Elaina and I Cooking her Favorite Meal Together

Elaina’s favorite meal is lasagna. She loves it so much in fact, that she has consumed an entire large size microwave lasagna in a single sitting on multiple occasions. But since I am lukewarm on the dish and it seems a little difficult to make, I have never cooked it in my life. One of Elaina’s homework assignments this month was to cook a meal with her parents. She chose lasagna, which put me in quite the quandary: Cook a meal with her that I have been putting off since I was able to pick up a wooden spoon or try to convince her to do something easier (with the possibility of disappointing her)? Spoiler alert: It was a pretty easy choice.

Why could you have not picked something easy like waffles or quesadillas?
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The Calkins Family has been Busy

It has been almost a month since I last posted and for good reason: Team Calkins has been very busy. Ever since the girls got back to Arizona after New Year’s, our weeknight and weekend schedules have been full of activities. As I have stated before, when it comes to prioritizing whether I spend more time with the girls or write about what we have done, I am always going to choose the former. So needless to say, I am pretty far behind right now with what I want to write about. Hopefully, this post catches you all up to what the Calkins Family has been up to for the past month, even though almost each topic could warrant their own post.

Do you wanna build a snowman?
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The 2021 Cooking Plan

I love cookbooks and can never have enough of them. Particularly themed cookbooks. But I never use them as much as I should. That changed about five years ago when I went through them all, recipe by recipe, and wrote down every entrée, side, dessert, or drink that I was interested in trying. While knocking out new recipes got a little sidetracked a few years ago, we are finally getting back to it, adding new cookbooks, jotting down new recipes, and trying new things (as you could have guessed, The Disney Princess Cookbook got used the most this year).

“Please do not worry, Tiana; we will get to your Baked Caramel French Toast sometime this year.”
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Making Mealtimes Fun

So my oldest daughter has always been on the petite side.  She eats well, but is very active, and never seemed to put on any significant weight.  At one point, her pediatrician actually accused her mother and I of not feeding her, which was downright insulting.  Eventually she started gaining weight, and compared to my youngest, she is my “good eater.”  Now it is Gabby that wants to take her time with dinner, sometimes eating very little.  Since she is currently in the middle of her age’s weight percentile and that her sister eventually snapped out of it, I am not terribly concerned.  I just wish that they were not grazers and instead ate whole meals with smaller healthy snacks in between (as opposed to the other way around).  Again, thankfully, those snacks usually consist of cottage cheese, grapes, strawberries, carrots with hummus, and deli meat, as opposed to just cereal and gummies.  Either way, I try my best to make mealtimes fun in the hopes that they will leave the dinner table with both a smile and a full stomach.

Appetizers on the First Trip to the Park
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Cooking and Meal Planning

It may seem like I am quite the prolific writer for a blog that is only two days old, but after being a single Dad for more than 16 months, there is still a lot that my family has gone through that I have yet to post about.  I figured the next topic to tackle would be something that single Dads (and single Moms, for that matter) can have some trouble with:  Cooking and Meal Planning.  Not only can it be a tall order for any parent to find a delicious and nutritious meal that their preschoolers will actually eat, but it adds to the difficultly level when you have to find the time before or after work to prepare and cook this amazing meal.

Dad’s Big Helper
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