It may be easier to enjoy the perfect summer dinner on your back deck under a dusk sky with friendly neighbors and 3 kids...without the kids.
But if you share our situation and can't "debaby" yourself partly because nobody sane would willingly choose to surround themselves with 3 babies, all under 2, in a sans AC home on one of the hottest evenings of the summer without making a bagillion dollars per hour, then plan to impress your guests with a fool proof easy menu.
Also keep in mind, when you plan a dinner with lil' ones, give yourself lots of time and flexibility. Babies are like dominoes, when one falls they all do. Felix, our friends lil' guy, was upset because the pack-n-play in an unfamiliar setting did not fool him as his bed. Costello was upset because Felix's "unfamiliar setting" was his room. And Dashen wanted a boob. Hopefully mine, but with the rate he's putting on weight, likely any would suffice.
Before the days of meltdowns, Brian and I would enjoy spending an entire afternoon planning and shopping for exquisite ingredients needed in one of the many scrumptious meals out of the pages of a William and Sonoma cookbook. But, we are now in our baby days, and cookbooks aside and dusty, I've come to the conclusion that pretty much anything works on sticks. Hotdogs, popsicles, marshmallows, all simple items glorified on the stick. Our combination of top sirloin, crimini mushrooms, green and red peppers, pineapple, and onions only helped prove my "stick" theory.
Our kids are too little to build their own kabobs, but what fun these will be for the boys to make when they are older. We had everything prepped in lil' bowls and just skewered away in our kitchen, then fired them on the BBQ for about 5 minutes. The result...a very impressive, very easy, and very enjoyable meal. Serve with white rice and you're good to go.
For an easy side, whip up a watermelon salad featured in this months "real simple", consisting of watermelon, torn mint leaves, sliced red onion, and salt and pepper. I also added a touch of white balsamic vinegar to give it a bit more bite, yum.
And the best part about kabobs, leftovers. Lots of leftovers. Easy "we are too tired with no time to cook" leftovers.
Ok all this talk about food has made me hungry...must go and eat...and craving a corndog. If only the circus was in town.
Until next time-ABCD.