I have been having major cravings for all my favorite childhood snacks lately. SpaghettiOs, pizza bagels, pizza bites, Hormel chili with tortilla chips, oatmeal cream pies, fruit hand pies. Just about anything that comes in a package or from the freezer aisle. Our freezer and pantry were always stocked with easy to make snacks and dinners. With five children in the house, seven on weekends, we had to have ready made food available at all times. Now, as an adult and almost step parent, I do have snacks on hand, but I try to keep them healthier, and with fewer preservatives and artificial ingredients. Right now we have rice cakes in the pantry, and corn puffs, and we also have rainbow cookies that I reluctantly bought at the request of the two blonde little cuties who live here.
I finally succumbed to one of these cravings last week. All four of us were out grocery shopping together. This isn’t usually the case, so can I blame my family for my impulse buy? We were in the canned foods aisle and there they were. The tangy, cheesy, comforting spaghettiOs of my youth. I purchased two cans. I felt I had to introduce the girls to one of my favorite foods. I didn’t even walk over to the next aisle to get the organic Annie’s brand. I went with the OG, filled with everything bad, artificially red-orange spaghettiOs. Abby and Katie had never heard of them before. Good job, Daddy! We had them with dinner a few nights later. They were exactly what I remembered and I loved every bite! Two days later I ate the second can all by myself with a piece of buttered sourdough bread. Katie didn’t care much for them. Abby liked the spaghettiOs enough to finish her serving, but since then I’ve asked twice if she would like to eat them again and she replied, “not very”. I know, it’s a good thing the spaghettiOs will not be making an appearance in our home again. I am kind of still craving them, though. I should try to make my own something that would satisfy that craving.
One bad decision tried to lead to the next. I was on the verge of picking up some frozen pizza bites. In a fit of remembering that I am, indeed, a classically trained chef, I made my own pizza bites. Let me tell you, these satisfied my craving. They do not taste exactly like the preservative-filled little buddies that have an expiration date five years in the future. But they were just exactly what my taste buds wanted. I’m so glad I made these instead of buying them. I stashed a handful in the freezer to test out their holding abilities. David and the girls will be my test subjects for dinner tonight. Along with what might become my favorite ranch dressing (recipe to come later).
Full disclosure! These babies take some time to make because you have to roll them all up by hand. Put on your favorite podcast or TV show and get into the zen of tedious work. It could prove to be therapeutic. And then after you’re finished, you get to eat some homemade mini pizza bites.