What 's A Kid To Do After School?

An after school snack and homework always come first. TV? Sometimes, but we have created theme days for each weekday after school. Mya Mondays for when her very young cousin visits for an hour or so and Alex helps babysit. Make It, Bake It, and Take It Tuesday when we help Alex prepare a food item to take home and share with her family. Grandpa Wednesday is a special outing with just the two of us finding a restaurant with a great dessert. Grandma takes over with Crafty Thursday as she and Alex work on a craft project. And since the weekend starts after school on Friday, Relaxing Friday tends to find cartoons or playing outside as the goal.

Scheduling regular events like this sets a pattern that everyone, including Alex, looks forward to and enjoys.


Alex's Favorite Meatballs

Alex's favorite meal at our house always includes Porcupine Meatballs.  This is simple enough for kids to help prepare and they get to immerse their hands into the ingredients and play with their food.  

The ingredient list is simple:
2 - 3 lbs. ground beef or ground chuck (no more than 85% lean or the meatballs are too dry)
1 cup uncooked instant rice
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cups dried chopped onions (fresh finely chopped onions are fine but sautee until tender before adding to the mix)
2 cans tomato soup

Now the fun part begins.  Kids love the hands in the food stuff.  Break up the ground beef and toss into a large mixing bowl.  Add all of the dry ingredients and mix together with your hands until all ingredients are well distributed.  Now form into 1 - 2 inch balls.  Don't worry about trying to make perfectly round balls but do try to keep them approximately the same size.

Add the meatballs to a non-stick skillet.  Do not add oil and keep the meatballs in a single layer.  Spread the tomato soup on top of the meatballs until they are covered.  

Cook at medium to medium high for approximately 30 minutes. Turn the meatballs when they start to brown on the bottom  and add more tomato soup if they appear dry.  When done they should be some browning on the meatballs with some sauce remaining in the skillet.

Below is Alex's meal-to-go that we delivered to her uncle's family and to her house.


 Break up the ground beef into pieces and then let it come to near room temperature so your kids fingers don't get too cold when mixing the ingredients. 

This recipe is very forgiving - increase or decrease the quantities to suit your preferences and the end product will still be great.  

Scalloped potatoes and green beans are favorites accompaniments for these meatballs.

No comments:

Post a Comment