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Top Secret Meals

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104 comments

Hello! Remember me?

Where I have been you may be asking yourself. I haven been in kitchen renovation hell, that’s where. Our stove is finally hooked back up, but still we have no sink or dishwasher (and won’t until next week when the counter is installed)

Do you know what you cook when you have no stove? And then have no place to clean up afterward? You cook hotdogs, that’s what. I am embarassed to tell you how many my children have ingested in the poast month or so. I think they might glow in the dark from all the nitrates, or is it nitrites? Whatever it is, it is not organic. I serve them with some of those cut up carrot nubs, so it sort of cancels it out, right?

Sunday night I was talking to Susan on the phone and telling her that I was finally using my oven. My oldest son had requested lasagna. For those of you who don’t follow my personal blog (and why don’t you? Don’t you like me?) my oldest son is on a diet to maintain his weight for football. So only two days out of the week can he eat whatever he wants. The other days he eats mostly vegetables, fruits, and very few carbs. He also moans and complains more than you would think possible.

I went to pull the lasagna out of the oven and it slipped and fell onto the floor. Where the pyrex baking dish shattered. Lasagna, sauce, shards of pyrex went everywhere. It could not be salvaged.

I cleaned it all up.

And we had hot dogs for dinner. And by “we” I mean my children.

I was talking to another friend about this and she told me that her kids would be eating McDonald’s four times that week. Between working and sports in the evening there was just no time for anything else.

I told her that I loved her. And not just because I feel like my hot dogs are superior to McDonald’s.

So tell me, what is your dirty little secret? What are you feeding your kids when you are too busy, too stressed, too tired, too lazy to cook that you would not want to admit to the sanctimommies?

C’mon, tell me.

We will all feel better about ourselves.



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104 comments so far...

  • Little Caesar’s $5 pizzas. Not healthy, but easy, cheap and just down the street.

    mira  |  September 10th, 2008 at 4:40 am

  • Well I always serve my kids homemade, healthy food that I’ve slaved over for hours, after coming home from my full time job and before ferrying them to nightly activities…only farm raised and organic food for my brood of course. I do know this horrible woman, though, that fed her kids cold cereal before soccer practice tonight.

    cough*ME*cough

    For shame!

    (other sinful attrocities she lets them eat: Kraft Dinner, Zoodles, Oreos, Chicken Nuggets…..)

    Procrastamom  |  September 10th, 2008 at 5:37 am

  • We have quite a few different fall-back positions. BBQ chicken, chips and salad; pizza (from the fancy place not Pizza Hut or Domino’s); going out to the local chinese restaurant; indian takeaway. But when I’m really at the end of my tether and hubby’s away traveling then I have to admit it’s KFC. Shhh, don’t tell anyone.

    mimbles  |  September 10th, 2008 at 10:44 am

  • Oh, man. I’m a high school teacher, so for the months of August, September, and May, my poor family pretty much has to forage for themselves. Recently, on the evenings when my hubby is working and I’m exhausted from teaching all day and growing a baby, I’ve been known to drive through Taco Bell for my 4-year-old-son and myself. I can feed both of us for $4. We do a LOT of PB&J. It’s one of my cravings, so… My son has recently had a dinner consisting entirely of dry-roasted peanuts, american cheese, and milk. Because that was what he wanted, and I rationalized it to be not THAT much different from a pB&J, right?

    Have you tried the Jennie-O turkey hot dogs? They’re pretty good, if a little on the small side.

    Damsel  |  September 10th, 2008 at 10:54 am

  • My kid’s at the fussy stage anyway, so she won’t eat much. Even worse than McD’s or hotdogs, are the times I’ve let her have one of HER favorites: sliced white bread slathered with real butter. :-o

    Brigitte  |  September 10th, 2008 at 11:18 am

  • My big fall back dinner is Mrs. T’s broccoli and cheddar pierogies. My girls love them and get very excited when I say that I’m making them for dinner. I always have at least one box in the freezer but we did go through a rough patch recently when the nearest grocery store stopped carrying them. Luckily the new store then just opened in my town carries them and all is now right with the world.

    Jennifer  |  September 10th, 2008 at 12:40 pm

  • Lots of baked beans and/or tinned spaghetti on toast. Oh, and plain pasta with tomato sauce. What?!- they all have tomatoes in them…..sort of!…

    sarah  |  September 10th, 2008 at 12:44 pm

  • My son has developed a taste for toasted cheese sanwiches over the years. It’s when I’m too tired, rushed, lazy to actually grill the sandwich and instead shove a slice of cheese between two pieces of bread.

