**Monday’s menu** Fried tofu. Mashed potatoes. Cheese. Brussel sprouts.
**The challenge** Ham leftover from Christmas (frozen and thawed) was on the menu, but it smelled “off.” Quickly disposed of, and I marinated some tofu and fried it up instead. Some considered the alternative delicious; but not all are tofu fans, even at its crispiest.
**Tuesday’s menu** Red sauce with local organic beef. Pasta. Bought garlic bread.
**The challenge** Prepared an enormous batch of sauce in the afternoon. But how to cook the pasta up fresh between swimming and soccer (half hour turnaround time for the whole family this week)?
**Solution** Kevin came home early to turn the water on and put the garlic bread in the oven. The bought garlic bread (impulsive purchase for which I am to blame). The kids loved it. Sigh.
**MIA** Something green.
**Wednesday’s menu** Black bean chili. Tortilla chips. Fried kale.
**The challenge** Cooked on the gas stove during an electricity black-out. A quick switcheroo from crockpot to stovetop at just the right moment saved the day.
**Thursday’s menu** Rice with peas. Marinated stir-fried fish. Cilantro pesto.
**The challenge** No real challenge, I’m just sticking with the theme. I enjoyed having a little more time to cook this meal. Fooey was keen to try these recipes from her “China” cookbook (library), and both turned out very well indeed. I used a bunch of leftover cilantro to make a pesto, which added flavour to the fish.
**Friday’s menu** Egg-fried rice (with grated carrot). Leftover fish.
**The challenge** Maintaining interest in cooking. Admittedly this can be a challenge most every day, but somehow seems worst by Friday evening. What? You kids want to eat AGAIN? Oh, alright, fine.
**Weekend kitchen accomplishment** Pizza for a crowd!
**The challenge** We doubled our population in children overnight on Saturday as our part in a babysitting exchange (our turn next weekend!). So we made homemade pizzas. Three with pepperoni and cheese and one with tapenade and mushrooms and onions. Guess who ate which?
**Cooking with kids** CJ’s menu.
**The challenge** CJ’s menu. It’s been CJ’s “turn” for two weeks now (and we were too tired to attempt it last week). CJ is showing little inclination to plan menus or participate in the cooking. Well, he is still only three. He was not at his best on Sunday and fixated on wanting to make sushi, which would have been lovely but takes advance planning. Cue enormous tantrum. So instead Kevin and I worked together to pull off a delicious Asian-themed feast of no-ketchup pad thai and hot-and-sour-soup. (Amusingly, we each used our cellphones as recipe books, looking up Obscure CanLit Mama recipes; ah, technology). Less amusingly, we cooked in tandem whilst our youngest lay upon the floor kicking the cupboards and howling random incoherent demands. Just to give you a little window of realism into what “cooking with kids” can sometimes be like. At least supper was delicious. And bedtime mercifully early.