August 6, 2014 by Heather
Parker loves to watch cooking shows. As in, he will come up and ask to watch Pioneer Woman. It’s adorable. He also loves to watch me cook, and he’s old enough now to help out a little, which is his most favorite thing ever in the whole entire world. I’ll pull a chair over next to the counter and he holds onto my shirt and the refrigerator handle and takes it all in. Sometimes he can get grabby and I have to remind him to hold onto the fridge, but for the most part he stares in amazement and offers some commentary – “orange carrot,” or “Parker eat green pepper.” It’s actually a pretty good way to get some veggies in him, because he will eat whatever I hand to him when I’m cooking. I’ll have him pour some things into a bowl or stir this or that and add a little salt to a fake bowl of nothing that he thinks is big time. When we’re making cookies I’ll hold the bowl down at his level and he will put his little hand on top of mine while I use the hand mixer. “Parker helping!” He really loves it.
And yes, it can get messy. But he has so much fun helping that I don’t mind doing some extra clean-up from time to time. Yesterday we were making dinner and he miscalculated his stirring and flung a spoonful of diced tomatoes in between the counter and the fridge which made for some interesting damage control. Nothing a few paper towels can’t do.
For dinner last night we had one of my & Parker’s all-time favorite soups – Andrew likes it, but not near as much as us kitchen cooks do. It started a while back with an actual recipe I found somewhere that got morphed into something totally different each time I made it, until I finally got it just how I wanted it and wrote it down real quick so I wouldn’t forget. It’s easily morphed. I like recipes like that. It’s also really great reheated the next night (I just put the entire pot in the fridge), and then the next day after that for lunch.
Southwestern Vegetable & Rice Soup
(serves 4 with leftovers)
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 cup onion, diced
4 carrots, peeled & diced
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 can each of:
-pinto beans, rinsed & drained
-black beans, rinsed & drained
Half a bag (or more) of frozen corn
1.5 tsp of:
1 box (or 2 cans/4 cups) of chicken or veggie stock
1 cup uncooked brown rice
In a large pot, cook bell pepper, onion, and carrots in olive oil until soft. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add all the cans of stuff & seasonings and stir. Add entire box of stock, cover, and bring to a boil. Stir in the brown rice and reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 45-60 minutes, until rice is cooked, adding water if necessary.
Serve with a giant dollop of sour cream/greek yogurt and tortilla chips!
My post last week received a good bit of feedback, the majority of it positive. I would like to comment on a couple things though – 1) I was not complaining; and 2) Andrew & I have recently had some very good talks on new ways to discipline Parker and are implementing them very lovingly yet firmly. I appreciate all of the encouragement and comments!