    Gettysburg Mom  |  September 10th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

  • I have to agree with you…I do the hot dog/mac cheese/chick nuggets with the side of fruit and veggies. I have noticed though that my 12-year-old is not fooled by this sad attempt at dinner. She is on to me after many years of makeshift. I do cook most nights, but on a night heavy with sports, homework, there is no choice but to do what I can.

    Mom on the Run  |  September 10th, 2008 at 12:49 pm

  • Eggs, eggs, eggs. We will do breakfast for dinner quite a bit. Egg on toast, scrambled with toast, with or without sausage. They don’t usually eat eggs for breakfast during the week so I am happy to do them for dinner. Or PB and Js because my kids love them and why can’t sandwiches be for dinner?? And yes, we have our chicken nugget nights too!

    Larissa  |  September 10th, 2008 at 12:56 pm

  • Frozen waffles with syrup and grilled cheese!

    Sharon  |  September 10th, 2008 at 1:04 pm

  • I keep those cheap, 4 for $4 Totino’s pizzas in the freezer. I always have at least 4 of them on hand for those nights when I just can’t do it…yet I always feel guilty. I even feel guilty walking around with them in my cart at the store…I try to hide them under the apples and whole grain bread, hoping no one will know of my shame. I usually serve a caesar salad with them, so that makes me feel better.

    Kim  |  September 10th, 2008 at 1:10 pm

  • I’m delurking so I can get rid of the guilt. My kids love to eat what I call TV dinners - they call them tray dinners. Perfect food in perfect little compartments. Expensive and lots of packaging. Oh the shame… In fact I told the kids Dad is traveling next week. My oldest’s first question was - Can we have tray dinners?

    malta  |  September 10th, 2008 at 1:21 pm

  • We tend to do peanut butter and honey sandwiches, instant oatmeal, and those instant mac and cheese cups. If I’ve got a bit more energy/time I’ll make scrambled egg and cheese sandwiches or grilled cheese with or without ham.

    And when there are errands to run there’s nothing wrong with a dinner of banana, cheese stick, peanut butter crackers and juice box eaten in the car. ;-)

    sleepycat  |  September 10th, 2008 at 1:55 pm

  • Cold cereal, eggs, frozen pizzas (microwaveable only, who has time for the ones that insist you cook it in the oven). My kids favorite cold dinner we’re in a rush meal though, is what we call finger food dinner. Cold cut roll ups, some veggies and dip, sliced fruit, sliced cheese. All you need is a knife and dinners done in under 5 minutes!

    Harmony  |  September 10th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

  • Bean and cheese quesadillas. A flour tortilla spread with refried beans and sprinkled with grated cheese, then nuked.

    Ann  |  September 10th, 2008 at 2:07 pm

  • Homemade macaroni and cheese. I can make it blindfolded.

    CDM  |  September 10th, 2008 at 2:11 pm

  • plain noodles with a side of edamames and some kind of cheese cut into slices or cubes plus “decorative” carrots or cucumber slices….not too bad, the two year old gobbles it up…but then my 5 yr old son asks for deli ham or salami to go with it…aack processed meats

    carolyn  |  September 10th, 2008 at 2:14 pm

  • Basmati rice, yogurt and potato chips.
    PBJ, Nutella or cheese sandwiches.
    And i’m not ashamed of it.

    sandy  |  September 10th, 2008 at 2:17 pm

  • Some of the junk we like to call dinner:

    Nachos - we use black beans on them…fiber

    PB&J with pudding cup - um..calcium and protien

    can of tuna mixed with relish on crackers - uh..omega 3s :)

    fast food - I hate this one because there is nothing in it so I can *pretend* its healthy

    tracy  |  September 10th, 2008 at 2:25 pm

  • I have a bunch of mix two things together and let’s call it a meal. Mix one can of tuna with one tub of sour cream, salt, pepper and serve with pasta. You don’t even have to heat it!

    Thy  |  September 10th, 2008 at 2:27 pm

  • Where to start? The nachos I make in the microwave? Pancakes? Tuna Melts? Do I admit to the frozen burritos when the boys have to cook for themselves? Or the frozen taquitos? Gah! I really do cook decent meals most nights.

    justAcliche  |  September 10th, 2008 at 2:47 pm

  • Eggs, grilled cheese sandwiches, or pasta with olive oil and parmesean (or sauce from a jar). If possible accompanied by a salad, if not, just a whole cucmber or red bell pepper or vaccuum packed beets or whatever… My claim to shame is pre-washed pre cut lettuce. I know you wrote once (I think it was you) how you MUST always wash lettuce, even the pre-washed one, but we haven’t died yet, and I find that if the lettuce is ready then adding just cucs and tomatos is easy enough and with a squirt of lemon and some olive oil we are pretty happy.

