This post is brought to you by Bertolli. Don't just eat, Mangia!
Life with young children can be exceptionally wild, completely untamed and altogether unfiltered - ninety nine percent of the time. Parenting breeds uncertainty and a certain amount of insanity that you wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. Though our journeys may be different, we will all eventually arrive at the same conclusion in our lives. At some point along the way, when no one was looking, the days, months and years began to fly by at the speed of light. Those difficult parenting moments and struggles that seem so big at the time begin to melt away and what remains are the memories from many of life’s little moments. The moments we hardly consider important as they unfold, we only later realize just how special they truly were.
As parents who are both entrepreneurs and business owners in completely different fields, the time we have to spend unplugged and focused on our family is often limited and frequently conflicting. To say that those moments are more valuable than gold would be an understatement. It is important to us that we celebrate life’s little moments every chance we get and help create those special memories for our babies to cherish later on.
Having two boys who thoroughly dislike having to take time out of their day for eating, means that mealtime is often a struggle and can be time consuming, to put it mildly. There are very few foods that everyone agrees on at any given time and one or both are typically resigned to simply not eat if given the chance. Pasta is truly one of the only things that both boys adore and that happens to be easy to add protein and vegetables to without it being so obviously detestable. But this can be a bit of an undertaking and with limited time to enjoy these beautiful wild animals of mine… let’s just say it is a great day indeed when someone makes this easy for me, with a meal that is easy to prep, in no time at all and that happens to be absolutely fabulous. Because life should be spent making memories and not slaving away in the kitchen or arguing over what to eat.
When dinner begins to feel like a chore and I start to dread the entire endeavor, it helps to switch things up and do something different. I love to sit and eat a proper meal with these cute boys, and nothing says excitement like getting to do the things we normally don’t. Drinking out of real glasses, eating on real plates and buttering our own bread are the most exciting things to happen to a toddler and an eight year old who adores eating at fancy restaurants. We do these things on holidays and special events, but it isn’t the same when it requires hours of prep beforehand. With the Bertolli Skillet Meals, I can toss it into a pan and in ten minutes it is ready to eat. It takes less than a minute to get it started which leaves me free to fill the remaining 9 minutes with a few other special touches to make our time more enjoyable.
Warm bread with butter and Himalayan sea salt are a new family fave, and a balsamic dipping sauce comes together faster than you can say, ‘pass me the bread, please’! We are all lovers of olives and brussel sprouts so I take any chance I can to add those to the mix. Our favorite Chicken Florentine and Farfalle pairs well with a Pinot Grigio which is a lovely and light treat for the over 21 crowd – making it perfect for our somewhat early dinnertime and to help provide distraction from the chaotic but fun and funny process of trying actually accomplish sitting at a table with little boys.
We linger and chat when we sit down to eat. There is never any rush, and yet still there is much in the way of commotion and movement. The boys are generally abuzz and love to tell stories about things that happened during their day. I love listening to them talk with their wildly creative and interesting minds. They are each so different and yet they find an amazing amount of common ground despite their age difference. Oh how they adore each other, the greatest gift of all. It is so easy to slip out of the habit of slowing down and taking the time to have these adorable conversations. Before long their words will change from things they saw and ideas they have to what they are rushing off to do and who they have plans with later on. But for now, there is no end to the imagination that unfolds during something as simple as sharing a meal.
If only I could slow things down and freeze time for just a bit. I suppose I wouldn’t get half the workout I currently do, since we spend 80 percent of our time chasing one or more children out from under the table and one or more dogs away from the table.
I think life is meant to be lived and loved and there is no one on earth I would rather laugh and linger with than these crazies. I choose to enjoy it now and let them be kids. To live in the moment and cherish the crazy and the chaos as it comes… which is currently on rotation about every 4 minutes or so.
I am seriously grateful for such a fabulous and simple solution for a delicious meal that my boys will willingly eat. Bertolli Skillet Meals are truly one of the few meals they will eat anyhow, so while the convenience alone puts this at the top of my list, the fact that it’s a family favorite makes it idyllic. Because I would rather spend my time listening to these little beauties any day of the week than attempting to prepare an over the top meal that they won’t actually like. A home cooked meal with no interruption aside from the commotion of these young boys is always my favorite way to spend an evening.