Friday, November 16, 2012

Foodie Fridays: Comfort Food (& A Quandary)

Hey Humble Readers...

Today's recipe is brought to you in honour of my Beloved, and his need for some TLC today.  My brave Beloved went for his vasectomy today, and was feeling a tad... well... less than his best.  The procedure went well, and with the prescribed pain killers and an ice pack, he'll be back to his happy self in a few days. 

So, he was in need of some comfort food. 

This recipe is fairly easy, and makes use of one of the best values in the grocery store... the rotisserie chicken.  Think about it... a rotisserie chicken costs around $8 (here on the frozen flatland) and a tray of three boneless skinless chicken breasts costs around $10.  I use the dark meat pieces for this recipe and then save the breast pieces for chicken salad or chicken fried rice later in the week. 

Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup with Sauteed Mushrooms

10-12 cremini or button mushrooms, quartered
1 med onion, diced
3 tbsp butter, divided
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 sherry or dry white wine (optional)
2 tbsp flour
1 box chicken stock
1 1/2 - 2 cups milk
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried chives
1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup frozen peas

In a large heavy pot, melt 2 tbsp butter.  Add olive oil.  Add quartered mushrooms, and saute until lightly caramelized.  Using a slotted spoon, remove mushrooms from pot and set aside.

Please disregard the stained pot.  I made coffee-braised
roast beef one too many times in that pot, and it's stained
the enamel
Melt remaining butter in pot and add the diced onion.  Saute until just softened.  Deglaze the pan with sherry or wine (if desired), making sure to scrape up the brown bits.  Sprinkle flour over onions, and stir into onions and butter until it resembles wet sand.  Slowly begin to add chicken stock, while stirring.  Add milk, starting with 1 1/2 cups (add more if soup gets too thick later) and bring to a slow boil (should thicken slightly).  Reduce heat to slow simmer.  Add in garlic, thyme, chives, rice, and chicken.  Stir frequently to ensure that rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.  Allow to simmer gently until rice is cooked.  Add in frozen peas. 

I served this with homemade buns.  Yummy!

Ok... now onto the quandary.  And I'm really looking for input.

Ginny, has stopped eating.  Mostly.  My little girl, who loves food, and has always eaten really well, is refusing to eat.

You may recall that a couple of days ago she was congested and had a fever.  It has come and gone a couple of times over the last few days, but it has been easily controlled with tyl.en.ol and wearing lighter clothes. 

Ginny was a little bit pukey on Wednesday (less than 24 hours after the onset of the fever) and threw up a bit of her breakfast.  She ate well later that day... both lunch and dinner.  Then, on Thursday she started refusing to eat.  She ate a couple of spoonfulls of yoghurt at breakfast and that was it.  She refused to eat both lunch and dinner.  She also refused a snack of mandarin orange segments (which she usually looooooves).  Today, she ate applesauce for breakfast, but no cereal or yoghurt.  Lunch was only 4 little cubes of cheese and a few small pieces of ham.  She completely refused dinner (and she normally devours soup & buns). 

She's still drinking milk and water, so I'm not concerned about her getting dehydrated. 

There are several things that I'm thinking may be possible contributing factors. 
  • She's just not feeling well.  She's been kind of up and down ever since that fever set in.  She'll be okay for a while, and then be very lethargic and just want cuddles.
  • She may be teething.  She's not happy with having her teeth brushed and she actually bit me today when I tried to check her molars (they still haven't cut through).
  • We started feeding Pip solid food this week.  Maybe she's jealous of the attention he's getting about eating?
  • She's just trying to exert her independence?  Some sort of excercise in becoming self-aware? 

My Beloved and I are trying very hard not to make a big deal about it at the table, because we don't want this to trigger some sort of larger battle with food.  Our rule is, she can choose not to eat, but she will sit at the table with her bib on until everyone is done eating.  And she isn't allowed to play with her food.  If she's not going to eat it we will move her bowl/plate to the other side of the table where it is available should she change her mind. 

Do you think we are handling this right?  When should I get concerned?   I am, of course, going to keep offering her all her usual snacks and meals, and I've always bought into the accepted wisdom that if a child is hungry they will eat (and most children can miss a few meals without being negatively impacted). 

But the Mummy in me is struggling. 


  1. Since it's only been two days, I would keep doing what you are doing - offering her food, but not forcing it. Was she having normal BMs? Is she acting like she is in pain after she eats small amounts? If she isn't better by Monday, take her in to the doc.

  2. Ugh. We are just nearing the end of that here. Ruby was congested and had a cold, then she puked all over herself one night...5 times (including twice in the tub and once on me). For a week after that she barely ate anything (but still drank just fine). I'm did not force her to eat anything but I experimented with random things and found that she'd still eat blueberries. It's been about about 2 weeks and she is just now starting to eat somewhat normally again. The director of our daycare said that sometimes kids stop eating a lot right before a growth spurt...don't know how much I believe that though.

    I hope she's back to normal soon!

    1. P.S. and in the middle of all that I took her to the doctor and she had a double ear infection. Even after the antibiotics her eating didn't get any better. I thought it might be teething but according to the doc only one of her 2-year molars was starting to come in.

      P.p.s. She's been very clingy lately and would actually eat better if I was holding her in my lap.

  3. I hope she's feeling better soon!
    Yay for DH getting through the big V well.

  4. Don't make a big deal of it! I would totally shout this if I could. My son used to eat like a little bird for a week, then pile food non-stop into his mouth the next week. It's normal. She can self-monitor her food. She really, really can. Maybe she is just not feeling well. If she gets lethargic and stops having BMs, then it's time to worry.

    I am so passionate about this because I have sat by and watched as my friend completely destroyed her son's eating habits. She was so freaked out by every little thing that the boy almost did starve himself. I have a lot of friend with children and the only ones that have serious long-term problems are the ones where the moms go complete control freak.

    Just keep offering her food and she will eat it. I don't know how you feel about leaving snacks sitting out in her reach (non-perishable obviously), but that worked really well for my son at that age.

  5. That food looks divine!!! Yum. As far as Ginny, my bet is on just not feeling her best. If she is at all dehydrated (which she still might be a little, even though she's drinking) she could be a bit queasy, which would make her not exactly want to eat much. Even without that, kids often slow down on eating when they're getting over an illness. I'd say watch for other signs to know when to worry... lethargy, fever, etc. But if she just continues refusing food, I guess at some point you'll have to go to the doctor... maybe within a week? Is that too long? I guess it depends on how she is doing energy wise and color and all that. If she acts normal, then I'd let it go a week... if she's acting more and more tired/sick, then I'd get her in much sooner. That was a whole lot of babbling to say, "gosh I'm not sure." :)

  6. I would wonder if she has an ear infection. That was always one of LM's signs he had one.


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