Woe is the blogger who fails to post for a week. The brain blocks, the words fail, and the ideas, despite many meals and recipes made and served, evaporate.
But this blogger decided enough is enough and started writing about her success with one of the harshest critics she has encountered in her cooking career: a tow-headed, two-year-old Munchkin named Nick.
I had all kinds of foolish notions about how my child would eat. I would introduce vegetables, spices, herbs, and all the concoctions I prepare for my husband and myself before he could walk, developing his pint-size palate before he was capable of uttering "chicken nugget."
Things were going as planned in the early days of solid food. I stirred ginger into his pureed squash, basil into his green beans, nutmeg into his mashed bananas, and flaxseed into his porridge. He lapped it up; I gloated.
Then one fall day, Nick gazed at his seasoned mush medley, looked up at me, and said, "No! NOOOOOOO!!!!" No more mush, no more purees, and no more mashes. And bye-bye crazy concoctions, thank you very much, Mommy. My little baby wanted big boy food, sans spice.
Have I compromised? Oh yes. Have I given up? No way. I'm willing to risk 99 yuckys for 1 yummy--well, most days. A mother must consider self-preservation, specifically regarding her sanity.
Yesterday marked one of the 1 in 100 successes; the recipe's worth sharing, since I loved it too.
I've made pasta frittatas on several occasions, typically with spaghetti. I think the first one I ever made was from my Lorenza De'Medici cookbook ; it included about 1 cup of cream and 3 cups of cheese, but was worth every calorie. I'm not sure what sparked the idea to try such a frittata (albeit lighter) in pint-sized form, but it's likely the confluence of Nick's general willingness to eat all things noodle, my determination to have him eat (and like) eggs, and a promise to go on a picnic at Nick's favorite park. A muffin-sized frittata seemed ideal for both its potential and portability.
I decided to keep it simple, essentially macaroni and cheese, with some vegetables (ones that Nick has eaten, albeit occasionally) thrown in. [I used the whole eggs (he's a growing boy), but you could swap out a few for all white (e.g., 5 whole eggs, 4 egg whites instead of 7 whole)]. They loooked and smelled wonderful, but as I've learned, that is no guarantee in pleasing Nick. I cooled and packed a few, then added some grapes and milk to the bag before picking up picky Nicky from pre-school.
We made it to the park, and once seated, I unpacked the loot, trying to act nonchalant about the new offering. Nick eyed the frittatas, then picked one up. I held my breath. He took a bite.
One small step for mommy; one giant leap for kinder-kind.
Macaroni & Cheese Mini Frittatas
I've eaten my share of pizza for in the a.m., but until now, I've never eaten pasta for breakfast. These were excellent the morning after, warmed in the microwave. I can't wait to try some other flavor combinations. I'm not sure about freezing; I'll give it a try and let you know.
3/4 cup macaroni pasta (preferably whole grain or multi-grain, like Barilla Plus)
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled, finely grated
1 cup coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese
7 large eggs, lightly whisked
1/2 cup nonfat milk
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water following packet directions or until al dente. Drain. Refresh under cold running water. Drain well.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray six regular-size muffin pan cups with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the macaroni, corn, bell pepper, carrot and cheddar in a large bowl. Spoon evenly among prepared pans.
Whisk together the egg and milk in a medium bowl (transfer to a pitcher for easier pouring). Pour mixture over thepasta mixture. Bake 20-23 minutes or until just set. Remove from oven. Set aside in the pan for 5 minutes before carefully turning onto a wire rack to cool.
Camilla’s Notes: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving (you can nuke in the microwave about 20 seconds to do so)
Nutrition per Serving (1 frittata):
Calories 224; Fat 5.1g (poly 1.5g, mono 1.2g, sat 2.4g); Protein 14.9g; Cholesterol 40mg; Carbohydrate 28.7g; Fiber 1.1; Sodium 349mg)
(Note: I did the nutrition analysis using Diet Analysis Plus 7.0.1)