Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Shortcut I Just Can't Apologize For

There are lots of things we do as parents that we're not really proud of.  I mean, generally nothing that's going to damage our kids, but stuff that we'd be less likely to admit to in a room full of parents.  But there are little things we do to maintain our sanity, enjoy a little lazy time, or whatever. 

I probably give my kids breakfast for dinner more than I'd like.  I put on Paw Patrol or Team Umizoomi more than I should just so I can have a few minutes with quiet kids (well, one at least).  We've probably all snuck out of our almost-sleeping kid's room before they're totally asleep, just because getting back into bed five minutes sooner sounds so much better.  We pretend to be sleeping just in case it fools the kids into leaving us alone.  The list could go on.  But there is one parenting shortcut that I refuse to feel bad about.

The rotisserie chicken.

I try not to get them more than every couple weeks, but sometimes that is a tough battle to fight.  After all, what's not to like?  They're cheap, they're versatile, they're relatively healthy (once the skin is off), and everyone in our house likes them.  I spend $5 and get at least two meals out of one chicken.  Usually we'll have the chicken with a potato and a vegetable one night, and then I'll use whatever else I pulled off the bones for something else.  Sometimes I put the pieces in gravy and serve them over mashed potatoes.  Other times I've done chicken tacos or chicken wraps.  Sometimes I do Buffalo chicken salads.  A couple times I've used the chicken in a casserole that called for cooked chicken.  One of these days I'm going to try a Buffalo chicken pizza, though I have to perfect sauce that's not too hot for the kids.  The possibilities are endless!  Oh, and if you're my mom, you stick the rest of those chicken bones in a pot and make some chicken noodle soup, too! 

Usually I just get one at Wegmans, because I usually happen to be shopping when it hits me that I have nothing planned for dinner.  They've always been good, and we've had no issues with Jacob even though they don't 100% guarantee that there's no cross-contamination.  At this point, with as good as it's been, it's a small risk I'm willing to take.  Beware if you have a baby, though, since Wegmans uses honey in their brine now!

Last night, however, I had to quickly run into BJ's to buy diapers on my way home.  On the drive there I realized (yet again) that I had no plan for dinner (sorry, it's been a crazy week).  So, on a whim, I ran to the back of the store and was thrilled to see that they had some.  Not only that, they were bigger for the same price AND they were labeled as gluten-free!  Score! 

It works out perfectly because tonight we need a quick dinner, and the leftovers will come in so handy for that.  I feel like it provides the ease of take-out with the price tag of eating in.  Less than three bucks per meal for meat?  Not bad!  I know there are probably downsides to consider (I'm sure someone would love to share with me how the brines are full of sugar and the chickens may be abused), but it would take a lot to overshadow the ease of these chickens.  Still, I know I need to control myself.  Did you see the KFC commercial a while back where everything in the family's house was made out of the plastic containers the chickens usually come in?  They had planters, and toys, and I think someone in a robot costume.  I don't think we'll get to that point, because I don't want my easy dinner option to wear out its welcome, either.  Carter's been pickier lately and Jacob goes in and out of phases (right now he hates almost everything I make...yay), so my options are limited enough!  But since I lost some of my go-to last-minute dinner options when we had to go gluten-free, the chickens have been a lifesaver, and I'm pretty sure they're way better than any other processed option I'd have otherwise turned to. 

Anyway, this is not an advertisement for chickens or anything like that, but just an admission and joyful revelation that not all dinners have to be perfectly home cooked, nor does everything that you buy ready-to-eat have to be crazy expensive.  It's OK to take a shortcut sometimes, and I just wanted to share that this is one of my favorites!  (And perhaps I should take this as a sign that my life needs more excitement...)

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