As a Mom you would know, 1. No two kids are the same, 2. They will find anything and everything to argue about, 3. The easiest thing will turn into a long, dragged out drama on any given day, 4. It is not easy to make one meal that everyone will like.
Of course there’s more, but these are 4 things that come to my mind when I think of dinner. Or any meal for that matter. Heck my kids argue over a pancake!
Mealtimes, are like marathons around here. I’m lucky if I get to sit down longer than 30seconds, or get warm food to taste! Better yet, even get my fork in my hand before someone is taking my food off my plate. Some days I know what’s coming, other days it’s as if I was smacked in the face and run over by a stampede of my own kids, and in that case it’s a battle zone. It gets crazy, so when I come across something there’s never been an argument over it’s a must to share.
The one of very few meals I’ve come across that have made it through several years of never getting old with the kids is, a Hero Loaf!! You start with a basic recipe and after you make it once, you can whip up your own different fillings. I bake two of these, each with different filings, slice them up, and serve with dipping sauces. My kids grab and dip in silence. Yes, SILENCE! It’s a tearful ending to any meal I’m telling you. Your taking bread, slapping in meat of choice, or going vegetarian and coming out on top a Hero. Or in my case a Supermom!
Hero Loaf- makes one
3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 envelope Active Dry or RapidRise Yeast
2 teaspoons Italian Herb Seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup very warm water (120 to 130F) <— I always tell you this, test that water, it’ll make or break you with the yeast!
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
3 ounces thinly sliced cooked ham
3 ounces thinly sliced provolone cheese
1 (2-ounce) jar sliced pimientos, well drained
1/2 cup pitted ripe olives, drained
1 egg white, lightly beaten
In large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, Italian herb seasoning, and salt. Gradually add warm water and oil to flour mixture; beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 4 to 6 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. (With RapidRise Yeast, omit rising; proceed with shaping.)
Punch dough down. Remove to floured surface; roll to 14 x 10-inch rectangle. Layer ham, cheese, and salami lengthwise over center-third of dough; top with pimientos and olives. With sharp knife, make cuts from filling to dough edges at 1-inch intervals along sides of filling. Alternating sides, fold strips at an angle across filling.Place on greased baking sheet; cover. Let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Brush loaf with egg white; sprinkle with sesame seed. Bake at 400F for 25 minutes or until done. We like to dip these in a couple things, salsa, marinara sauce, left over spaghetti sauce even, it’s great alone as well.
The ones below all have different fillings, the One on top (which didn’t rise very well, I made the mistake of leaving the fan in the kitchen,) is filled with sharp cheddar cheese and broccoli.The other two on the bottom are filled with simple sandwiches meats. Yeah, sandwich meats, in a pinch if all you have is slices of meat, show no fear, whip up a Hero Loaf! I’ve filled these breads with pretty much anything I’ve got laying around, left over chicken, roast beef, hamburger even, chop up the burger toss it in with cheese. Try the original first, and see how you like it, it’s easy, after that be creative and have fun creating your own. The kids love to make this with me so get your kids into the kitchen with you!