    Anat  |  September 10th, 2008 at 2:48 pm

  • Two days this week (which is really Monday and Tuesday) I’ve given my little ones (1 and 4) ramen noodles. Yesterday I added some frozen peas and carrots to make them more healthy. :o)

    For the older one, yesterday I was in a hurry…and he was in between “practices” so I had a short window for a meal. I cooked him some ramen noodles with garlic and onion and shrimp. When he asked what it was I said…”Its Chicken Ramen with Shrimp. Now eat it.” HA!

    Leticia  |  September 10th, 2008 at 2:56 pm

  • Another cereal mom. Or nachos. Or omlettes. The kids are happy and I do the minimum of work. And just to relieve the guilt, I tell them I won’t make anything until they each eat a piece of fruit.

    canadacole  |  September 10th, 2008 at 2:59 pm

  • I’d have to say either pizza or kraft mac-n-cheese usually works for me!

    BlapherMJ  |  September 10th, 2008 at 3:03 pm

  • Kraft macaroni and cheese! They beg for it, though, and we don’t do it very often, so I somehow feel okay about it.

    And when I can’t even manage to boil water? Cold cereal. Woo!

    Mir  |  September 10th, 2008 at 3:13 pm

  • I second the eggs comment, that and a quesadilla and black beans (from a can, natch, although generally organic). We think it is possible that she is approx 1/2 black bean and 1/2 egg by volume.

    Because of where we live, those are actually faster for me to get her fed than fast food.

    Aimers  |  September 10th, 2008 at 3:14 pm

  • lots and lots of stouffer’s frozen meals. i’m pretty sure i’m going to kill them with the sodium content alone.

    gorillabuns  |  September 10th, 2008 at 3:15 pm

  • ooh how i have missed this blog (even though i DO read your other one too!).

    my shame is allowing my 2 year old to eat mcdonalds french fries. actually my husband started it so i blame him. how if we are out and looking for something for lunch or dinner he will point to a mcdonalds and say ‘that one! i want that one!’

    *shame* though i have limited any mcdonalds food to no more than twice a month because it makes me shudder.

    Kate  |  September 10th, 2008 at 3:16 pm

  • Pancakes. Plain old, add water to the mix pancakes. I MIGHT add some blueberries, for some nutrients.

    Jen W.  |  September 10th, 2008 at 3:26 pm

  • Panera and the local Pizza place (local owned, not chain) are our staples.
    But I also try to keep some ’super easy’ meals in the house from Trader joes - Their frozen veggie lasagna is good. Also, they have packets of various indian food that you simply put in boiling water for 5 minutes. Put their frozen na’an in the oven for 5 minutes, and you’ve got dinner on the table in ~15 minutes, or the same time it takes to go get takeout.

    Katrina  |  September 10th, 2008 at 3:39 pm

  • Totinos pizza.. not even real pizza crust but the kids love them! Also,PB and honey. But it’s on whole wheat bread so that’s good, right?
    I would love to say that we hardly ever resort to those dinners but …we do. Alot.

    Charity  |  September 10th, 2008 at 3:39 pm

  • Soup and sandwiches. And I make them help me make it.

    carol  |  September 10th, 2008 at 4:06 pm

  • Endless grilled cheese. And I mean, endless — to the point where my daughter looks in the fridge, does not see cheese, and hops around happily yelling yay, no more grilled cheese:)

    Nataly  |  September 10th, 2008 at 4:07 pm

  • My kids are much older (21 and 16 now) but for years, as a single parent, it was all I could do to make sure they did their homework, went to practices, etc. Meals were a luxury.. their favorite? Breakfast for dinner. Eggs, bacon (yum!) and toast. At least one night a week. And if you cook the bacon in the oven, it’s less greasy, and you can cook a whole pound at a time, and just re-heat what you need.

    Also had lots of pasta and store-made meatballs with jar sauce.

    And grilled cheese sandwiches (using more of the bacon!) and soup.

    Clearly, they lived. Sure, I wish I could have done better.

    Pam  |  September 10th, 2008 at 4:07 pm

  • Frozen pizza - although I feel less bad when I pick a vegetarian kind. (however I like the one with Mozzarella the best)
    Sandwiches with paté and gherkins (real butter).

    allmycke  |  September 10th, 2008 at 4:26 pm

  • I recently found the Pizza Hut pastas to be both decent in price and taste :)
    My kids actually ask for the pasta Alfredo one from there- so I guess as an alternate for Pizza or the nuggets we do pasta!

    Eva  |  September 10th, 2008 at 4:29 pm

  • Ramen Noodles! Sometimes with sliced apples on the side….and sometimes not.

