As a working parent, there's always a middle ground between work and home. Or work and 'the other work'. ROutines need to be flexible in both realms, as something can come up that throws off the plan.
For us, Wednesday was one such day. I was headed to a meeting two hours away, and was hoping to be home by dinner; Mr. Unwired was going to practice doing the Dinner Man thing without me. The need was for simplicity, both for Mr. Unwired and for Dinner Man.
The plan started with a chili recipe came from Six O'Clock Scramble. It was a good, solid recipe- I don't think it was revolutionary, but it was easy to make on Tuesday in the crockpot and leave for Dinner Man to warm on Wednesday. And it's made from ingredients the kids recognize and should be willing to consume without a fuss. But Dinner Man needed something to prepare, in order to get thatwarm fuzzy sense of accomplishment. Hmmmmm......
Bring on the corn bread!
I found this recipe on Real Simple. I cut it in half In order to bake it im my beloved silicone loaf pan), reduced the maple syrup (much to my kids dismay) and eliminated the extra butter/syrup drizzled on top at the end. The original recipe is here- the picture shows a shiny top because of the topping; mine had more of a matte finish :-) In general, my preference is to cut down the sugar the first time I make something; it can always be added back, but doing it in the reverse can lead to disappointment and tantrums (sometimes from me).
Here's my version. My seven year old did all the measuring and mixing, only asking for help holding the measuring cups while he did the pouring. It came out great, and the leftovers make a great breakfast bread toasted with cream cheese!
Maple Corn Bread (adapted from Real Simple)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted and cooled
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp maple syrup
Heat oven to 425° F. Butter a standard loaf pan (using additional butter not listed in the ingredients-- if you're out, use a neutral oil), or use a silicone pan and skip the butter.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the milk, eggs, maple syrup, and butter; whisk together the wet ingredients, then incorporate the dry ingredients until just combined (do not overmix).
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
Happy balance to you and yours!