Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Not My Mother's Grocery List

Amazingly good roasted brussel sprouts
(recipe at end of post)
My mother is a wonderful cook. When we were little we ate very well, but like most households probably ate the same 8-10 meals that Mom had in her rotation. We ate a lot of chicken, a pork chop thrown in there every once in a while, spaghetti and meatballs, steak on special occasions and I remember a veal cutlet popping up once in a blue moon. My brother and I were not picky eaters by any means, and were lucky to eat the delicious meals my mom prepared for us every day.

But as I was just cleaning up from our dinner of grilled Veal chops, roasted fingerling potatoes with garlic and onions, and roasted beet and goat cheese salad, I was thinking about how there were so many things that I was not exposed to when I was young, because my parents didn't like them.

In the past 12 years or so I have become what I consider to be an amateur foodie. I love to eat out at new and exciting places, and try out of the box (I hate that term with a passion) dishes. There has never been a food that I would not try, and I love that my husband is the exact same way. And now I am trying to groom my daughter to have an extensive palate as well. In fact she just sat down with us (for her second dinner - the first was barely touched hours before) and enjoyed bites of veal, beets and goat cheese. We are now in the habit of doing this most nights, and so far there isn't much she won't eat.

I think about all the stuff that I make at home for my family that my parents would never think of serving to us as kids; lamb, brussel sprouts, beets, fancy cheeses from France, butternut squash...things with truffle oil, to name a few. And out to dinner I love to be adventurous, and if M is with us I am shoving things like foie gras, duck or sweetbreads in her mouth.

I feel like I missed out on so much in the food department when I was growing up because there is a lot my parents won't eat, even today. Like I said the food was delicious, but it wasn't until I was out of the house and living in Boston that I really began to experiment with food. Now I love going to Whole Foods and grabbing a fruit or veg that I wouldn't normally buy and pairing it with some random sort of cut of meat for dinner.

My hopes is that by M trying all of these wonderfully delicious items that she will grow up being an adventurous foodie like my husband and I, and not be a picky eater like the majority of kids out there. Yes, she likes her PB&J like the rest of the kids, but lately she has become a grazer and if she will eat the veal chop over the PB&J, that is fine by me!

Are your kids adventurous eaters? If so, share some of their favorites in the comment section...

Roasted Brusel Sprouts
-Heat oven to 400 degrees
- Wash and cut brussel sprouts in half, place on baking sheet
- Cover with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss together
- Roast for 20 minutes, the stir with spatula
- Roast another 10 minutes
- Turn on your broiler
- Take brussel sprouts out, and drizzle your favorite creamy balsamic dressing over them, and then sprinkle fresh grated Parmesan cheese over top
- Broil for approximately 2-3 minutes or until the cheese melts
- Remove and enjoy!!

I like to get the sprouts a little burned on the outside so they are crispy. You will change your mind about brussel sprouts forever after eating them this way!! And so will your kids.

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