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Offering alternative meals to children - yay or nay

I am excited and optimistic.

Offering alternative meals to children - yay or nay

....Years later I've told my parents what a dick move that was.

Yep, me too. It was gross how much food my mom forced me to eat as a child. Her "defense" was that she was worried i wasn't getting enough nutrients. I was 5'6" by fifth grade (I'm a female) so it wasn't like I was a failure to thrive case.

I never feel full, ever.

I am clinically morbidly obese and like someone else brought up, the same mother that forced me to eat 3 cups of mashed potatoes, 8 oz of steak and handfuls of green beans drowning in velvetta one a normal night wonders why I am fat.

I can remember being 4 or 5 yo and sneaking food into the trash. Of course I got caught and was forced to eat it. I vomited and than got a spanking.

I have an appointment with a obesity specialist next month. Something has to give.

Franchise Restaurants in Public Schools?

My son's school serves Subway once or twice a month. Not a physical location but they bring them in from nearby.

Jun 26, 2015
cleobeach in General Topics

big big, fat, over-stuffed fridge/freezer!?!

>and since I'm not a huge fan of leftovers from the freezer, we have a glut.<

I hear you. I stopped "cooking for the freezer" years ago. With few exceptions, the leftovers are never as good reheated. And many times, it took me longer to cook the frozen leftovers than to cook from fresh (lasagna, I'm talking about you...)

Jun 26, 2015
cleobeach in General Topics

Offering alternative meals to children - yay or nay

Those memories are hard to shake. My father was a WWII refugee with endless food issues. He recoh ones where they came from but was powerless when it came to controlling them.

Jun 24, 2015
cleobeach in Not About Food

Offering alternative meals to children - yay or nay

Adults making/wanting kids to eat crap food is a hot button for me. I remember one particular instance where I attended a fire with a newish mom friend.at the end of the fair, the cold hot dogs were five away for free and she insisted her kids eat them so she"didn't need to buy dinner."

She bullied me a bit whe she saw I wasn't making my son eat the free, leftover food. It wasn't an issue of ecomnics, she was financially well off but she insisted her kids eat the 3 hour old leftovers that were cold and gross so she didn't need to cook that night.

Offering alternative meals to children - yay or nay

Child of Mine is an excellent book and probably saved my sanity. I have given it as a gift many times over the years.

My husband and I both came from families with significant food issues, most of them were rooted in our parents' experiences with extreme poverty and knowing true starvation.

I was the little kid sitting at the kitchen table hours after dunner was over, crying because I was so full I couldn't take another bite of mashed potatoes, let alone finish the two cups remaining on my plate. I swore I would never do that to my own child. My mom remarried and stopped cooking by the time I was 11yo and mealtimes improved ten fold.

Jun 21, 2015
cleobeach in Not About Food
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Offering alternative meals to children - yay or nay

We are mid to late 40s with one 9yo child. I mention our ages because i think being not-so-young and hopefully more mature parents shaped our parenting style. More on that later.

I never made a seperate kids meal. Never bought or served my child baby food either. When he was old enough to try solid food, we put a little of whatever we were eating on to his plate. Obviously, we kept allergy and choking issues in mind.

I am firmly against give kids cheaper/less nutrious/lesser quality foods just because they are viewed as not worthy of the same food as adults.

Our son went through normal developmental stages where he went from chowing down on the most amazing and varied items one day to wanting nothing but sliced apples and bread the next. We stayed the course and he came back around.

I think we were successful, for lack of a better word, at raising our son with a good palate because we have the advantages of time, money and shared commitment to the type of famiy we want to be. While I am sad for the stressed out younger and/or single parents that barely had the energy to heat up chicken fingers, I can understand why they look for the path of least resistance when it comes fo feeding their kids.

Food for a full day of boating

The sailors in my family thinks along your lines, they want to minimize trash on the boat so almost everything is eaten by hand or off a paper towel - hearty (pre-cut) sandwiches, cured meats and pre-sliced cheeses, baguettes smeared with soft cheese, olives, lots of cookies....and boxed wine.

Jun 18, 2015
cleobeach in General Topics

Food for a full day of boating

double post

Jun 18, 2015
cleobeach in General Topics

Food for a full day of boating

In the spirit of those types of sandwiches - I do a pressed sandwich from a loaf of substantial bread containing mozzarella cheese, lots of basil and/or arugula, roasted red peppers or tomatoes with olive oil and balsamic drizzle. They definitely taste better after a few hours.

Jun 18, 2015
cleobeach in General Topics

What is your weirdest kitchen experience?

At our office, we had a large tree in a pot that was outside all summer. When the boss brought it inside when the weather turned, all the praying mantis eggs laid on it hatched. We had thousands in the office for a couple days. I was rather charmed by them. (bugs don't really bother me) The office manager, on the other hand, was not amused.

Jun 15, 2015
cleobeach in Not About Food

What is your weirdest kitchen experience?

I'm with sueatmo, no snakes in or around the house.

We bought a cabin that had a healthy snake population in the basement. (It took YEARS to get my husband to agree to the purchase purely because of the snakes)

The very first thing we did was get the foundation sealed and remove all weeds and plantings from around the house.

