Friday, August 31, 2007

Entertaining Children

Entertaining families with children can sometimes be difficult. You never know the likes and dislikes of the children. My children are not picky eaters, but I do realize there are some families with children who will not eat anything but hot dogs. What do you do? I always try to have a very simple, common meal planned. I make sure the children or their parents prepare their plates. This way they can get the portions they desire and leave anything out that they absolutely can not swallow. I do want to add here that I believe it is very important that we teach our children to at least try things if nothing else for the sake of politeness. I can handle a child who will not eat things, but I have known adults who will not eat anything but mashed potatoes and chicken. We do have the one bite of everything rule in our house. We did this with brussel sprouts last night. I bought a small amount because I knew the kids would eat one a piece and then be thrilled to be done with the whole experience. WRONG! I fixed them a new way and they loved them. We did not have enough to go around. Back to entertaining. It is good to always serve something safe with children. Chicken or pasta dishes are usually safe. Cook-outs are good too. Burgers and hot dogs are usually pretty popular with the kids. I have a good Lemon Chicken recipe that is very good and different, but common enough for the children. My Broccoli Casserole is also popular with them. There are way too many good things in it to be healthy! I have also done hot dogs just for the kids when I wasn't sure. Do not let families with children intimidate you, just go simple.

Broccoli Casserole

Broccoli Casserole
2 boxes chopped broccoli(cooked)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can Cheddar cheese soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 egg

Mix all ingredients. Place in casserole dish. Dot the top with butter. Cover the top with crushed Cheez-It crackers. They have to be Cheez-Its. Knock off brands do not work as well. Bake at 350 for 30 min.

This dish can be assembled a day ahead. Just add the crackers and bake when your are ready.


1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 skinned, boned chicken breasts, halved, pounded to 1/4 inch thick (about 1 pound)-I do not pound them that thin. Only enough so cook quickly. Maybe 1/2 inch or a little more.
5 tsp. vegetable oil
1/4 c. low sodium chicken broth or white wine
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. capers, drained

Combine flour, pepper and paprika on a plate. Press the chicken breasts into mixture, coating evenly and shaking off any excess. Heat the oil over moderately high heat for 1 minute. Add chicken and cook 3 minutes on each side; do not over cook. Transfer chicken to a heated platter. Add broth to pan, scraping any browned bits on the bottom. Stir in lemon juice and capers and heat through. Pour sauce over chicken. Serves 4.

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