    CJ  |  September 10th, 2008 at 4:37 pm

  • We’re all about the grilled cheese and KD over here :)

    Angella  |  September 10th, 2008 at 4:45 pm

  • Cold cereal or frozen tortellini with Prego - those are my go-to meals when I don’t feel like making a *real* dinner.

    Corrie  |  September 10th, 2008 at 4:49 pm

  • grilled cheese.
    or peanut butter sandwiches.
    and whatever veggies i can find.

    (ps. i’ve done the drop the pyrex full of lasagna on the floor thing before. um, twice)

    ali  |  September 10th, 2008 at 4:55 pm

  • Hot Pockets, in addition to the hot dogs and chicken nuggests. My 8 YO can make them all by himself.
    In my fridge is a container of Hamburger Helper for my 13 yo to eat before I get home to turn around and take him to football practice. Last night the 8 yo and I picniced in the parking lot at football practice. Ham sandwiches, a can of pop for each of us and a bag of potato chips. Tonight will be more of the same. I promised them we’d eat out Thursday night. ( Hubby is out of town).

    Maggie  |  September 10th, 2008 at 4:57 pm

  • For years my son would only eat pasta — so a quick pot of boiled water and Paul Newman’s sauce heated in the micro with frozen veggies is still good for dinner at least once a week. Also, breakfast for dinner: eggs and bacon or pancakes (from a box, of course). Trader Joe’s has some good chicken tenders that I don’t mind, so those are always in the freezer for a quickie meal. And to rid myself of hot dog guilt I buy only kosher (as if that really makes them a better choice!) On really rushed nights … yogurt (possibly eaten in the car). Yep, that’s why they’re still withholding the mother of the year trophy from me.

    Carrie  |  September 10th, 2008 at 5:25 pm

  • NACHO NIGHT!!!

    Amy  |  September 10th, 2008 at 5:30 pm

  • Lidl’s “cardboard” pizzas (what we call their frozen pizzas). There’s hardly anything on them, even cheese, so we dump a bunch of grated mozzarella and veg on them (this summer we had garden fresh broccoli, yum!), call it healthy enough and it’s good.

    BTW, you want to know my guiltiest little dirty secret? I don’t cook. Seriously. Dh does ALL the cooking. My mother always told me I’d better learn to cook because I’d never find a man who did all the cooking. Ha! Don’t know why she said that though. My dad did all the cooking when I was growing up….

    I CAN cook (under extreme duress and in times of great need), I just…well…don’t!

    t in hd  |  September 10th, 2008 at 5:38 pm

  • We have fend-4-yourself - if you can find it in the cabinet or refrigerator you can eat it for dinner. I do this once a week on our busiest night. Makes for some interesting combinations and helps get rid of those pesky leftovers.

    Virginia  |  September 10th, 2008 at 5:49 pm

  • PB and Honey sandwiches.

    Pancakes

    Scrambled eggs and toast.

    And bean and cheese burritos. (I just warm up a can of refried beans and shred some cheese before wrapping it up in tortillas.) Sometimes I’ll even grill them before serving.

    Cheese quesadillas. MMM white flour and melted cheese. My kids love lazy nights.

    carrien (she laughs at the days)  |  September 10th, 2008 at 6:11 pm

  • We have something we call “goulash.” My mother made it while I was growing up and now I do.
    1 pound cooked ground beef, two cans tomoto soup, salt & pepper, and cooked shell noodles (enough for 4-5 servings). Stir together and serve. It’s fast and easy and not bad tasting.

    Tina  |  September 10th, 2008 at 6:19 pm

  • Lunchables!

    Alpaca Farmgirl  |  September 10th, 2008 at 6:26 pm

  • I *try* to have taco meat and meatballs in the freezer so I have a reasonably healthy fall back. But when that doesn’t happen, or we’ve already had tacos and nachos and spaghetti and meatball sandwiches that week, then it’s mac and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, and chicken nuggets. Or Mexican take-out. Fortunately my kids really like hamburgers too so we can always throw frozen patties on the grill.

    My kids aren’t really old enough yet to have all those evening commitments. In a few more years, my answer may be totally different. I recognize that I’m not really there yet.

    Lucinda  |  September 10th, 2008 at 6:36 pm

  • My husband and I gravitate towards those frozen appetizers (bagel bites and cheese sticks). The teenagers go for ramen or mac & cheese. The 3 year old is happy with peanut butter crackers. The 7 month old demands puree’d anything with rice cereal.

