Kid Approved Easy Pasta aka He Hates Spaghetti

I love almost all things FoodNetwork– the good, the bad, the artery-clogging butter, and spiteful dessert chefs that compete each week.  Luckily the kid does too!  Sillyboy’s favorite chefs include Alton Brown, Rachel Ray, and Paula Deen and always asks why my food and desserts never look like that. Or he’ll pick out the most complicated time consuming (albeit most delish looking) recipe and ask for us to try it.

“Ummm….maybe next time. We have to find those kitchen tools.”

I’ve convinced him he should be a chef himself so he can get paid to make all this stuff when he’s all grown up.  After a few viewings of Ratatouille (hey that Rat is somehow super adorable and I envy his passion for cheese), he’s convinced too.  So we work him into the nightly dinner routine, finding small things he can do.  He can wield a plastic knife with the best, play spin-cycle machine with greens in the sink, and dig for kitchen utensils in the farthest reaches of our tiny kitchen drawers. But stirring, stirring is somehow not cool to him and so he will only do so for about 10 seconds before wandering off to his Lego table.

Another thing I should mention about Sillyboy is that he loves ketchup, hates marinara. Hates anything spaghetti/tomato sauce related.  So 99% of any pasta dish I have is thrown together sans tomatoes.  Pesto is a great tasty alternative, but the kid can’t handle his garlic!  He totally didn’t get those taste buds from me, I daringly enjoy full cloves of marinated garlic in hummus. #nom  But I found a FoodNetwork easy recipe from Giada DeLaurentiis that he consumes plentiful.

Lemon Spaghetti recipe

There’s only 7 ingredients, and instead of spaghetti noodles, I used cellenteni because it’s a fun pasta shape (corkscrews) you could eat with your fingers if need be and we usually don’t have regular long pasta around since we don’t dine on noodles/marinara.  Sillyboy uses our cheapy (Dollar Store) self-juicer after I’ve halved the lemons, and gets to cranking on the black pepper grinder.  I think we normally use about 3 lemons but it’s so yum- and really great even cold for a few days afterwards as leftovers.  It’s not vegan, but it’s vegetarian and I haven’t met anyone who’s tried it and didn’t enjoy.  What’s your go-to pasta dish that doesn’t include tomatoes?  Is it easy or does it maybe require a lengthy sauce?  Can your kid chip in to help and how?

P.S. Counting down the days (and perusing more BLW Youtube vids like this one) and getting sweaty-palmed as we venture forth with NO baby food for Bambina.  Only a few days ’til she’s officially 6 months old.

Upcycled Banner for Kid’s Room

Sillyboy is getting smarter, older, bigger, (wiser?), and just growing up so fast.  He’s long made the jump from toddler bed to his personal twin size bed as well.   His taste in toys has jumped from Thomas the Tank Engine to Cars, and then to Star Wars and recently Lego Ninjagos.  So this all effects his decorative walls in his bedroom often.

We had a pile of picture book sleeves lying around- you know, the glossy full cover paper flaps that supposedly “protect” the book while advertising its pictures on the front.  I thought I could keep them for something or other (mod podge craft time!) since they were a futile attempt to keep the books beautiful forever, and besides, where’s the fun in that?

Using a few of these book sleeves, an empty wrapping paper tube, a yard of random yarn/ribbon, and a bunch of masking and packing tape, we created a banner to hang in his room.  Here’s the backside:

It isn’t very pretty from that view, but it is a project that is kid-friendly.  He selected the book sleeves, helped tape them together, and decided the layout.  It is something he can proudly point at, talk about, and display in his room because we’ve read these stories many times.  And now he’s reading them all by himself!  I don’t know how much longer he’ll enjoy our cheap/easy art adorning his walls, especially since his new found love of Harry Potter is only growing, but it’s a nice way to keeps his favorites in mind.

 

Every time I look at it, I want to read Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree all over again!  (sorry for the crooked picture!- still using my phone as the no. 1 resource currently).  What do you do with your bookcover sleeves?  Anything creative?