I find it a bit humorous that little girls spend a majority of their play time pretending to be an adult. While my son is off playing with a Batman figurine or crafting another piece of art to hang from our mantel, my daughter is busying herself with making sure all her animals are asleep, whipping up such delicacies as banana spaghetti pie and dusting anything she can find. She received a coffee pot for Christmas, which has been one of her favorite gifts by far. Most days she can be found either brewing coffee or washing the coffee pot so she can brew more coffee.
Little girls devote all this play time to imitating real life ¦until suddenly they are adults and the tasks of putting babies to sleep and doing laundry do not hold quite the same appeal as it once did (okay ¦putting babies to sleep still holds some appeal but laundry not so much).
Perhaps girls start practicing for their future roll as mom because mommyhood happens to be terribly busy. It takes a lot of skill to change diapers, vacuum up Goldfish crumbs, help Thomas navigate a wobbly wooden track, administer kisses to bumped knees and banged heads, cheer on the latest accomplishments, cook supper that is both healthy and acceptable to the delicate palates of young children, find creative ways to say no to the latest wild idea (catapult your sister off the end of a yard stick, anyone?) and keep up with the aspects of life. People often wonder how moms do it. Perhaps it is because we have been practicing from the moment our chubby toddler fingers could push a wobbly toy stroller around the house.
I practiced cooking many a meal on my Little Tikes kitchen growing up. Perhaps such practice lead to my success in the kitchen last night. I whipped up a tasty little dinner for casa de phillips in record time, despite the fact we were gone all morning, I had spent the majority of the afternoon writing and one child had attended school that day (Do school days make things a bit crazy at your house or is it just here?). After I posted my dinner success on Facebook, I decided I should share it with the blog world as well. It may not be banana spaghetti pie, but it is pretty good. And it is easy, which always wins an award in my book.
Steak Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Rice and homemade pico de gallo
Step One: Sprinkle salt and pepper over a nice quality steak (Tip: wait for a sale and buy quality meat. Cheap steak is cheap for a reason). Chop up about 1/4 of an onion and toss it in the bottom of a crock pot. Throw the steak on top of the onion, cover with either beef broth or water. Cook on low about five hours, depending on thickness of steak.
Step Two: Continue on with life as normal while the steak simmers away in the crock pot.
Step Three: Make up a big bowl of Pioneer Woman's pico de gallo, taking care when handeling the jalepeno.
Step Four: Toss a bag of Bird's Eye frozen brown rice into the microwave and cook according to directions (Moment of honesty here: I cannot cook rice to save my life. I have no idea why. I cannot even cook it in a rice cooker. Thus, I have turned to frozen steamable rice. Please don't judge my lack of rice making skills.).
Step Five: Heat up whole wheat tortillas in the microwave. Sprinkle water on two paper towels and wrap around tortillas before placing them in the microwave for 22 seconds. (We only eat Central Market tortillas here, which I purchase fresh on the day we plan to eat them. Yes, I am a tortilla snob. You will be too once you try these lovelies.)
Step Six: Chop up a bit of cilantro and juice half a lime. Stir into cooked rice, adding butter and salt as needed.
Step Seven: Pull out cooked steak from crock-pot. Shred with two forks.
Step Eight:Lay everything out on the table family style . Let everyone build their dream taco with ingredients provided (I also put out sour cream and cheese). Listen to the appreciative oh's and ah's come from your family's lips.