    LizP  |  September 10th, 2008 at 7:38 pm

  • Every Thursday, dh teaches a night class. My girls eat cut up veggies w/ salad dressing, fruit, cheese, crackers. Basically, it’s h’ors doeuvres night. DH doesn’t know - please don’t tell him.

    Laura  |  September 10th, 2008 at 7:44 pm

  • We have so many fall back meals and I fall back on them often. Let’s see…..scrambled eggs, canned chicken noodle soup, raman noodles (w/froz veggies thrown in for color — no kid actually eats them here), or my fav for those really busy nights — cold cereal. Serve w/a piece of fruit & glass of milk and we’ll call it nutritious.

    Jill A.  |  September 10th, 2008 at 7:48 pm

  • I love you…as a friend of course
    You are so funny and honest,I also read your other blog. I think you are a great mom, no matter what you feed your kiddo’s
    We do not have children but sometimes I make my husband eat cold sandwiches for supper *shudder* he thinks he is being punished without a hot homecooked meal!

    Amy  |  September 10th, 2008 at 7:55 pm

  • Frozen burritos, TV Dinners (have you seen the sodium in those things??), cheap $0.88 pizzas, leftovers ! Eat the danged leftovers, they will not kill you I swear.

    Pam  |  September 10th, 2008 at 7:58 pm

  • I went back to work teaching this year as a matter of financial necessity. It is only the second week of school, my first year teaching in my own classroom, and momma is just a bit out of sorts.

    My 15 month-old (who insists on feeding herself but refuses to eat chicken or turkey) has been fed “little smokies,” tater tots, and peaches far more than I care to admit.

    Stephanie  |  September 10th, 2008 at 8:09 pm

  • My kids love breakfast for dinner, so eggs, maybe cereal, bacon (Tyson pre-cooked from Costco, just microwave! If you had one…), toast. “Snack” dinner of cold cuts, crackers and cheese. Fruit.

    Sorry to hear about the lasagna and the ensuing clean-up.

    Jamie AZ  |  September 10th, 2008 at 8:12 pm

  • Well, I thought I’d left a comment…

    My kids love breakfast for dinner - eggs, maybe cereal, bacon (pre-cooked Tyson from Costco, just microwave or toss in with the eggs), toast, fruit, etc. They also like quesadillas a lot, so we’ll do a cheese one of those with salsa and fruit. Or chips.

    Sorry to hear about the lasagna and the ensuing cleanup. That sucks.

    Jamie AZ  |  September 10th, 2008 at 8:18 pm

  • We do the hot dogs/take out pizza thing too. Sometimes a bucket of chicken (although it doesn’t come in a bucket any more).

    But my teenage boys favorite … breakfast tacos for dinner. Bacon, scrambled eggs, grated cheese, salsa (if I have some in the freezer - hash brown potatoes) piled in a tortilla! MMM good.

    Kelley  |  September 10th, 2008 at 8:21 pm

  • When I first went back to work I had the grand idea I’d take one day a month where I’d cook once a month so that we could just pull something out and pop it in the oven and then dinner was ready.

    Um yeah that person was on crack or something - I am ashamed to admit that McDonalds and Popeye know us by the sound of our car engine.

    PBamdJ or cereal are often on the menu here too.

    Mary  |  September 10th, 2008 at 8:30 pm

  • Nacho chips and cheese dip. Oh and salsa for the veggie.

    peepnroosmom  |  September 10th, 2008 at 8:34 pm

  • holy father, forgive me for I have sinned…forgive me father for I have actually given my children ……chocolate spread sandwiches for dinner…which is FAR worse than any of YOU lot!!!!!

    melissa qubti  |  September 10th, 2008 at 8:55 pm

  • Dino Chicken nuggets and rice with carrot sticks is my kids favorite and it is SO EASY to make if you have a rice cooker.

    We also do grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup as a very quick easy meal. I use whole wheat bread in the sandwiches to make myself feel better.

    My kids hate pasta or I’d make the mac-n-cheese or spaghetti and tomato sauce. Rotten kids will not eat it!

    Staci  |  September 10th, 2008 at 9:38 pm

  • pancakes pancakes pancakes..when my mom would work late my dad would HAVE to COOK….and cooking to him was pancakes!! So I’m just carrying on a family tradition…my kids don’t buy it but what do they know….its TRADITION people!!!!

    lizzy  |  September 10th, 2008 at 9:53 pm

  • 2 minute noodles with cheese or butter, for years and years. I think I may be responcible for Maggie being the wealthy company it is today.

    Maddy  |  September 10th, 2008 at 10:10 pm

  • Eggs and breakfast sausage that gets cooked in the microwave. Throw in a few crunchy carrots and it’s a meal.

