In any case, my plan worked and Jamie finally napped. Thank goodness! So I actually had some time to get things done without the soundtrack of an alternately chatting and crying toddler in the background. I could have used this time to cook up a delicious dinner for my family, but I didn't go that route. I decided to write in this blog, read the paper, fold laundry so I didn't have to do it after the bedtimes were done.
While this "me time" was lovely, it left me without a dinner plan. Then I opened a cabinet and saw the bag of russet potatoes that I bought at Trader Joe's yesterday. This discovery reminded me that I had seen a post on Dinner, A Love Story about a potato dinner. Don't you love the way my internet addled mind works?
Since I had potatoes, cheese, sour cream, cooked bacon left from last week's brinner, I had a dinner plan. And as a bonus, I would get to turn on the oven for at least an hour and warm up our kitchen on such a damp and dreary day.
Here is what we came up with: Kara and Jamie went traditional. Kara had sour cream on her 1/2 of a potato and Jamie went with some American cheese melted on top. I found a pack of shredded Swiss & Gruyere cheese, another Trader Joe's purchase, and smothered the grown ups' potatoes in this combo, plus some caramelized onions. A word about carmelized onions: Is there any food they do not improve? I had never considered them as a potato topping, but let me tell you, it was unbelievably good. If you are going to bother caramelizing onions, you might as well do a whole pans worth. They keep for many days and, again, are excellent on just about anything you can think of. I put some on our salads as well.
Lest you think this dinner was a smashing success just because is was delicious, fast, mostly meat-free and pretty darn healthy, I will inject a little reality. Here is a picture of Jamie's plate after her finished his dinner.
That's right. After he "ate." Yes, my children were not quite as excited about the potato bar idea as I was. Kara ate more than Jamie, but only because I nagged her into it. But there is no nagging a toddler. Just keeping it real.
That being said, I would do it all again anyway. I think the wisdom is you have to present foods to kids up to 20 times before they may actually eat them. I am absolutely willing to give the potato dinner 19 more tries - especially if that means I get to have 19 more excuses to cover a vegetable with cheese and caramelized onions.