though.

Please don't lose all hope in me though. I may be changing the way we all eat around here and makin' my own bread and crazy stuff like that but there is still 3 loads of laundry on the couch that need to be folded and put away and my bathrooms still look like they belong in a frat house. Don't worry--at my core I'm still lazy and would rather be on Facebook than in the kitchen.


Anonymous said...

i love you! way to go, i love that cookbook and the peanut butter muffins are the best. i should branch out and make some more meals from there, you are an inspiration! keep up the good work! - cary

Joy for the Seasons said...

I love that you have had that cookbook for two years and not opened it. Because I have had mine for two years (I even requested it as a Christmas gift!) and have not used it yet. That's it...I am getting a Magic Bullet!!

Bex said...

Whoa! Those meals you described sound delicious! My mouth is watering. YUM. Way to go!

annie leavitt said...

way to go sneaking in those veggies!

ps- i heard the magic bullet sucks

pps-i've wanted to say "suck it" in my posts for a good few months now but didn't have the nerve.

pps-twins separated from birth for sure.

Valerie said...

Oh my word! I too have had that book for two years and never even opened it! Okay, well I opened it and discovered that I didn't have the patience or time to make any of the recipes...thanks for the renewed inspiration! Let me know what recipes are the easy/good ones :) I'm TOTALLY copying you and will attempt to get steamin' and blendin'
btw...I have a vitamix and I LOVE it! One of those machines at the fair...costco has em too...amazing and life changing blender-no joke!

Sara Kane said...

Crazy timing. I am pureeing the crap out of a squash, two sweet potatoes, a bunch of carrots and a cauliflower right this very minute. I bought the cookbook last week!

Amber said...

I've been gone too long. I come back around for a visit and I feel like I don't even know you.

I object to the veggies.
But not because of the deception thing.

I'm all about some deception...I'm just ticked that you've left me over here in plain 'ole Blue Box Land.

Whatever, friend. Whatever.

Rachel T. said...

Funny stuff, Jen. Love it!

Your appeal for a Bullet reminded me of the old SNL skit "The Herlihy Boy." You just need a Chris Farley sidekick.

Mia White said...

I need this book, sounds right up my alley!

Traci Piltz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Traci Piltz said...

If someone could find a way to infuse Cheetos with, like, carrots or something, my kid would be as healthy and strong as Popeye.

Let's see who figures out how to do it first - you or Jessica Seinfeld. Because whoever does is genius.

Anonymous said...

DANG!!!!!! woman, I'm totally proud of you, yet totally jealous, cause I have the same book probably for 2 years as well (and have not touched it)!!! You completely inspired me, I"m gonna do the same thing this weekend :) Thanks :) :) :)
When it comes to bread, you can use a bread maker, I've been doing that ever since I became a SAHM :) and I buy a 25lb bag of local organic flour from Cascade Backing Co.

Esther D

Anonymous said...

I requested that book for Valentines Day 3 years ago...yep, VALENTINES DAY...and my loving hubby got it for me. I LOVE IT...and the Magic Bullet is awesome! You do need one, it will make your life WONDERFUL. But, I have found that for large quantities...a good food processor is the BEST! Add that to your list of wants please... I am so proud of you Jen!!! I have tears right now!!!
Love, Kara

Christy said...

Just started yesterday and I too have had the book for more than 2 years and really just started using it....yesterday.

I'm curious, how is it going? I am using my emulsion blender with great success. Plus it is easier to clean than my food processor.