    Jane  |  September 10th, 2008 at 11:16 pm

  • Mine is totinos pizza. I usually don’t even throw in salad. breakfast is always a good alternative.

    Lori  |  September 10th, 2008 at 11:40 pm

  • Oatmeal.
    Cold cereal with milk.
    Spaghettios.
    Plain pasta with butter and parmesan.

    More often than I care to admit.

    E. Peevie  |  September 10th, 2008 at 11:50 pm

  • One night, my husband was working late, I was so tired I didn’t even want to go for takeout, and we hadn’t been grocery shopping in… a long time.

    My daughter and I ate black beans: straight from the can into a bowl. I didn’t even heat them up. But, hey! No one complained!

    Robyn  |  September 11th, 2008 at 12:50 am

  • I do love freezer waffles for those nights. My kids would be completely happy if all we ever ate was PB & J with apples. I’m sure I’m going to give them some kind of aversion to PB when they’re adults. I can just picture it, they’ll tell their friends, “All my mom ever fed me was PB & J sandwiches.

    sarah  |  September 11th, 2008 at 1:32 am

  • I actually just told my family that Mom doesn’t cook in September…….ahahahaha……I have too many house projects going on(like you, Chris) that I wait until summer to do, because of our weather. Once the kids are back in school……..I am knee deep in projects right now……and as soon as fall comes……I’ll be all about yummy cooking, but for now, we either do takeout or sandwiches!

    Lisa  |  September 11th, 2008 at 2:56 am

  • mac and cheese with steamed (in the microwave) frozen veggies (carrots, squash, green beans) thrown in.

    granola bar, cheese stick, yogurt

    love the idea of breakfast for dinner, no meal planning required, and actually eggs/toast/sausage or pancakes are a treat, we don’t have much other than cereal for breakfast very often.. .

    shannon  |  September 11th, 2008 at 3:12 am

  • Along with lots of others above (PB & J, scrambled eggs with whatever cold meat and veggies are handy, etc) one favorite here is something my dad used to make for us as kids if mom was sick or out: macaroni noodles, drain about 1/2 way, dump in a can of crushed tomatoes and parmesan, salt and pepper to taste. (And basil and a turn of olive oil if you’re not feeding kids that scream at teh sight of green spices in their food). If you’re up for it, some grilled cheese or just some saltines.

    julie  |  September 11th, 2008 at 3:51 am

  • I am pretty good about cooking but sometimes…. I make “chicken tacos” Soft Shell tortillas, cheese and chicken. Sometimes without chicken. I try to lessen my guilt by serving salsa and a fruit of some sort. My kids love them and I ALWAYS feel guilty about serving them.

    Heather  |  September 11th, 2008 at 4:19 am

  • At least we’re all in this together, huh?
    Here’s my list…
    -Turkey hot dogs
    -PB & honey, that’s healthier than jelly, right?
    -Mac & Cheese, the “orange kind”. My kids rejected Annies “white kind”
    -Pasta, pasta and more pasta.
    And I always have baby carrots and applesauce on hand. I insist they have something that comes from the ground or a tree at every meal. That’s not too much to ask when you’re eating glow in the dark food, is it?

    PollyS  |  September 11th, 2008 at 6:03 am

  • I don’t have kids of my own. Ok yeah, I’m not sure what I’m doing on this site other than being a fan of Chris. Anyway, my mom used to do “Make your own dinner night” and my brother and I LOVED it. Now I see the games she was playing = )

    She let us pick whatever reasonable food we wanted for dinner out of the pantry or fridge…cold cuts, yogurt, string cheese, crackers, fruit, etc. We loved the hodge podge and the freedom.

    Andrea  |  September 11th, 2008 at 7:39 am

  • I have to say that I do breakfast for dinner. Sometimes its pancakes and bacon/ waffles and bacon, or just the waffles or cereal. Sometimes I have resorted to granola bars, and yogurt too.
    I used to feel like such a horrible mother over doing this, but I justify it by reminding myself that I cook dinner 8 days out of the week, so every once in a while I deserve a break………that makes me less horrible………….right?

    Chris says: Wow, I am glad that my week only has 7 days in which I have to cook ;-)

    Mel  |  September 11th, 2008 at 11:12 am

  • Scrambled eggs with a side of sliced tomatoes or carrot sticks…depending on what’s in the fridge.

    poppy fields  |  September 11th, 2008 at 12:57 pm

  • my ultimate bad food thats fed to the kids is banquet frozen dinners….they pick out what they want to eat and we buy like 3 of them and then those nights that i am wore out and hubbys out of town thats what they eat. so bad for them im sure!(and i dont eat frozen meals at all bleck)

    Tiffany  |  September 11th, 2008 at 1:07 pm

  • A big bowl of popcorn and some cut up fruit, veg, cheese… whatever.

    kris  |  September 11th, 2008 at 1:36 pm

  • Campbell’s Soup (usually chicken and stars) and goldfish crackers. I use the carrot nubs to make myself feel better, too.

