“What are we having for dinner?” It’s the million dollar question that anyone with kids knows can strike at any time! Not having any children of my own (yet), I typically only have to answer this question for myself and a handful of adults if I happen to be entertaining. And while adults can be picky, nothing scares me like the palettes of tweens and teens.
After spending some serious quality time with three of my nieces this summer (shown above, clockwise from left: Lauren, Gillian and Keely) I became a bit more confident in my ability to please the tastes of this
picky discerning audience.
Miraculously, Gillian replied, “Can you make us Fried Rice?”
“Yeah! Fried Rice!” Lauren agreed.
Keely was silent. She’s had my Fried Rice before, but I didn’t get the feeling she loves it like she loves cheeseburgers.
Then it came to me. “I know, Keely really likes the noodles I make that are just like my Fried Rice, but instead of rice it’s noodles,” I assured the group. “How about that?” I asked.
Keely readily agreed, “Yeah. The noodles!”
Lauren and Gillian were quick to sign on, and voila! I had a plan. Not as easy as taking them to In-N-Out, but much more nutritious. Plus, we can set the dining room table, light a candle, use actual cloth napkins and silverware, and if things go really well have a meaningful conversation! Too ambitious? Maybe. But that’s how Aunt Betty rolls.
I already had cooked linguine in the fridge (on standby in case there were protesters on quesadilla night earlier in the week) so it was just a matter of chopping carrots, cabbage, onions and garlic; scrambling a couple eggs and tossing with soy sauce in a hot skillet. It gets the house smelling super yummy while putting on a little show. And knowing that Gillian loves meat and Keely can do without, I served some grilled chicken on the side with some leftover Teriyaki Sauce. The green vegetable of choice? Broccoli, of course. And cabbage tossed into the noodles was my little secret.
Dinner was a success! The noodles were devoured, the broccoli was consumed, even the Teriyaki Sauce got some unexpected praise! A few edamame and some sticky white rice (also leftovers) prompted the chopstick use and lively discussion.
Did I keep my promise to take them mini-golfing or bowling? Of course! How else were they going to show off their new threads? And unanimous votes for mini-golf made for another surprisingly simple decision. I <3 my girls
Here are the three recipes I mashed up for this picky palette approved dinner, just omit the hot sauce and meat.
Asian Beef Noodle