Monday, November 14, 2011

Rainbows and Waffles

Dinner wasn't going to be much to write about because when my husband is out of town on business I lose steam and lust for dinner after the second night. I really try and not give in to a frozen pizza or take out whenever possible, but there are those days when I am fried from work and commuting. But not this dinner... 

Now, this dinner wasn't as inspired as I wanted it to be but there were enough touches that took this dinner from "Meh" to "Zowie!" with my kids. The housekeeper had just cleaned the house from top to bottom and I did not want to do any more damage to the place than the kids can do to it in the two hours before bedtime. I remembered this great idea for using a waffle iron for your grilled cheese sandwiches and let me tell you, you have never seen two kids run to the table so quickly for dinner.

The six year old couldn't believe his luck and the two year old kept yelling "Pah-cake! Pah-cake for me!" They were giddy with joy. It reminded me of how excited I used to get about using my beloved Snackmaster, this little contraption that would toast and envelope whatever filling you put between two slices of bread. To a gangly ninth grade latchkey kid coming home from a harrowing day of high school drama, this was my transport to a happier place. I'd make myself a toasted sandwich after school and sit and watch re-runs of The Monkees till I was able to cope with the homework and the onslaught of phone calls from friends about who said what while running the 10-minute-mile in P.E.
My favorite concoction was to take two slices of Home Pride white bread and scoop some canned cherry pie filling in there and make a mini toasted cherry pie. Both the white bread and the canned cherry pie filling were no no's in our house, so I often bought those items with my babysitting money.

Back to present day, what took those waffle grilled cheese sandwiches to the next level was the Rainbow Salad. For some inexplicable reason my son requests this salad on a regular basis. I get a little tired of it, but I had all the ingredients for it and decided to quickly throw this together. What I love about this salad is all the subsititutions you can make - for red we use cherry tomatoes, yellow is corn, orange is grated carrots, green is either cucumbers, avocado or edamame and purple is purple cabbage. Throw that all in a bowl with some dressing and dinner was totally done. I had a ton of leftovers with the salad, so I ate it for lunch the next day with some diced rotisserie chicken. So many ways in which this was a winning dinner: 1) Minimal cleanup 2) Veggies were consumed without any fuss and 3) The kids think they got away with murder by having a waffle-ized grilled cheese sandwich. 

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