    Cheryl  |  September 11th, 2008 at 2:38 pm

  • Soup, Chinese delivered, pizza, Taco bell, Wendy’s and yeah we end up with something like chicken nuggets, fries and a frosty even though I could be smart and get like a turkey sandwich orange slices and white milk….

    pb&j is not for dinner, it’s for when your too busy for lunch, it goes nicely along side some chocolate milk!

    My thoughts, if it’s gonna be a bad meal you might as well make it really bad and do it well. None of this milk with hot dogs buisness, we drink juice! haha I’m horrible really.

    I justify this by thinking to myself “if it weren’t for busy nights my son would have no clue what food the rest of the world eats is”. See, it’s a cultural lesson!

    Steph  |  September 11th, 2008 at 4:30 pm

  • I make French toast with regular sandwich bread and my handy dandy electric griddle. You’ve got some protien from the eggs, a little dairy from the milk, a little starch from the bread. Serve some fresh fruit on the side and you can pat yourself on the back. Never mind that they douse it liberally with powdered sugar and syrup, and are on a sugar high for an hour afterwards.

    And cheese tacos. Bacially unmelted cheese sprinled on a warm tortilla, with a veggie or fruit on the side.

    I do both of those a lot when hubby’s working late.

    Kimberly  |  September 11th, 2008 at 5:14 pm

  • My girlfriend and I were drinking margaritas the other night and here’s what we came up with:

    - Fire Roasted Tomato & Olive Oil Triscuits (or whatever cracker you prefer)
    - American cheese (or whatever cheese you prefer)
    - Pepperoni (or whatever meat you prefer)
    - Whipped Cream Cheese (optional)

    Put cracker on baking sheet, put slice of cheese on cracker, put meat on top of cheese.

    Bake @ 400 until cheese is melty.

    Tastes sort of like a mini-pizza.

    We put just a little bit of cream cheese on top of the pepperoni once it cooled down a bit.

    Served with carrots & celery.

    Sounds strange, but was delicious after several margaritas!

    kelly  |  September 11th, 2008 at 8:08 pm

  • breakfast burritoes - eggs, microwaved sausage, cheese in a fried flour tortilla… seriously HIGH calories…

    garbage omelettes… anything that is fryable… veggies, mushrooms, etc. with frozen ready to use bacon - eggs and any cheese… glass of OJ… use a BIG pan and you can feed 2 kids at a time …

    pizza quesadillas - leftover pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese - fried in a pan…

    fried… do you see a theme here?

    I try to put leftover chicken or turkey in smaller packages in the freezer to be thawed and added to SOMETHING… sometimes it is pasta and cheese… sometimes it is a fried concoction….

    fried…hmmmmm

    Paula  |  September 12th, 2008 at 2:16 am

  • Ramen Noodles…it’ll get ‘em ready for dorm life!

    Cooksonmom  |  September 12th, 2008 at 2:21 pm

  • The italian restaurant by my house comes in handy all too often. We do switch it up though, sometimes pizza, sometimes calzones, sometimes baked ziti or a lasagna…the great part is, it tastes hommade and you can go pick it up in 20ish minutes…i would definitely check the prices at your local pizza shop..they usually have more to offer than just your typical pizza pie with garlic knots!

    JD  |  September 12th, 2008 at 2:55 pm

  • I’m a huge fan of Dino Nuggets from Costco and I always make them for my hunger strike child b/c it’s the ONLY thing he’ll eat. Of course, my daughter won’t eat meat so I spend time making dino nuggets and noodles and you know what? I’d have been better off re-making the lasagne.

    shane_onegoodie  |  September 12th, 2008 at 5:17 pm

  • Don’t tell anyone.

    My daughter doesn’t like sandwiches so we pack leftovers for her school lunches.

    Sometimes we don’t have leftovers. On those days she gets Lean Cuisine.

    I mean, I microwave it and put it in her soup container. It LOOKS like leftovers.

    But really, it’s Lean Cuisine.

    Don’t tell anyone.

    rb  |  September 12th, 2008 at 10:10 pm

  • chicken nuggets or frozen pizza are pretty much our staples around here. No one likes hotdogs. Also, we do drive thru wwaaayyy too much when we are busy. Frozen waffles are always a good option too if they are tired of the above and we are in a hurry :) Glad to see you back on this site too…love your personal blog and this site!

