Get It Right The First Time Mom...Or Else! - Good Enough to Write About. Blog at - 121902

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Get It Right The First Time Mom...or else! 
Sep. 1, 2009 4:12 pm 
Updated: Oct. 12, 2009 5:28 pm
I have two little girls and two little boys. Like most kids they can be pretty picky. Too bad their Mom likes to try new dishes on a regular basis. To throw in a little compromise I ask my family to rate my cooking on a scale of 1-10. Before you panic though, rest assured that I am not, and I will never be, a short order cook in my own home! I love cooking more when there is some kind of improvisation involved, either because of lacking a needed ingredient or trying a recipe from memory.
When I try a new dish, everyone gives it their best effort in consumption and when we near the end of the meal I eagerly ask the question..."What do you rate it?" Sometimes the ratings are good, sometimes they aren't but for the most part they are not surprising. It seems as though there is a bit of magic in the air when the family sits down to a meal and the kids know that they will be encouraged to share their honest opinion of my cooking.
Around the time that I started this funny ritual I was searching high and low for a spanish/mexican rice recipe. I know, I know, different countries right? You get the idea. Of course I turned to my favorite cooking site, and browsed around for one that tempted my tastebuds. Mexican Rice II is the recipe that I settled on. While it was a nice, uncompetitive dish to accompany my enchiladas,

I have to admit that the ratings the kids gave it were less than desired.

Mom -"Okay kiddos, what do you rate this rice?"
"I give it a six!"  - E. (7 1/2)
"I give it an eight." - hottie husband. Kurt.
"I give it a four." - J. (5 1/2).
Mom - "How about you L. (girl) ? What do you give it?"
" I GIVE IT BACK!!!" - L. (3)       after which the older kids tried to explain to her what rating something meant, to no avail. She didn't like it and really, there was no questioning her opinion.
The funny thing was that though I tried this recipe on two different occasions and serving it four times, their ratings for it kept going down and down. Eden ended up at a 3 and Jack at a "how far past one can I go?" Even Kurt ended up lowering his rating. I learned a good lesson that may just help out those other families who decide to adopt this method, get it right the first time, or you may not have another chance!

PS. I failed to mention that the first time I make a dish is the only time the kids get to give their honest opinion. After that first time, they have to eat it or go hungry. And they also have to have two bites, no matter what, even if they go hungry after that. Moving a little past the time-honored 'no-thank-you-bite', I figure that the first bite is to gag down and the second bite gives them a chance to taste it. Call me old-fashioned, but don't call me a bad cook!

What about you? What are your families eating rules? How do you successfully expand your recipe box with young children at home?

Fake-Out Texas Sheet Cake

Why do I call this "Fake Out"? Although the recipe is called Texas Sheet Cake, I don't make it in a sheet pan, and I don't come from Texas. Like most of the recipes I use often, this one has been tailored and tweaked enough that I can call it my own.

In a large bowl combine

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt.

In a small, microwavable bowl combine

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup butter or margarine

microwave until melted then pour into flour mixture

2 eggs
1 cup hot water
1 cup sour cream

Mix well and pour into a 9x13 cake pan, bundt pan, or other cake pan.

Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Time will vary depending on pan used.

No icing! Even better the next day - serve for breakfast. (Did I say that outloud?)
Photo Detail
Sep. 1, 2009 8:02 pm
You are a courageous woman allowing your children to rate new food. Mine would have categorically given thumbs down based on nothing more than the fact they hadn't had it before. We had a similar rule about giving it a fair try. They grew up and eat almost anything! Good looking kids!
Sep. 2, 2009 8:49 am
Hi! You commented on my blog about wondering how to get photos into the body of the blog...go to and write your blog there, you can insert large photos, then just copy and paste into your blog here. Hope that helps!
Sep. 3, 2009 1:17 pm
I love your courage with the kids! I'm preparing for holiday baking and was looking for a good buckeye recipe with something besides semi-sweet choc. chips, got any ideas? thank you!
Sep. 4, 2009 10:30 am
BigShotsMom - It's been interesting to see that the kids seem to be more open to new dishes because they are allowed to be honest, kind of like reverse psychology - tell them "eat it and tell me it's awful" but they eat it and give it a chance. Thanks for the compliment! Barb. thanks for the tip, I have several blogs on blogger so that will be a piece of cake! shadgarden, I've never cooked with buckeye before, let me know what you find!
Oct. 12, 2009 5:28 pm
I finally made your coconut zucchini bread with some of my frozen zucchini, and I took a big "loaf" baked in a bundt pan to work today. It was a big hit... all that was left were the crumbs! Thanks for a great recipe!
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About Me
I am a stay at home Mom of four who is married to the love of my life. I have always loved food, but cooking has become something I consider myself good at only since being married (8+years)and having to learn to cook for a man who eats like, well, a man. I love gardening and if I could forget everything else, I would spend every waking hour planting and pruning and making the world more beautiful. I love reading, music and spending time at home. I hate shopping and think the greatest thing to happen to shopping is the invention of the internet.
My favorite things to cook
I LOVE making desserts and am a chocoholic clear through. I do get tired of cooking for my family so I like to try and jazz things up with new ideas. Forever one to do things my own way, there are very few recipes that I haven't tweeked to suit our tastes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
When I was growing up our favorite traditions revolved around our birthday cakes. They NEVER came from a box and they were always delicious. Banana Cream Cake, Lemon Jello Cake and the best yet, Texas Sheet Cake - the cake that wasn't really a sheet cake, was even better for breakfast the next day, and the never-fail end-all of cakes.
My cooking triumphs
Anytime that I have to improvise when making a dish with an end result better than the original, I consider a triumph. Substituting on the fly succesfully. Anytime my four kids eat what I make with enthusiasm + "thanks Mom!".
My cooking tragedies
When I was 12, a friend and I planned a surprise party for my Mom's birthday. We had run short on time by the time the cake was out of the oven and lacking the patience to wait, we tried frosting the cake while it was still warm. Needless to say, the cake fell apart, the frosting melted and we ended up with an impromptu mess. My friend's Mom saved the day with a store bought cake, but without that Bannana Cream Cake it just wasn't that great. All of my failures in the kitchen have come from going to fast, not alloting enough time and taking shortcuts.
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