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The Leftover Lion

Making dinner. As much as I love eating, it’s the last thing
I want to do after the daily grind at the office, picking up the kids at
daycare and the crush of traffic on the drive home.

7h77_smIt just seems that making meals from scratch during the week
has never been harder, as we try to keep one eye on a crawling nine-month-old
daughter, and the other on a mischievous three-year-old son. It can actually be
the most stressful hour (or more) of the entire day for us—especially if our
son is hungry and impatient. If dinner’s not ready, he relentlessly begs for
snacks. (And, of course, we’re not talking healthy snacks, like fruit—he wants
the good stuff: cookies, candy, anything laced with sugar. If we cave and give
him a treat just so he’ll put a sock in it, he’ll be even less inclined to
chase it down with a real meal of, say, meat and veggies.)

Our typical dinner-hour strategy: one of us does our utmost
to sufficiently distract him long enough for the other to toggle a meal
together. That said, you’d think the evenings when my wife has her running
class and I’m left alone to sort out dinner would be all the more challenging.
But it’s quite the contrary. Why? Because those are the nights when we have
leftovers! It’s just a matter of pulling the desired Premier Container out of the fridge and reheating the sumptuous
fare. Take chicken, for instance. We’ll BBQ twice the amount of chicken breasts
and store the extra portions to add to a tossed salad or quesadillas the next
night. The trick is to make enough food on the nights when we’re both there to
make it worth keeping for another night, and stopping short of eating it all in
one sitting.

To make it fun for the boy, my wife has dubbed me the
Leftover Lion. And yes, on those nights I throw in a roar for full effect.
After enduring work, traffic and the unrelenting snack-beggar, summoning a bona fide roar is remarkably easy.

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