Monday, November 22, 2010

Hidden Treasure Shrimp & Shells

I know I should technically be on the second or third round of recipes, but sometimes life happens. Or life happens and you don’t get to the grocery store to buy all of the required ingredients and that small window of opportunity is lost.

After the disaster that was Nest Eggs, this mom was a little gun shy. Between basketball games, speech & madrigals practice, dance and tumbling, I found it hard to get motivated to try anything new with my family dinner. So, I became a slacker providing minimal meals which just needed to be pulled out from the freezer.
Yesterday, however, an emotional show down between me and Sunshine triggered the fact that I couldn’t hide anymore. I had to face the fact that my kids are picky eaters. I even had the sad thought that I like to go out for dinner because we don’t usually have knockdown, drag out fights at a restaurant dinner table. Only at home. We couldn’t act like imbeciles in public! So instead we allow our children to eat unhealthy foods in order to keep the peace.

Not anymore.

Tonight was the night! Sunshine and I agreed to make the Peppermint Meringue Snowballs for us and my world famous chex mix for a class party on Tuesday. The jury is still out on the snowballs since Sunshine just pulled them from the stove; however, we did make the Hidden Treasure Shrimp & Shells for dinner tonight and I must say all and all I will call it a success.

Hidden Treasure Shrimp & Shells
 Now unfortunately, I did not have the complete recipe. I was missing the edamame from the recipe, but in order to make progress on this project, I decided to forge ahead and make the dinner anyway. The recipe was very easy to follow. I am relatively sure I didn't screw this one up.

Hollywood wasn't home from madrigals practice yet, but we decided to sit down to a family dinner anyway. Heck, let's face it with my two picky eaters I could still be sitting at the dinner table anyway waiting for them to finish. As soon as they saw the shrimp, they started grumbling. "Do I have to eat the shrimp?" "Can you leave some of the pasta out of the sauce?" OH well, grumble as they may I was determined to have a peaceful, successful dinner tonight.

Sunhine & Princess each sat down with a small scoop of Hidden Treasure Shrimp & Shells. They survived the first few bites of pasta, but were terrified by the thought of actually eating a shrimp.

"What's the pink stuff? Is that veins?", asked Sunshine.
"I can't do it, mommy. I just can't do it.", whined Princess.

I calmly explained that I heard someone recently say that it takes seven bites in order to determine if you really like something new. "Oh please, mom, don't be that person." cried Sunshine.

Oh yes! I am that person. I had nothing on the agenda for the evening and was more than willing to sit at the dinner table for the rest of the evening until the pasta was gone and shrimp was at least attempted.

Suddenly, like a streak of lightning illuminating the sky, a fork flew by with a shrimp gorged on the end which somehow, magically wound up in Sunshine's mouth. All I could do was look at her in amazement.

"I had to do it fast, mom, because when I went slow I talked myself out of it. I could see all of the veins in the shrimp." I gave Sunshine a high five and congratulated her on the big strides she had just taken. When I asked her if she was going to eat the other shrimp, she said she didn't like the crunchiness of the shrimp. I calmly explained that if she wanted to try a Peppermint Meringue Snowball she was going to need to eat the other shrimp. We stared at the final shrimp for a few minutes and decided he looked like an army guy with his pasta shell as a hat. I tried to take the picture from various angles, but this is all I could come up with.

Our Army Guy Shrimp
After a few moments of careful thought, she quickly stabbed the shrimp and several pieces of pasta and put it all in her mouth without another thought. The hurdle was jumped. The mission complete. The plate was clean.

Princess' eyes welled  up in tears. Now she knew the attention was going to be focused on her. I took this video of her trying to eat the shrimp.

 In the end, Princess didn't like the shrimp. Of course, I don't think she gave it a fair shake either, but we made progress....she ate the shrimp without a HUGE fit. Progress is being made and that is all I can expect. Hollywood, of course, had no problem with the dinner. This was HER pick. For tiny a little pip-squeak, she can certainly eat. She loaded her plate up with the dinner and ate it all.

Hollywood's Dinner Plate -FULL of Hidden Treasure Shrimp & Shells
The Final Ruling:
Sunshine gave it a mixed review. At first, she didn't care for the seasoning, but eventually she got past that. Instead, the mixed review came from the fact that she didn't care for the shrimp, but even a partial thumbs up is a victory indeed!

 Next came Diva Princess. She didn't care for the seasoning at all. AND she didn't like the shrimp. So she gave it a thumbs down, but honestly I don't think she hated it as much as she says she did. There just weren't enough tears for an out and out thumbs down.

And finally we had Hollywood. Remember that full plate? Well, this is a picture of her plate....about halfway through. She finished most of it. Unfortunately, Hollywood needs to learn how to fill her plate by her stomach and not necessarily her eyes!
Hollywood gave the dinner two huge thumbs up! She loved it and I must say that Camo-Man & I agree. I liked the taste. I loved the shrimp and pasta. AND I really loved that it was so easy to make. 
This dinner will definitely be on our menu in the future and maybe, just maybe, we'll start to see those thumbs turn toward the sky as the picky members of our family learn to appreciate a wider variety of foods.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent job girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sunshine and Princess are getting there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm proud of those girls!!! And proud of you Carla, keep it up!!!!