When I was pregnant with Tobin I heard about a book called Hungry Monkey: A Food Loving Father’s Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater. The review said it was funny, it talked about food for the baby and us, and that it was short. So I bought it. Fast forward to a couple of weeks after T’s first birthday and I finally got to read it! And it cracked me up.
The author, Matthew Amster-Burton, is a food writer, a foodie, a dad, and a blogger. He and his family are based in Seattle and he works from home (and restaurants). I liked the book a lot, I laughed out loud a few times, and Amster-Burton’s writing is down-to-earth. Some foodie stuff I read is way beyond my skills and understanding, but that didn’t happen with this book. I also like that Amster-Burton is very aware that he has a lot more access to ingredients than a lot of us do (he suggests substitutes) and that he has a lot more time to cook than most of us.Â Anyway, overall the writing was very entertaining and it inspired me to make a couple of the dishes.
This is one of my favorite things to eat at restaurants that do it well. I wanted to make it for my family. Amster-Burton’s recipe said it was easy. Unfortunately, I haven’t made it yet because my grocery store didn’t carry many of the ingredients (including the noodles). When I have time to hunt the ingredients, I’ll try it!
Stone-Cut Oats and Candied Bacon
I like stone-cut oats and am always looking for new ways to cook it. And candied bacon? Sign me up! It was good, it was easy, and it was filling. It takes a little while to make because stone-cut oats take a little while to make. The only problem I had with it was that it was a little too rich for me. I think if I’d had a smaller bowl and maybe a side of fruit I would have enjoyed it more.
Shrimp and Grits
I love shrimp and I love grits, so trying this recipe was a no-brainer for me. I cheated on the grits part, though. I got 5 minute grits. But I did manage to make grits correctly for the first time in my life! And sauteing the shrimp in the bacon fat made them perfectly salty and cooked without covering up the shrimp taste. I loved this meal. My family? Nicholas looked at me like I was insane when I had him eat a shrimp, William doesn’t like shrimp but ate a big bowl of the cheesy grits, and Tobin liked the grits. So, not so successful for the rest of the family, but really good to me!
I plan to make some more of the dishes from Hungry Monkey, and I’ll definitely make the shrimp and grits again. My verdict is that you’ll like this book if you’ve ever worried that your kid will grow up eating only peanut butter crackers, you’ll like it if you even kind of like to cook, and you’ll like it if you like to eat. Even if you don’t plan to ever make any of the recipes, you should read it. If nothing else, you’ll enjoy reading someone else trying to figure out how to use the crock pot correctly.
What are your favorite meals for the picky eaters in your life?