Monday, April 6, 2009

Spillage... Deceptively Delicious Style

After prepping my shopping lists and spending $137 at the grocery yesterday I tackled a big block of recipes from Jessica Seinfeld's "Deceptively Delicious" cookbook. If you're not familiar with it, I can summarize briefly by saying that it uses steamed vegetable and mashed fruit purees to spruce up kid-friendly food in the kitchen. I think it's supposed to be "easy." 

I decided to make the following recipes:
Peanut Butter & Banana Muffins
Blueberry Lemon Muffins
Blueberry Oatmeal Bars
Marshmallow Crispy Treats
Meatball Soup
Italian Meatloaf (with Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower)
Chicken Salad
and Ranch Dressing for veggie dipping

Which utilize these purees:
Banana Mash
Carrot, Cauliflower, Sweet Potato, Yellow Squash and Spinach

And so it was this morning that I began steaming and pureeing spinach to hide in the Blueberry Oatmeal Bars.  As I multi-tasked around the piling dishes and counter top full of ingredients and cookbook pages I finished the spinach and rested the top of the Cuisinart against its bottom and a large bowl... assisting Mira with her Marshmallow Crispy Treat while looking for my spatula I heard the familiar sound of plastic hitting the floor mixed with a new sound, that of spinach covering the dishwasher, walls, floor and rug. Oh what fun! In the meantime, the sweet potatoes are halved and baking, the ranch dressing is being blended from scratch and I am trying to figure out what to peel, steam, puree and pre-measure next. 

Around 12:30 Mira is ready for a snack. I decide it is a good time to try the ranch dressing with cauliflower, red pepper and pita chips. While I get my water Mira dumps all of the cauliflower in to the dip. Okay fine, I'll eat it. I step away for a minute to get the carrots off the steamer. I recognize the sound of dishes hitting the floor and as I peek my head over the bar I really can't tell who is to blame, the dog or the toddler. The entire lunch plate has been catapulted off of the table with the dip and the place mat. Neither one claims responsibility. I kinda lose my composure but I go for the cleaning materials and come back to find the dog attempting to lick everything but the vegetables up while Mira rolls around in it. I've barely finished cleaning up this rogue disaster when she goes for one of those little yogurt bullet drinks and basically pours it down her entire front. As she helps me wipe this spill up she begins walking through the majority of it. And so it was nap time.

My complaint with the cookbook is the unrealistic cooking times. I think books like these should include a factor table next to the cooking time estimate:

For example, mine would be with toddler multiply prep time by 2.5.
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