Thursday, October 6, 2011

Layered Taco Bake Casserole and Life

Sometimes even I don't feel like cooking, but people must be fed, so I flipped through a Kraft Family Food magazine and came up with one of those "hey, I have all this stuff on hand!" recipes. I fancied it up a little with healthy additions of drained canned tomatoes with oregano and green chilies, and a drained can of black beans.

The recipe can be found here.

The really nice thing about this dinner is that it made enough for 2 nights, with steamed broccoli and carrots on the side both nights. Score!

These kinds of recipes remind me of the Little League nights. I had a full time daycare at my home back then, and somewhere between getting most of them out the door with their parents, and making it to the practice or game field in time, I had to have some kind of plan for dinner. And if you are a parent with kids in sports, you know that dinner is usually after 9pm those nights, and everyone is trying to thaw out when you get home.

The recipes where I could dump cans of stuff together and let it cook while we were gone were the best. Even if it sounds less than healthy, I always made sure it was full of vegetables. Southwestern Turkey Soup, Tuna Mac Casserole, anything in the crock pot, we were sure glad to get a hot meal in us before bedtime!

Do you have a quick casserole or soup you use on week nights?

Those rushed, really crowded days and nights were some of the best with my kids. They may tell me how they didn't like sharing me (and their toys) with a house full of toddlers, but those were the years where I planned lots of fun things. Crafts, outings, parties. They loved them. We lived in Southern California near an old world style Bavarian village and we would go to Oktoberfest there. We lived near a German bakery that hosted gingerbread house decorating at Christmas with a visit from Santa at the end. There were swimming lessons at the local college pool, across from the Little League fields. In Spring we'd find a creek and capture tadpoles to raise in fishbowls. And so many trips to the beach each Summer.

Good times.

Are you one of the sports parents this time of year? Enjoy it while you can. Those years go by so fast. Before you know it, the kids are teenagers!

The late Steve Jobs said: "have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” This is so true. Especially with your family. Make them important. Cherish the everyday things. When you stop being busy and spend time with your kids, you are helping them feel confident and you can watch them find their creative side, what inspires them, what they love to do.

Technology is great, and no disrespect to Mr. Jobs, but turn off the tv, your cell phone and Ipad, etc and be with each other. None of us knows how short our time is, but we all can make the most of every minute.

No comments: