Five meals that will please the whole family this winter

Five seems to be a really, really low number for a list feature, don't you think? I did consider a little alliteration for this post, and considered The Top Ten Tea Time Treats, but that triggered a number of issues:

1. My audience is predominantly America - being a writer for ChicagoNow, and all. Tea time just causes too much confusion. It's not when we have tea, like the nasty (in my opinion) hot brown drink. Tea, is what my family know as dinner. Don't worry though - it confuses British folk too. Sometimes dinner is supper, and supper: tea. Then there's high tea. I know - confusing. But to me, tea is the meal you plonk in front the little people in the hope that they haven't suddenly become allergic to it or, become full up of (insert nice, healthy non-reconstituted food product here). Weirdly they are never full up of pudding, though. Sorry; I mean dessert.

2. Too many Ts! I studied journalism. I was taught that alliteration is okay if used a little in a review, but not in a feature - and I'm pretty certain never in a headline. Ts are also pretty tough on readability. I'm thinking of all of you, really. People scan read online. I want to write something that you will find a quick read which leads me to why "ten" is no good.

3. Nope. I'm not really considering how quickly you will read my article when I decide to write about five meals, rather than ten. Have you met my children? TEN meals to please the whole family at the same time? Not going to happen. So; five it is.

1. Macaroni cheese (from the box)

This stuff is like crack. Miniman would live off this alone - if we let him. Sometimes we have to, because he could possible waste away if we don't.

2. Spaghetti Bolognese

I have no idea how, or why, this became the go-to dish for Missy's palette. She refuses pretty much all other nice, home cooked food. Heck, she refuses pre-packaged food a lot of the time too - though that's very hit and miss. One day she likes something. Another day - she doesn't.

3. Mickey Mouse Chicken Nuggets and McCain Potato Smiles

Hey, I didn't say the meals would be terribly healthy. That said, Mickey Mouse nuggets - courtesy of Costco's finest Kirkland brand, are healthier than other, more gunky, slightly fatty nuggets. There is actual chicken in them, for a start. These are addictive. I always make extra, because the Miniatures usually want more, and TH will take care of them - if he's lucky to find any left over when he walks through the door.

4. Pancakes.

Or, what our American friends call crepes. Pancakes are a frequent flier across our table. No leftovers when these carb loaded circles of happiness hit the skillet. Easy to make, too. I really should learn to make them, and take some work away from TH. Not because he does too much, but because... by gum does he trash the kitchen when he makes them! Yes, he does. The stuff sets like glue if not wiped straight away, and a white layer of floury dust settles over EVERYTHING...

5. Bacon and Eggs. (With a couple extra sides for the grown ups, like beans, and potatoes, and these weird things they pretend are sausages)

Miniman is the bacon bandit. He loves the stuff. He loves fried eggs too, so we often find a cooked breakfast sitting on the table at tea time. It usually happens on a 'use up the fridge contents' kind of day - or the days where somebody forgot to take the meat out of the freezer again.

There you have it. Five meals that will please the whole family. I told you I could do it. We don't necessarily all like the same thing, though. Miniman turns his nose up at spaghetti Bolognese, and Missy does it to Mac and Cheese. Those meals typically get served on the same day.

There are some other foods that they both like, luckily. Vegetables are never a problem. The majority of the time, it's like we a running a super kitchen for a multi choice restaurant.

This list is the meals we most frequently manage to get the miniatures to consume - and that we like. We do try to sneak other things in, but hell if they are eating the new concoctions placed in front of them.

Concoctions I might add, that have been lynched from Pinterest Mom's list of 'foods for fussy kids'. I guess my children are uber fussy. Maybe if I spent more time making meals resemble a rainbow, zoo or spaceship, the children would eat more. Maybe. Maybe not.

I will get them eating other more nutritious meals. One day.

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