My main job is to please all people at all times…a recipe to help me

In an ideal world, my children look this happy all the time…

Unfortunately this is rare. Super rare. There’s normally something wrong with one of them, and mealtimes are a huge source of disagreements. Whilst I love that they will eat pretty much anything, I hate that they have free will and know what they want to eat and when.

I’ve spoken about this before with my nacho salad, but most weeks there is at least one day where I have to invent some kind of meal that will please both my children, when both want completely different things for dinner.

I don’t even know why I ask them what they want to eat. I’m certain I wasn’t asked when I was a child. We just got what we were given. And if we didn’t like it…we ate it anyway. Unless you’re my brother, then if you didn’t like it you slapped great big handfuls of it up under the kitchen table and prayed that no one noticed. It was a long time before anyone did 😂

I think maybe I do it just to break up the conversation a bit on the way home from school. This journey normally consists of the boy telling me the longest story ever about some inane shit that has happened at playtime, involving made up rules to a made up game being broken, and the inevitable fallout, punctuated with the kraken screaming from the back that she’s hungry (she’s always hungry, I don’t starve her, it’s just her default mode. She is the only child I know that will scream that she’s hungry, whilst she’s got a mouthful of food)

So to break up this monotony, and to stop me pulling clumps of my hair out, or sticking knitting needles in my ears, I change the subject. Not unlike my daughter, food is always at the forefront of my mind, so I ask the first thing I think of, “what do you want for dinner?”

Sometimes this goes well, they both request the same thing. Or, and this is the best possible scenario, one or both says they don’t care! Bonus, I get to cook whatever I want! About once a week though, they don’t request the same thing, and they both very much do care what they have for dinner.

That was what led to Nacho salad, and now, it is what led to cheeseburger pasta. I think this one is also fairly self explanatory 😂 the boy wanted burgers, the kraken wanted pasta. It’s actually pretty good, and we’ve had it quite a few times since. It’s now become one of the meals they both request at the same time on the same day, so subsequently, it’s become one of my favourites 😁

Again, I’m sure lots of other people have written down recipes for this, but this is my version and it works pretty well.

Method

Start by boiling your pasta. Any old shape will do, and although I’ve put a quantity in the recipe, we all know that no one in the world ever weighs pasta. You simply put enough in the pan to feed you family, then add some more so you can feed the rest of the street too.

While that’s boiling fry the mince, add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper, and cook until the onion is soft and the mince is brown. Then chuck in all the other ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes, or until some of the liquid has evaporated.

Mix it all together with the pasta, and add half the grated cheese.

Put it all in an oven proof dish. Top with the rest of the cheese and the gherkins. Pop it under the grill until the cheese bubbles.

Top with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and onion, even cooked bacon if you want, and a drizzle of burger sauce. And that’s it, done.

Burgers and pasta all in one. Both kids happy…until the next time, whenI had to make pulled pork lasagne 😂

Ingredients

440g pasta shapes

For the meat mixture

500g beef mince (the fatty mince is cheaper than the lean one, so you can get that and just drain the fat off once it’s browned)

1tsp garlic powder or half a chopped garlic clove

1/2 onion chopped

1 x can chopped tomatoes

6tbsp tomato ketchup

2tbsp American mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings

250g grated cheddar

2 gherkins sliced, or a few mini gherkins

Handful of shredded lettuce

2 salad tomatoes

1/2 an onion chopped

Burger sauce

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