Now that my children are home and starting to adjust back to real life I have to tell you how much I love their camp. We have been planning for two years, since my daughter first went to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, that we would send both children at the same time when our youngest reached the appropriate age. This was the year. Up until two months ago I wasn’t even sure he would be able to handle going to camp. He is autistic and never been away from us for more than one night and then even only with close family for maybe 4 times in his whole life.
When we picked the kids up they were gross, dirty and smelly. They both couldn’t stop talking about the people at camp, their majors and how much they loved it and can’t wait to go back again. That my son actually had people around him as he was packing his bags talking and goofing around with him was amazing to us. Each camper gets a note from their cabin counselor and major teacher letting the parents know how the 12 days went. My daughter’s note was everything I expected about how caring and sharing she was of herself and her possessions. My son’s note was good too and how his counselor worked with him this week on how if someone disagrees with you it doesn’t mean they don’t like you. Wow! This is not a camp for special needs but his counselor got it and was able to help him through some of his tougher social issues. Now if we can just carry those skills over to home….
But, back to our meals.
We just had chicken last night for dinner could I pull off chicken breasts for diner two nights in a row? Of course I can! If you change the ingredients and the way the dish is served I found I can serve the same meat 3-4 nights during the week and no one really notices. If I find a great sale on meat there is a good chance we will eat pork, chicken or beef several times a week for several weeks in a row with little complaint.
Sometimes something simple is all that is needed for dinner. I had poached a few chicken breasts the other day. I chopped some up for the freezer. Having cooked chicken on hand is a great time and money saver on nights when I am not feeling like cooking and it saves us from ordering out. I can thaw it and throw it in stir fries, casseroles, and salads. Add different sauces and spices and the kids forget that they are eating chicken breasts 2, 3 or 4 days in a row. I just picked up chicken breasts for $1.89 a pound the other day so there will be quite a bit of chicken in our dinners over the coming month.
I pulled out two breasts to make into chicken salad. I wasn’t sure how this was going to go over as I like to make my chicken salad with grapes, nuts and mayonnaise. Something each child hates.
I tempered their view of the salad by leaving out the one thing they did not like or at least not as much. For my daughter, I mixed her salad first with just a little bit of mayonnaise. She prefers less so I just made hers first in a separate dish with just a few nuts. For my son, I mixed his with no nuts and more mayonnaise. For our sandwiches I added everything just as I normally do.
I served dinner with a green side salad.
For my mostly gluten-free son I just served his on an Udi’s gluten-free roll that I lightly toasted.
- 2 large chicken breasts, chopped
- 1 cup of grapes, halved or quartered depending on their size
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup + mayonnaise, to taste
- you may also with to add in any of the following: 1/2 cup toasted nuts (almonds or walnuts work great), small onion (diced), a stalk of celery (finely chopped), 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
- 4 large sub roll or a French baguette cut into chunks
- Add chopped chicken, grapes, mayonnaise and any other additional items you may like into a large bowl. Stir well. Taste and adjust spices or mayonnaise to your liking as needed.
- Toast roll in oven if desired.
- Add chicken salad to roll. Serve.