Friday, October 21, 2011

Home-cooking restaurant

     A little background info: Our family loves to go out to eat. My husband in particular loves to go out to eat. As in he would love to go out e-v-e-r-y d-a-y. It is never hard to convince him to go out. I don't know why because his mother and his wife are amazing cooks (yeah I know that is a little vain--but mostly true.) Unfortunately it costs money to go out and eat. That is something we are always in short supply of. Now that I am trying to be careful of what I eat I also wouldn't make a very good dinner companion. Does that mean I will never go out to eat again? No, but if I am going to do this challenge then the next 30 days I probably won't be much fun because I will have to ask "what is this made out of, and what is in that et cetera  . . ."
   So last night I had planned a meal (planning menus in advance is the KEY for our family to not fall to the temptation of eating out.) When I opened my recipe I realized that it was going to take a lot longer to make and cook then I had planned and dinner probably wouldn't be ready till bedtime. I racked my brains to see what else I could make in an instant. I looked in the fridge and saw something amazing. A fridge full of leftovers! We are not very good at eating leftovers at our house. Josh takes them for work the next day sometimes and that is about it. Yet with all my cooking adventures there were some yummy treats in there! I decided though that if we were going to eat leftovers then we needed to spice things up!
     So first thing I went to Josh and asked him for a HUGE favor. I asked him if he would just go along with it and have fun. Make believe isn't something he engages in enough, if you ask me, so I knew this would be a little stretch. Not knowing what "it" was, he quickly agreed to the favor. Next I told him for dinner we were going to play restaurant. A BIG smile came to his face as he thought that meant that we were going to go out to eat. Then I explained  that we were going to eat leftovers but restaurant style. The smile faded but he still agreed.
     To set up the restaurant, I pulled out all the leftovers to see what could be made quickly with them. Then I typed up a cute menu with a picture of the above house on in. Can't a girl dream that it was in her dream house and not in her actual house? Then I quickly whipped up some whole wheat pumpkin bread (recipe can be found on my new favorite website for dessert. I then lit a candle in the middle of the dining room table, wrapped up four sets of silverware in a napkins and asked Josh to take the boys to the front door. Lastly, I threw on a waiters apron--my husband works in the restaurant industry so we have all sorts of fun things like that. (You know the dishcloth looking thing with ties?) I was ready for action.
    I welcomed them into the house, gave them menus and asked what they wanted to drink. I brought out their choice of milk or water and then took their orders. I then brought out paper and crayons for the kids and some homemade bread and grapes and carrots for the "munch" food. I quickly heated everything up and served them their entree choice. While we were eating my 5 year old exclaimed "I love this restaurant!" It was a fun healthy night had by all. And even though we still had to do some dishes, there weren't that many so it almost felt like we had really gone out out eat.

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