Mr. F. and I were the parents to three teenagers last week. We have done this two times before for this particular family, so we knew what we were getting into. As these particular kids are really well behaved and pretty self-managing, I only really stressed about one thing: what am I going to feed them all week. I stress about this not because they are picky eaters, rather because I have a need for people to love my food. And even if Mr. F. is technically the one cooking (as he did this week), I still want the kids to like to food because I am the one who decides the menu. In the past, we have had a few misses--like the bean chili with goat cheese recipe I tried out for the first time on them. (It wasn’t a favorite with me either.) This year though, I think we were successful. We received positive reviews both from the kids at the time and afterwards via the parents.
Spicy Chicken Sandwiches: I am not a huge sandwich person--meaning that I very rarely clip recipes involving sandwich making of any sort. It seems like sandwiches are the sort of food items that shouldn’t need a recipe. This is probably why I never really like the sandwiches I make for myself—I am not very inventive and they aren’t very good. Something however, made me clip this particular recipe and try it out. I am glad I did because it is very tasty. Some notes: I have used both chicken breast halves and chicken tenders. I think the tenders are easier. The mayo is a must. We used whatever tortilla chips we had on hand to great effect (although I am sure it would change the nutritional info.)
Baked Ziti: Again, I am not a huge baked ziti fan. Probably because I have been unimpressed with all the examples I have tasted. I always thought lasagna to be much preferred. However, I came upon this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated and it is Yum-my, with a capital Y. This was by far the favorite of the week with the kids willingly eating leftovers. Can you really go wrong with pasta and lots of cheese? I don’t think so.
Burritos ala Chipotle style: this was an easy, peasy, slap-it-together kind of meal. Beans, cheese, salsa, guacamole, tortillas and Chipotle style rice. It takes as long to put together as it takes the rice to cook. We had the kids build their own which they liked too. Bonus: minimal cleanup. (Can I even really call this a recipe? Questionable.)
Corn Chowder. I love this soup. I love this soup so much that I have already blogged about it, so I won’t belabor the point. I wasn’t sure, however, how it would translate over to a teenage audience. Was it a bit yuppy for them, with the different flavors and textures? I think it received the weakest acclimation at the time, but I did see one of the boys go back for seconds. This made my heart pitter patter with culinary joy. Plus, we made a ton of it (doubled the recipe unnecessarily) and it was done by the end of the week.
This took the kids until a few days before their parents came home. It was at this point, Mr. F. turned into a piggy piggy (aka, succumbed to the swine flu) and quarantined himself at our house. I ended up having a number of engagements in the late afternoon/early evening which prevented me from cooking, so the last few days of our stay the kids resorted to eating leftovers one evening and frozen pizza the next. Oh well. I think they survived.
So there you have it: four teenage-approved recipes. However, I also humbly submit that adult audiences might also find them appealing as well.