Then we did battle with the mice. No more nice hidey holes, no more mice, no more snakes.

Jun 15, 2015
cleobeach in Not About Food

Do you tip your butcher?

No, I would not tip the butcher shop. I also never tip when getting food from a counter register like a coffee shop or Panera-type set up.

I wonder if that tip area on the bill isn't a pre-loaded template from the merchant service provider?

Jun 15, 2015
cleobeach in Not About Food

Consumed on CNBC

I am anxious to watch this. I have heard good things about it as it relates to real interpersonal and business issues.

Jun 15, 2015
cleobeach in Food Media & News

Could really use some guidance - I need to start cooking at home

I caution that thinking cookbooks can be an answer to your problem/challenge. It has to be the right type of cookbook. The last thing you need is a great sounding recipe that is a huge time suck; it will make you even more frustrated.

I didn’t start cooking until my late 20s. I had zero skills and was completely overwhelmed by the thought of making a meal. It didn’t help that I was raised in a house where wasting food was the ultimate sin so I was scared of messing up and wasting food if the dish didn’t turn out right.

It has been a couple of years since I used it but I thought Relish Relish was a great meal planning site. It builds a week’s worth of meals around common ingredients. The recipes are generally quite simple. Some require pantry items (vinegars, certain spices, maple syrup and the like) and the nice thing is, those items will make a regular appearance in the rotation so you aren’t buying some obscure $10 spice that you never use again.

There is absolutely no shame on relying on prepared foods. Start simple with a roasted chicken from the grocery store paired with sides either from the deli or stuff easy to prepare like a baked potato or rice. Same goes for jarred pasta sauce, dried pasta and sausage or meatballs. I cook mostly from scratch because I have the luxury of time (and money, sometimes scratch isn’t less expensive) to make most things but there are some items that I will always buy prepared; tomato sauce is one of them.

Keep it simple. Roasting a chicken as a means to stretch it over meals is a good idea but the reality is, chicken breast tossed in the oven is easier and faster. So if your family likes chicken, figure out 5-10 ways to prepare chicken breasts so you have variety. BBQ, jerk, baked in a sauce, grilled, sliced for fajitas, etc. Or ways to use ground beef – burgers, tacos, meat to add to jarred sauce.

When I am in a rut, I find going back to a chicken on Monday, pasta on Tuesday, beef on Wednesday, etc. really helps me plan meals and get food on the table.

I really believe a meal plan in necessary. It is the first step in being able to cook or prep ahead. Cooking extra ground beef (or chicken or whatever) sounds good but it useless if you come home after work to it but have no clue on what to make. I can do it in my head now but for years, I kept a notepad on the counter to write it out and make a shopping list.

A couple of years back, I had a revelation that sort of changed my cooking life - I stopped asking others in the family what they wanted to eat. Sounds silly but I burned out on getting the “I don’t care” or requests that weren’t feasible for a weeknight. I am always open to requests and welcome suggestions but if no one speaks up, I make what works for after work schedule.

However, I am not a dictator. I always make sure there is enough good, nutritious things in the fridge/cupboard so if my son doesn’t want the bulk of the meal that night, he can have sliced apples, raw veggies, nuts, etc. to fill his belly. Honestly, this was (and in some ways still is) a huge battle in our family. My husband thinks everyone needs to eat a meat and two sides every single evening. I am constantly pointing out that no one is going to starve if they choose to skip steak for one meal. (our son recently decided he doesn’t like steak.)

Concerning the extremely picky son – he might need to take one for the team, so to speak, and eat the items he likes on any given night and supplement the rest. Here is where having a variety of good, healthy standards at the ready will help. Sliced raw veggies with dip, easy to eat fruit, nuts, cheeses all come to mind.

Your time is limited and finding a good balance between putting good food in front of the entire family and accommodating his food issues will be a challenge that will ultimately make your entire family’s evenings easier and more enjoyable.

How old is the picky child? Depending on the age, I might have some resource suggestions for you.

Jun 11, 2015
cleobeach in Home Cooking

Could really use some guidance - I need to start cooking at home

I was just going to mention that site. She gets a lot of flack but to a novice cook, there is value in her step-by-step instructions.

Jun 11, 2015
cleobeach in Home Cooking

Could really use some guidance - I need to start cooking at home

Rachel Ray showed me how to start cooking. Prior to discovering FN, spaghetti and jarred sauce overwhelmed me.

Learning that "eyeballing" is ok gave me the confidence to attempt simple recipes. I grew up on TV dinners, no one cooked, at all. I was completely clueless and overwhelmed.

Gift Card "etiquette" when dining out

Yep, to protect the consumers.

The national retailers started putting various restrictions on their gift cards like fees for not using the cards (desired result was to get consumers to use the cards asap), seperate fees for each set period of inactivity (to run down the balance so they could get them off the books) and expiration dates (again, to get the liability off the books) and the consumers cried foul.

Jun 09, 2015
cleobeach in Not About Food

Gift Card "etiquette" when dining out

Should they expire?

No.

But the problem from the business's side is they don't want a growing mound of liabilities building up year after year because people don't redeem the certificates.

