You say Tapas, I say Deli.

You say Tapas, I say Deli.

Feb 16, 2017

I went out of town last weekend for a trip to the Wind City. As always, it was great to get away, but my household will remain in complete disarray until this coming weekend. With Valentine cards and boxes to make along with birthday celebrations, the week continues to unravel into piles of candy, clothes, unread mail, and school papers.

Where am I going with this you may ask? Yes, you guessed it, I am building up to an excuse. However, I am following up that excuse with a creative idea for you. I will come back to this, but I have a question for you – when was the last time you utilized a grocery deli for your dinner?

I can tell you my answer – almost never. I have never been one to think about a deli as a dinner option. This week, I put the deli to the test for dinner. Here are some general observations:

-          Zoning in on just the deli/produce area helps you lean towards healthier choices – less processed and fresher.

-          Rotisserie Chicken is just plain delicious and my kids love it (they are a tough crowd).

-          I spent less money than I would if we had gotten take out, it didn’t take much more time, and I have lots of leftovers.

-          The deli is next to the bakery. That could be a pro or a con for you, take your pick on that one.

-          The deli is also right next to produce, giving you lots of easy side dish options to grab on your way to checkout.

Back to my idea for dinner. When in Chicago, we went to a tapas restaurant (sans kids). If you like appetizers and love a variety of Spanish dishes, then Café Ba Ba Reeba! on Halsted, in Chicago, is for you. In hindsight, we realized that 12 dishes may have been overkill for four people. Yet delish.

Tapas Restaurant.jpg 

Regardless if you are making dinner for yourself, friends, or your family, sometimes it is all in the presentation. Almost anything seems special if you take a few extra minutes to make it so. And even steak doesn’t seem that great if you are standing in the kitchen eating over the sink.

Last night, I did not have much time at all. Here is what I did when I visited County Market: I saw a huge display of strawberries and angel food cake cups on sale right when I walked in. There was my dessert and fruit (adding a quick trip to grab whipped cream). I kept going and picked up a Rotisserie Chicken, potato salad, and then grabbed some Naan bread in the bakery (I already had shredded cheese at home). I also had a vegetable at home.

When I got home, I quickly cooked the Naan bread in the oven with some shredded cheese while preparing everything else. I cut pieces of chicken, and prepared the side dishes and dessert and put it all on the table appetizer style for everyone to share and make their own plates. Here is a quick snapshot of most of the items I prepared:

Dinner Collage.jpg

I told the kids I had a feast ready for them and lit candles as if we were at the restaurant I visited over the weekend. It didn’t take much time at all and they had fun sharing the food and having conversation. Making dinner a little more fun created a different atmosphere for a few minutes and that caused all of us to slow down and enjoy each other’s company.

Since my kids could pick what they wanted to eat, they ate more than they usually would and since I didn’t have to spend much time preparing dinner, I actually sat down with them. Yes, ten minutes later one of them was in time out and the other was arguing about doing homework, but it created a nice window of time, however small, for all of us to sit down, take a big breath, and just enjoy dinner.

I hope this blog post inspires you to do something creative for dinner, be it deli items, frozen, or leftovers. What do you do get out of the dinner rut? Share your ideas in the comment section on my blog page or in the Facebook post.

Family Dinner.jpg

- Maureen

A Marketing Mom Striving to Get Out of the Fast Food Lane and into the Grocery Aisle

 



Category: Family Dinners

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