January 31, 2009

Breakfast for Dinner

Yesterday was the seventh anniversary of one of the three most amazing days of my life: the day my daughter was born.

My diva is a beautiful, bossy little thing ... admittedly, she is a lot like her mommy. At least in the bossy part. She is creative and clever, stubborn to a fault, and determined in all things to get her own way. She's pretty good at it, too.

We celebrate birthdays in our house with a meal planned, start-to-finish, by the birthdayee, and executed with much love by mom. I think I actually started this tradition in an effort to get my kids to like what I cook. It is painful to a woman like me, for whom food is both comfort and inspiration, that my children do not enjoy the real thing. They prefer nuggets out of a box, macaroni and cheese out of a box, waffles out of a box ... if it comes out of a box, it must be good.

Sometimes this serves me well - it's certainly a lot faster. But when I do go to the trouble to cook real food, it is just a little heartbreaking to be met with screaming tantrums from my lovable Aspie, a "this is disGUSting" all dripping with pre-teen attitude from my 7-year-old, or a determined "I don't wike this!" from my little guy.

So three times a year, I cook - real food no less - and it's something I'm absolutely certain at least one of them will like.

My diva's palette has expanded a lot this year. She's added several meats, a few more sides, and several vegetables - including broccoli! - to her repertoire. But she's had the same meal for her birthday dinner for three straight years now. You see, my diva's favorite dinner isn't dinner at all - it is breakfast.

So we had a dinner last night full of morning comfort and chocolatey goodness. Pancakes chock full of pink & white Valentine's M&Ms, bacon, scrambled eggs, and a lovely salad of blueberries and strawberries - really good when drizzled with a little bit of maple syrup - with bananas on the side for those who cared to have one. Heaven on a plate! My girl ate five - yes, you read that right - five pancakes, and a little bit of everything else. We stuck a candle in the first one and sang "Happy Birthday," thanks to my oldest, who realized that M&M pancakes are not only dinner but dessert as well. Even my little guy ate, though he did take a header into the syrup when he tried to dive across the table for more pancakes. My oldest, who doesn't like pancakes, eggs or strawberries, satisfied himself with a half-pound of bacon and a banana. So, something for everyone!

I love birthdays :-)

What's on my plate: Today, I must be feeling pretty red. Salad made with a pretty red baby romaine, roasted red peppers, flavorful Santa Sweets grape tomatoes, beets, tuna (which counts - it's pinkish) ... and some pepitas, green and full of iron, with a balsamic vinaigrette sprinkled over the top. Basically, everything I had in the house that seemed salad appropriate.

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