“They say to never cry over spilt milk. Well, whoever said that clearly never cleaned up after children.”

-Chel Owens

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Manic Kids? Try Snacks!

Back when I gave some parenting advice, I mentioned food as a good solution for wild times. I like food; turns out that most people do as well. In fact, you might say we couldn’t live without the stuff.

And water.

So, my parenting tip for this Friday is:

Have snacks on hand. Like, all the time.

I know that not all snack foods are created equal. I know that not any snack foods are healthy, really. Seriously; think about it. When it’s between meals and you’re at the grocery store and still have two more errands, however, who cares about the exact nutritional value of that Chex Mix?

Certainly not the other people in line, I tell ya what.

So; whether at home or abroad, feed your kids a snack in that space between meals. Don’t go overboard, of course. The individual bags of Nilla Wafers and little squeeze bottles of applesauce are super expensive.

And to answer the ‘not healthy’ problem, throw in some chopped apples or carrot sticks. Eat nuts (unless you’re allergic). Drink milk. Try a cheese stick. Add some homemade bread that you baked lovingly with your child after cleaning the entire house and singing, “A Spoonful of Sugar.”

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Just get those grumpies some food.

 

Photo Credits:
Charles 🇵🇭
Juliet Furst

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Dinner Tip 4

I used to be really creative about making dinner. That was before The Great Birthing of Baby #4 and The Time of Two Boys Taking (Separate) Martial Arts Classes and That Decade I Was (Am) Depressed.

Even still, I have yet to resort to cold cereal for dinner. Why?

  1. Cold cereal is not very filling.
  2. It’s, like, 80% sugar.
  3. The kids are probably getting hyped up on MSG and preservatives alongside the sugar.
  4. We’re often out of milk, too.

And so, this Super Mom has adopted a time-saving and money-saving and stress-saving technique: buying ahead.

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If you buy the super-huge bottle, you’ll never run out of salsa.

In short, I keep a lot of ingredients handy that can be used to make my simple meals. A few of the items I keep on hand are: shredded cheese (extras in freezer), frozen chopped onion, frozen sliced bell pepper, flour tortillas (extras in freezer), refried beans, minced garlic, spices, tortilla chips, olives, lettuce, various meats (freezer), sandwich bread, chili, canned tuna, potatoes, rice, milk, butter, salsa, ham slices, frozen vegetables, and most dry ingredients.

I’ve recommended having a go-to list of meals before. Well -what good is that list if you haven’t the ingredients to make anything from it?

So; after you list the cheap and easy dinners you can make, make a habit of keeping what you need for them around. You and your grumbling tummies will be happy you did.

The Cheapest, Bestest Dinner Ideas, II

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If you tuned in last week, you may be wondering why I’m introducing another breakfast item for dinner. Short answer: Thursday night I’m on my own after an entire evening of three children’s sports practices and games …and breakfast just works.

I suppose that wasn’t a very short answer.

The point is that I don’t care, because food. And this food is another short-notice, quick-to-make classic. In my childhood home we called these German Pancakes. Besides Tuna on Toast, Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches, and Macaroni and Cheese with Hot Dogs; our go-to on a late night were these puppies -er, pancakes.

German Pancakes

Ingredients

1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) butter
6 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar, or more according to preference
Dash of vanilla extract, if desired

Powdered sugar for topping

Supplies

Blender or mixer
Mixing bowl, if not using a blender
9×13 pan
Oven

Directions

  1. Set the oven to 425º. Place the 4 Tbsp butter in the 9×13 pan and set the pan in the heating oven.
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  2. Meanwhile, place all other ingredients (except the powdered sugar) in the blender. Run the blender on whatever setting works to thoroughly mix everything.
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  3. Remove the pan from the oven once the butter is all melted.
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  4. Pour the egg mixture from the blender into the melted butter in the pan.
  5. Quickly return the pan to the oven.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pancakes are puffy and the edges are lightly-browned.

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    This picture is after it’s deflated and cooled.
  7. Serve with powdered sugar sprinkled on individual pieces. Other toppings include syrup, jam, and fruit.

I found a few recipes for these online, but this is pretty much the version our family makes. This may, in fact, be the first time our version has been officially typed.

Maybe your family makes them. Maybe you know them as Pop-up Pancakes or Dutch Baby Pancake or even German Pfannkuchen. Any way you say it; they’re quick, easy, cheap, and tasty.