Last night dinner was an epic win. The kids were raving and even my husband said “I think I like this better than spaghetti.” I didn’t know whether to just smile and say thanks, or to tell them my secret. It was spaghetti.
If you’re wondering how my crew didn’t realize they were eating the same thing they’ve eaten dozens of times, well the answer is actually pretty simple. It just looked different!
To back up a little bit, I used to sit down on Saturday morning and plan my week. I decided what we were gonna eat and made my grocery list. Then I did all my shopping in just one trip. I was organized and prepared.
Then my kids got old enough to dig in the pantry. Things disappeared faster than I could buy them. I’d shop for the week and by Tuesday we were out of food. They’d eat dry cake mix and cans of peas. They’d go through frozen waffles faster than toilet paper. The bank account was bleeding out. Suddenly, I realized I needed to ration the goods.
I started shopping for one day, maybe two. This way, they couldn’t wipe out our budget quite as fast. But going to the store every day gets exhausting. Especially when you’re running kids from football, cheer, or soccer practice- one more pit stop is the last thing I need sometimes.
Now, I try to keep a few things on hand for the tired days. It rarely goes as planned, but it does keep me out of Walmart from time to time.
Last night I was digging in the pantry and I realized I had everything I needed to make chicken spaghetti, except the spaghetti.
I could’ve ran to Walmart for a box a spaghetti, but I know what happens. I go in for a $3 box of pasta and come out with $89 worth of laundry soap and toilet paper. I wasn’t feeling up to one of those trips, so I kept digging.
I found two giant bags of garden rotini. So, the answer was clear! Chicken rotini it is.
Well, it wasn’t all rotini, I had half a box of farfalle bow ties to throw in the mix.
I decided noodles are noodles, and so I used my tried and true chicken spaghetti recipe with substitute pasta.
Trenton ate two plates of it- the same Trenton who doesn’t like chicken spaghetti. Then the kids started talking about how good this new dinner was.
I chuckled inside, knowing these colored noodles tricked them all. But when my husband joined in and said “I think I like this a lot better than your chicken spaghetti,” I could barely contain the giggles.
I guess I’m the only one who knows we had chicken spaghetti in disguise. Now I’m thinking about all the other standard recipes in my head, and I’m looking for ways to reinvent them.
It’s kind of like that old Girl Scout song… Make new friends but keep the old. Only we’ll make new dinners out of the same old stuff.
Watch out Rachel Ray, I put chicken rotini on these dinner plates… And my Blondie just stopped by for leftovers!