    Kristin  |  September 12th, 2008 at 11:12 pm

  • Quesadillas - I buy tortillas and shredded cheddar at Sam’s if THAT tells you how often we have this.
    Grilled cheese
    Raviolis - another Sam’s buy - 5 minutes in boiling water, add a salad, and it’s dinner.

    Shannon  |  September 13th, 2008 at 1:26 am

  • umm … don’t you have fish fingers and baked beans in the States? nobody seems to have mentioned them. Here in Australia I add Bubble and Squeak cakes, which according to the packet, contain eight vegetables - though I’ve only identified five to date. Perhaps it’s because they are so hard to find that my vegi-phobic toddler scoffs them down.

    Sarah  |  September 13th, 2008 at 11:16 am

  • Now I know what my mom was doing when she called dinner a “smorgasboard”. She would put leftovers, almonds, dried fruit, cut up cheese and whatever other little bits she could find in tiny little bowls and let us have at them..my sister and I thought they were the best dinners.

    Andrea  |  September 13th, 2008 at 11:04 pm

  • today my boys had marshmallows for lunch. That’s right..you read correctly. I said marshmallows. That’s what they wanted and I was too tired to argue!

    We also do the breakfast for dinner thing-though my people call it backwards day. I too am a HUGE fan of the Costco dino nuggets, hot dogs, lunchables, kid cuisines, spaghettios, turkey roll ups or PB sandwiches.

    We also have one night a month that we designate as JUNK FOOD NIGHT. We take the kids to the store and they can pick out one pkg. of candy, one pkg. of cookie and a soda. Then we come home and make popcorn and put all the junk food in bowls and have a junk buffet!

    Melissa  |  September 14th, 2008 at 8:53 am

  • Cereal or Ice cream sundaes or Popcorn with or without string cheese- hey, they need protein!

    Tricia  |  September 15th, 2008 at 6:10 pm

  • Scrambled eggs and toast. Quick, hot and filling. Maybe a cut up apple on the side. Grilled cheese is a quick fav too.

    mila in wv  |  September 16th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

  • I have been known to make ‘breakfast for dinner’ in a pinch….aka, pancakes and scrambled eggs, bacon if they are realllllly lucky. Oh, and lately, if we are in a pinch with hockey, we do the Quinzno driveby :-)

    Tracey  |  September 16th, 2008 at 4:31 pm

  • black and mac.
    annie’s whole wheat mac and cheese with a can of black beans dumped in (protein!). and some frozen spinach sauteed in olive oil and garlic.

    = fabulous.

    rs1139  |  September 19th, 2008 at 4:33 pm

  • Well, my trick is to call what we’re eating a “variety plate”, which basically means I can throw together little piles of whatever there is and call it dinner. So you might have some blueberries, some wheat crackers, a slice of cheese, and some almonds, with some carrots there for show (no one actually eats them…). My daughter LOVES it and gets very excited when I announce that I’m making a variety plate…

    janewilk  |  September 21st, 2008 at 11:36 am

  • I was looking for a recipe and ran into Chris Jordan. She is hilarious - I’d love her to make a recipe book - I’d buy a bunch for my other non cooking friends, like myself.

    Carolyn Coggins  |  September 22nd, 2008 at 6:43 pm

  • i am glad i came across this site and read all these comments.
    good to know we are all in the same boat…..

    im actually english so heinz baked beans on toast and grated cheese feature heavily in our diet and spaghetti with olive oil garlic and parmesan………………..im sure my kids actually prefer these as they never complain…..bless them!!!

    lorraine jamieson  |  October 8th, 2008 at 5:22 pm

  • My kids’ favorite - frozen waffle (nutri-grain, of course! but who am I kidding…) topped with sliced bananas, vanilla yogurt, and maple syrup. Their dad likes to hand out carrots, sunflower seeds, cheese slices and crackers. Is that all the food groups? I can’t keep them straight any more!

    Lorraine  |  November 16th, 2008 at 4:05 pm

  • I know this post is old but I am dying laughing over all the comments. Now that I am a little older (but not kids just yet) I can look back on my childhood and recognize my own mom’s “secret dinners”. I remember BEGGING her for “soup and sandwich” night (canned soup and canned tuna sandwiches…which, for 5 kids, is still more work than I would consider allowable to be called a “secret dinner”).

    The best though was FYOF night - Find Your Own Food. No kidding. We loved it. Pretty much anything that wasn’t dessert was up for grabs.

    Moms! Don’t despair :) I loved these dinners my mom made for me and I really remember them quite fondly :)

    Liz  |  March 11th, 2010 at 10:40 pm

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