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Kaitlyn’s “Speggetti”

My nieces Kaitlyn (10) and Julia (7) are staying with me for a few days.  I knew I wouldn’t have any problems occupying their time and entertaining them, but I was a bit worried about feeding them.  In the time I’ve spent with the girls, my observations have been that they are quite particular about what they eat.  I was so concerned about not being equipped to feed them that I asked my sister to send me a list of what they would and would not eat.  Here’s what I got back:

For lunch:  Grilled cheese sandwich (Kaitlyn can have ham in it if you have some, Julia likes just cheese), Quesadillas (Kaitlyn can have ham in it if you have some, Julia likes just cheese), Cheese buns, Crackers & CheeseKaitlyn will eat wraps with lettuce, meat, cheeseJulia won’t eat this though, you can either make quesadillas with the tortillas with just cheese or melt cheese on top of the pita.

Ok, got it… they both like bread products with cheese.  Kaitlyn will branch out and eat ham/meat, Julia just wants cheese.

For dinners:  They will both eat meat – just tell Julia it’s ribs :)
Kaitlyn doesn’t like meat that’s too fatty. She likes white chicken meat over dark. Julia will eat meat as long as it’s not too spicy. She’ll eat the brown chicken meat, steak, ribs, pork. They both eat burgers and hot dogs.  Julia does not like cheese on her burgers.
Huh?  The girl who only eats cheese for lunch will not eat cheese on her burger?*

I do not have kids, so I do not understand how difficult it is to get them to eat, and as I only have the girls for a couple of nights, I wasn’t about to get them to branch out and try new things.  My plan was to try to get them as involved as I could in their eating experience while they were with us.

Lat night, I had the girls in the vegetable garden to pull out some garlic, zucchini, beets, cucumbers, potatoes and black berries.

Kaitlyn posing with her bounty.

Julia is proud of the cucumber she found.

Neither of them like beets but they found they make good musical instruments.

For dinner, I made bbq chicken and was able to give Kaitlyn light meat and Julia dark meat.  Easy peasy getting them to eat their meal and everything on the plate was devoured. I even had them trying raw zucchini (with lots of dip) which they didn’t think was as horrible as when it’s cooked.  Yayyy Auntie Susy for a successful dinner!

Kaitlyn told me she really wanted to make me her special spaghetti sauce for dinner.  Who am I to squelch the enthusiasm of a budding chef in the making? I told Kaitlyn that for the next dinner, she would be the head chef and I, her assistant and asked her to make me an ingredient list so we would be properly prepared.

With ingredients in place, and a clean kitchen to start, we were ready to make “Kaitlyn’s Speggetti”.

Kaitlyn’s writing down her recipe, so I could recreate the dish without her. Recipe is included below.

While Kaitlyn was busy with her recipe, I browned a pound of ground beef.

Kaitlyn delegated the cutting of the onions and garlic to me, her prep cook. She carefully cut up a red pepper and carrot.

Although I disagreed with how much onion to put into the pan and suggested we cut the carrots down a bit more after learning the minimal cooking time of the sauce, I really did try my best to let Kaitlyn lead the show.

Kaitlyn explained that you knew when the sauce was properly seasoned when you could taste the spices without having anything overpower anything else. And if you taste the sauce, you couldn’t taste one of the spices, then you add a bit more until you could.

Overjoyed with Kaitlyn’s enthusiasm in the kitchen I prepared myself a big bowl of perfectly seasoned sauce, which I devoured delightfully.

With its 5* rating and over 138 million likes, how can you go wrong?

* Apparently, Julia does not eat cheese on her spaghetti either, which I only learned after I poured a huge handful on top of hers…

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