Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Let the Battles Begin

I woke up this morning full of optimism and what I was going to accomplish today. I had my workout planned and altered as needed. I had my work meetings in the front of my mind and then I decided to start my Julie Julia project.

The meal for the day was Nest Eggs. Nothing fancy. A simple recipe of cooked eggs in the center of the bread and lightly drizzled with syrup. I mean who doesn’t like it when their eggs accidently get into the syrup when eating a large breakfast? Now I knew going into this little event that getting Sunshine & Diva Princess to actually open up their mind to these recipes was going to be difficult, but I was very excited about the project and what it could do for our family's dinner time. 

Eggland's Best Eggs
The meal for the day was Nest Eggs. Nothing fancy. A simple recipe of cooked eggs in the center of the bread and lightly drizzled with syrup. I mean who doesn’t like it when their eggs accidently get into the syrup when eating a large breakfast?

I pulled out my ingredients – note the Eggland’s Best Eggs. I’ve bought them off and on over the years because of the Omega 3s, but I tend to be a skeptic and wondered if my family would truly receive the value of the Omega 3s from the eggs. How can you just add a random nutrient to a food product and get the true value from it? However, because the Meal Makeover Moms love them, I have full faith that the product is helpful to my family and especially my picky not-so-little-ones.

My Cut-N-Seal made cutting
the circles easy.
I started my first Nest Eggs by using my Pampered Chef Cut-N-Seal to cut out the center circles of my whole wheat bread and put the bread the eggs on the skillet. Simple as pie, right? 

Sunshine and Diva Princess came down for breakfast. Sunshine was  amazingly quiet when I put the first plate in front of her. Princess asked, "If we try it and don't like it, can we have something else?" Is this a foreboding warning of what was to come? As I started making the second batch of Nest Eggs, Sunshine started poking at her eggs. My lack of foresight could have been the straw that broke the camel's back. One stab into the yolk and the yellow liquid poured over her toast. 
The finished product which I thought
looked pretty good.

The gauntlet had been dropped. 
Sunshine: "Moooom, it's all runny!"
Mom takes a deep breath.  "That's ok. You can have the next one" and I quickly punctured the yolks. I should have predicted that one, but I will claim lack of caffeine for the mistake. 

I presented a second plate to Sunshine and finally a third for Princess. Hollywood was still upstairs as any 15-year old would be trying to get ready for school. I still had plenty of time to prepare her breakfast and put another batch on the griddle. As Sunshine sat at the breakfast counter poking at her eggs, I tried to take a picture of her slightly pouty face, but my life was quickly threatened and I put the camera down. I explained to my little picky eaters that I needed them to eat three bites in order for them to truly give it a try. 

Sunshine said the eggs tasted like rubber, ate two bites and walked away because she needed to get into the shower to tame her wild, curly locks. Princess took one bite of the egg which was hanging outside of the toast and said she had eaten all of the egg. When I tried to explain that the center of the toast was actually egg, she was momentarily fascinated, but said the eggs didn't taste like her eggs. After five minutes of begging, pleading and cajoling her to give it true try, I sent Princess off to get ready for school. 

I decided to take a bite of Princess' Nest Eggs and I have to say that I agree. They don't taste the same, but why? Well, in my early morning haste, I turned the burner up a little higher....therefore, lightly over-toasting the bread and yet still under cooking the eggs. At that time, I remembered Hollywood's Nest Eggs which were still on the stove....burnt to a crisp. 

Ahhh, a great start to the day. Aggravation with 2 of my kids for their lack of open mindedness, disappointment that my one good eater would not even have a chance to try the recipe and a house full of a light smoky haze. 

What I learned from our first escapade into our Julie Julia venture:

1) Never try to introduce new foods at breakfast before school. In my disappointment and honestly - anger, I started our morning off on the wrong foot. I do not like taking my children to school when I am seething with pent up hostility. Trying new foods on a school day when we have limited time is definitely not a wise plan. In the future, breakfast recipes will be saved for the weekends or used as a special "Breakfast for Dinner" night. 

2) Don't turn the burner up too high cause no matter what no one will care for the results.

3) Just because mommy has bought into the idea of a new food project, it doesn't necessarily mean that my children have. I need to find a way to communicate to my kids the importance of keeping an open mind about food while not turning the discussion into a verbal war of words. 

On the way to school after a few calming moments, I tried to explain to my daughters that I am concerned for their health. Their typical breakfast would normally include either frozen waffles (with light or sugar free syrup) or a sugar laden cereal such as cinnamon toast crunch which always makes me cringe. At one point my Sunshine loved a certain pancake which included a sweet potato puree from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. To this day, she does not know what is in them and honestly, she doesn't want to know. However, I found it takes a lot of time to cook the sweet potatoes, puree them, cool and/or freeze them and then to bake the pancakes. 

My mind whirled with ways to make this process easier. Part of me wanted to ignore this blog and not even write about my disastrous foray into whineless meals, but then I thought I needed to give an honest report on what happened in my home this morning. The resulting chaos had less to do with the recipe and more to do with my poor choices and lack of cooking skills....even for a simple egg. 

I'm debating cooking the Nest Eggs again tonight for dinner turning down the burner and taking my time. In addition, I've also thought about just making each part of the recipes and keeping the toast separate from the egg due to the fact that my daughters don't care for mixed foods. Maybe if I take this one step at a time, I will have a better result. 

I know I have a long road ahead of me. Part of me knows I've created this mess that I am currently in with my children, but the other part knows that I don't typically offer processed pre-packaged foods to my kids and yet they have grown accustomed  to these processed sugar & sodium laden foods. I am trying to make changes within my home, but I also feel frustrated about society in general which will reinforce my daughters poor eating habits. When they were younger, I didn't want to have the dinner time battles we had during my childhood between my dad and my younger brother. I want peaceful dinners and to NOT create certain eating disorders within my children. Instead I feel I have failed and I'm still fighting to have a peaceful dinner time meal where I can have all 3 of my kids at least give the food on their plate a fair shake.


  1. It looks and sounds yummy to me!!!! Hang in there, I have the same struggles with my kids, you are so awesome for tackling the problem, keep it up!!

  2. Oh Carla!!! I feel for you!! Maybe Sunshine and Princess could help out in the kitchen making these wonderful meals.
    Knowing that they had a hand in making supper might help them eat it!

    I have learned what a control freak I am in my kitchen, always shooing them out all the time. I decided to try a different approach, "Let them help!" Actually this really does help in the long run, they enjoy eating it more and it's wonderful that they are learning how to cook! They also help clean up the kitchen which, well, who doesn't want that????

    I have a recipe for you to try:
    4 7- to 8-inch flour tortillas
    1/3 cup peanut butter
    1 cup chopped apple
    1/4 cup low-fat granola
    1. Spread peanut butter over each tortilla. Sprinkle with apple and granola. Tightly roll up tortillas. Cut in half. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Pack in insulated containers. Makes 4 servings.

  3. Jack loves those Holly!!! It's also tasty to mix mashed banana with the peanut butter!!

  4. Brian said that he likes nest eggs with the eggs cooked seperately as scrambled eggs and then put the whole thing together.

  5. Believe me, Jody. I thought about doing that as well. Baby steps....