I used to be a serious Food Network Junkie. I TiVo’d Paula Deen, Rachael Ray, Giada, Emeril, Next Food Network Star, Good Eats, Unwrapped…I honestly don’t remember what else. When he was three, my oldest used to know Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals intro by heart and would say it with her every time the show came on. “…Hi there I’m Rachael Ray, and I make 30 minute meals. Now that means, in the time it takes you to watch this program, I will have made a delicious and healthy meal from start to finish.” The Little People think we’re actually related to Paula Deen. But when we got busy preparing to move and then actually moved and then had to recover from the move, I quit watching Food Network for some reason. Probably because during that time I wasn’t doing very much cooking so watching it made me feel guilty.
Anyway, for some reason this morning I turned to Food Network while we were doing our daily “get ready for the day” chores. My daughter’s eyes have not left the TV yet. She can now make a homemade coke float thanks to Emeril, knows how to make a delicious vegetable fondue, can stretch our mealtime budget, and will be able to turn our chicken leftovers into a delicious soup. I had walked out of the room for a few minutes when I heard her exclaim, “I knew it! I knew she’d be here! She’s finally here! I’ve been waiting for her!” Before I even walked back into the room, I knew I’d be seeing Paula Deen in all her glorious Southern splendor dishing up pure love with a stick of butter. We’re supposed to be going to the grocery store but I don’t know how I’m going to get the Princess Diva to leave her Paula. Maybe if I can promise her we’ll get the ingredients for the white chocolate cocoa Paula was just making….
The cocoa reminded me of a side story: Monday the whole fam spent the afternoon in the front yard making a snowman. It was a real Hallmark moment for me. The Princess Diva and I were the first ones to go back into the house because the boys wanted to engage in a little snow warfare and she didn’t think that was an activity in which she wished to participate.
She said, “Mom, can we have hot cocoa?” Fortunately, we still had some homemade hot chocolate mix left over so I was happy to oblige.
“Do you want marshmallows in your hot chocolate?” I asked.
“It’s COCOA, Mom,” was her retort.
So we sat at the table and talked girl talk for awhile. We talked about our favorite chocolates (she likes the ones that have caramel in them) and favorite foods (“Of course you know I love PB& J best, Mom. You’ve seen me eat them everywhere!”).
“I sure am enjoying our hot chocolate date, sweet girl,” I said.
“It’s COCOA, Mom.”
Whatever it was, we had fun.
Okay back to the real reason for today’s post. I need your help, Barry Manilow (That’s an old Ray Stevens song. Good grief, how old AM I?!) I’m doing a little project. When I was home with the family right after Dad’s surgery, our incredible church family provided meals for us. What a HUGE help! Over time, I started collecting good ideas for “take over” meals (the meals you take over to someone’s house when they have a baby, surgery, etc.). I’ve decided I want to make a collection of recipes and helpful hints so that the next time I need to take a meal to someone (which will be this weekend, as a matter of fact), I can go straight to this collection and pick something from my list. So, I’m wondering what’s your favorite “take over” meal or “take over” idea? Do you have a standard meal that you usually prepare? If you’ve been on the receiving end, what was your favorite meal that someone brought to you? I’m looking for meals that can be put in disposable dishes so that the recipient doesn’t have to worry about returning anything. So, to my five loyal readers (and you’re exempt, Mom, so that brings us to four), what are your best “take over” ideas? If you have a great recipe and don’t mind sharing it, either link it or post it in your comments section. I’ll put them all together with the ones I’ve already collected and put them in a central place that we all can enjoy! Won’t this be fun?!
By the way, I’ve found a couple of really great recipe blogs that a couple of my new favorite bloggers have in addition to their every day blogs (lots of blogginess in this sentence). Meredith’s even has meal plans. Kelly’s has cool pictures to go with the recipes and is Paula Deen approved ;). Both have great ideas that sound delicious! I’m taking several of the recipes I found with me to the grocery store (if we make it out of the house before swim lessons!) to get the ingredients so we can try them!!