I bet you never thought that I’d prepare something like this in my kitchen. I can’t believe this happened or that I would admit to it publicly. Why would anyone ever think this is a good idea? But Joe heard someone on talk radio mention they had eaten tater tot nachos and, suddenly, we had to try them! With persistent
nagging encouragement from Joe, I found this recipe which seemed similar to the one discussed on that satanic talk show. Don’t believe what anyone says about tater tots being a good substitute for nacho chips. Unless, perhaps, you deep fry them, they aren’t going to hold up the toppings, and instead you’ll be eating a mushy pile of guilt.
I don’t like talking about guilt or feeling guilty when I eat. Generally, if I decide I’m going to eat something that I know isn’t the healthiest food choice, I’ll enjoy it without the guilt. I’m not going to be one of those people who, as she is stuffing her face down a large waffle cone of ice cream, is simultaneously saying “Oh, I really shouldn’t have this.” Guilt won’t make it taste better or healthier and I’m not going to apologize to onlookers for my decadent choice. But with these tater tot nachos, I just couldn’t get away from feeling guilty about eating a serving of tots with cheese, sausage and sour cream. Not as my arteries shrieked as it went down. You might say this is because this decadence wasn’t my idea, and you’d be right.
Okay, now for the counter balancing point of view. If you like tater tots (and, like most of you, I do like this childhood favorite form of greasy potato), and you get good sausage and delicious cheese, this can taste pretty good. Oh, and if you fry up a whole ton of peppers from your garden along with the onions, you can increase the health factor of this dish. Oh, and did you notice the abundance of green toppings I sprinkled on top? Still… not healthy. It’s not a recipe I will repeat and it’s definitely not going into The Delicious Dozen.
At this point in the post, I bet you can guess the wrong way to go about testing and choosing dishes for your Delicious Dozen. If you try recipes that run contrary to all of your normal eating and dietary preferences, chances are they won’t become contenders. Just because some radio talking heads say it’s good, if it doesn’t fit the way you normally eat, it’s not going to make you or your family happy. I forgot to mention that Louisa wasn’t a big fan of the tater tot nachos any more than I was, and Joe didn’t seem to love them, either. He didn’t go for a triple helping.
On the other hand, here are the ways you might want to approach the challenge of putting together your family’s list of Delicious Dozen recipes, if you’ve accepted my reasons for wanting to take on this challenge.
1. Think about your most basic requirements for a repeatable, favorite, family friendly recipe. Will each dish have to fall within a certain cost per person served? Will it need to be completed from start to finish in under an hour? 30 minutes? 10 minutes? Will it need to be prepared with non-perishable ingredients such as frozen vegetables because you don’t get to the market frequently?
2. Do you have health dietary requirements in your family? Religious restrictions? Allergy constraints? Vegetarians to please? Need gluten-free ingredients?
3. Look at grandma’s recipes and other traditional recipes that have always been prepared in your extended family. Those recipes have become favorites for a reason. Could they become part of your nuclear family’s dozen favorites?
4. Finally, what are your family’s favorite ingredients? Can you find recipes that incorporate those ingredients? And dessert favorites, such as chocolate, don’t count unless you’re going to make chicken with mole sauce one of your go-to recipes!
Take five minutes now and write down your basic requirements for a list of Delicious Dozen recipes for your family. Later this week we’ll talk about places you can begin to find recipes to test as you begin to work on your collection.