This is one reason for the introduction of expiration dates and declining balances that kick in after a set period of time. Or the re-naming of said certificates to skirt the no expiration laws.

It is no different than putting restrictions on aged checks. A business can't leave liabilities open forever and ever because someone lost or forgot to cash checks/redeem gift certificates, etc. Might not be a big deal for a mom and pop shop but when you are talking about a national retailer, a penny per share earning each quarter matters very much to the analysts.

I do think smart business owners should make allowances on a case by case basis but that is only feasible with small businesses.

Jun 09, 2015
cleobeach in Not About Food

Gift Card "etiquette" when dining out

"The concept of a gift card with an expiration date baffles me."

A large amount of outstanding gift cards can create a problem for the owners and is an accounting issue.

Gift cards/certificates are booked as a liability for deferred revenue on the balance sheet.

Years go by and if the establishment accrues a large amount of unredeemed cards, it can create problems with financial ratios and loan covenants.

Jun 08, 2015
cleobeach in Not About Food

Gift Card "etiquette" when dining out

I wanted to use the Visa or Amex gift cards for my employee's out of town expenses and was cautioned against it for the reasons mentioned above.

I can't remember the exact explanation but apparently accepting VISA/MC/AMEX credit cards doesn't automatically mean the business accepts the same branded gift cards. I'll try to remember to ask why the next time I talk to my merchant service provider.

Jun 08, 2015
cleobeach in Not About Food

Gift Card "etiquette" when dining out

"This attorney will tell you that most business sales these days do not include the debts of the business."

Yep.

In PA where I live, I am running into collection issues when businesses are sold via "asset purchase" where only the assets are transferred. Creditors are left you-know-what out of luck when the business is sold.

Jun 08, 2015
cleobeach in Not About Food

Kid Friendly Fine Dining in DC

I was just coming here with a similar question as the OP. We are visiting next month, staying at the Marriott Convention Center.

We have a nearly 10 yo that eats like an adult. We have three nights of diners to plan and am looking for recommendations.

Our wants -

Not traditional Italian, burgers or pizzas, I do those well at home.

Not hardcore ethnic (fusion or "inspired" menus are fine), we are open to anything but after very long sightseeing days, I don't want to be interpreting the menu or educating my son and husband on unfamiliar dishes.

Not BYOB - the adults will want decent wine and pre-dinner cocktails.

Would love idea. I will be investigating monkey's recommendation as I think we will be down in that area for lunch.

All Clad Factory Seconds Sale

Almost all my AC is seconds. Some blemishes are minor, some are practically invisible. I don't know the physical store. Mine were purchased from the site Erica linked.

May 18, 2015
cleobeach in Cookware

Biggest Tip Ever?

Not nearly the largest but the most notable/memorable - We spent Thanksgiving at an all-inclusive in Mexico. We ordered a bottle off the wine list (additional charge) and were very pleased with the waiter's suggestion. It was delicious and inexpensive. The overall meal was very enjoyable. We left a $30 tip.

Our phone was ringing as soon as we got to our room. It was the host, wanting to know if we intended to leave such a large tip. A half hour later, the manager called us to verify a second time that we intended to give a $30 tip.

This was not at budget resort and we were surprised our tip flustered the staff.

Received - As 18 yo, female bartender and waitress I would often get large tips. I worked at a family owned bar/grill that attracted a wide range of customers, blue collar guys up to execs and business owners.

$20 pp during a two happy hour was normal. $50 - $75 on a $100-$175 dinner checks was standard. These were guys that worked hard, played/drank hard and appreciated good service. This was in the late 80s, early 90s.

The owners' social circle were regular customers and they all tipped very well "if" the servers knew what they were doing. (and pity the average to below average servers, those didn't last long)

I learned very quickly how to make money at that job as the regulars and owners' friends were brutally honest, as well as very patient with servers willing to learn. It was by far my favorite job prior to graduating college. I learned a ton about human nature and hard work.

explosion under induction stove plate?

We had this same thing happen with our ceramic top. It was both spectacular and extremely alarming.

In our case, I wasn't using the cooktop. I smelled a very hot electrical smell at the counter and leaned over to look at the cooktop. The flash/explosion happened when the burner turned on.

May 06, 2015
cleobeach in Cookware

Favorite Pioneer Woman Recipes

I agree and have found that to be true of many of her recipes I have tried. Then there are others that worked well.

I read her blog since the beginning and one thing that she has excelled at is keeping a consistent brand, which is something many blogger fail to do.

May 05, 2015
cleobeach in Home Cooking

Favorite Pioneer Woman Recipes

I made that cake a couple of times and people went nuts over it. Either they were encountering it for the first time (like me) or it brought back good memories. An oldie but a goodie!

May 05, 2015
cleobeach in Home Cooking

First sip of the day

I love the beer statement so much!

A couple of months ago we were invited to a neighboring cabin for breakfast and everyone eyed those magical beers in the cooler and decided "why not?"

I swear we all groaned with pleasure at the first sip and then wondered aloud why morning beer tastes so much better than an afternoon or evening beer.

May 05, 2015
cleobeach in Not About Food