Monday, August 08, 2011

Dinner with Sticks = Awesome

Caedmon has been asking to use chopsticks. So because we are adventurous people, I thought maybe we should give it a shot.

I wanted to make things that were easy to pick up with the chopsticks, so our dinner didn’t include rice. Plus, we’d had it twice already that week. So I made potstickers and Orange Glazed Chicken & Veggies. The “orange” in “Orange Glazed” was no joke. It turned everything orange. Which looked really weird, but tasted pretty good. (Recipe below.)


But first, I thought maybe I should figure out how to use chopsticks. Or at least find an easy way for Caedmon to use them. I found some fun things on Amazon that help kids learn to use chopsticks, but decided I didn’t want to spend the money or wait for them to arrive. I found a great idea on a blog that I decided to try, so I put a rubber band and the paper from the chopsticks wrapper to good use.



It worked fabulously and Caedmon had no trouble using the chopsticks at all.



I can’t necessarily say the same thing about myself, but I think I did pretty good for the first time I actually tried to use chopsticks. Husband was practiced from the year he spent in Japan and helped me figure the whole thing out.


Honor didn’t get to use chopsticks, but instead enjoyed chewing on her burp cloth.


Caedmon loved using the chopsticks and ate a great dinner. In fact, the next morning, he asked to use chopsticks to eat his yogurt. I think they will be my secret weapon to get him to eat dinner when he’s being a little stubborn. (I can’t imagine where he gets that.)

Orange Glazed Chicken & Veggies (Adapted from Lemon Chicken recipe from

1 Tbsp oil

Chicken, cut into strips or chunks (whatever you prefer)

Mixed vegetables (I used a frozen “Asian” veggie mix)

1 pkg (4 serving size) orange flavored Jell-o

1 Tbsp cornstarch

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 Tbsp Zesty Italian Dressing

2 cloves garlic, minced

Heat oil on medium-high heat; add chicken and cook 4 minutes or until cooked through, stirring occasionally. Add veggies; cook and stir 2 minutes.

Mix dry Jell-o and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add broth, dressing, and garlic; stir until gelatin is dissolved. (Or put in a small bowl with a lid and shake until dissolved.) Add to skillet. Reduce heat to medium, cook 3 minutes or until sauce is thickened, stirring frequently.

I didn’t have any cornstarch, so I think that’s why everything turned neon orange. I have used this with lemon Jell-o before and it was great with that, too. It’s definitely a quick and easy way to enjoy “Chinese takeout” at home!

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