Those of you who have kids will know that any attempts to have a reasonable conversation at the dinner table are generally interrupted by small people asking ridiculous irrelevant questions.
The conversation at our dinner table tends to go like this:
Me: How was your day at work
Hubby: Fine, we had a big server install, the phones were mad and..
Older daughter: Dadddyyyy, why were the phones mad? - were they very angry with you?
Hubby: Yes, I mean No, I mean.. now come on eat up, its nearly time for bed
Hubby: Anyway, like I was saying, the phones were mad and..
Smallest daughter: Ma Ma, Da Da, ba ba ba ba Iggle, ba ba ba ba daisy No! ba ba ba
Me: ok, let Daddy finish
Hubby: so the phones were mad and I was run off my feet, anyway how was your day
Oldest daughter: Mummmmyyy, why when I was a little baby could I not talk?
Mummy: because you had to learn
Smallest daughter Ma Ma Ma MA ba ba ba ba ba iggle piggle Upsy, ba ba waybuloooo uh oh, oh dear, stand up!
Me: Ok, anyway, this morning I....
Oldest daughter... Mummy....Why can I drink the water in the tap but not in the swimming pool?
Me: Well, because its dirty
Youngest daughter ba ba ba!
Hubby: come on girls eat
(Conversation continues with interjections for the next half an hour) - you get the picture.
So at least once or twice a week, hubby and I make an effort to have dinner on our own without the kids, as sometimes its nice to be able to actually have a coherent conversation. On the nights that we eat without the kids, one of our staple dishes to cook is vegetarian fajitas.
As well as being absolutely delicious and reminding me of my time spent in California (land of amazing mexican food), I love eating fajitas simply because they just take so long to make and eat. Thanks to all that is involved in preparing fajitas, building them and eating them, you can guarantee that hubby and I will be at the table for at least an hour, chatting, catching up and debriefing our day. This is probably the most time that hubby and I get to spend chatting to each other over food without interruptions. I really love sharing-style food which allows you to time to enjoy each others company. I find that when food is plated rather than shared, the pressure is on to finish the food so you don't keep others waiting whereas with sharing food, there is not such a definite "end" to the meal.
So, onto to my fajitas. As this is always the second meal I cook, I go for the quick options and use a fajita mix rather than making my own most of the time.
1 pack of vegetarian chicken-style pieces
1 pepper (red or other colour)
Fajita spice pack
Splash lime juice
6 or 8 tortilla wraps
Cheddar cheese (grated)
1) Heat some oil in a large, deep frying pan until hot
2) Add the chicken-style pieces and fry for a few minutes until they start to soften
3) Add the fajita spice mix, combine well with the chicken and fry for 3 minutes
4) Add the onion, pepper and mushrooms and stir well. Continue to fry for about 4-5 minutes
5) Whilst cooking, add a couple of splashes of lime juice to the mixture to add some zest and also encourage the spice mix to combine well with the other ingredients
6) Once cooked, remove from pan, drain any excess oil and serve immediately
7) Heat the tortilla wraps in the microwave or oven as per packet instructions
8) Serve with the grated cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream, guacamole and salsa
Creating my perfect fajita - or - this is how I make fajitas
- Spread salsa and guacamole over the tortilla wrap
- Add the fajita mixture in a line right down the middle
- Put some sour cream on top
- Sprinkle cheese over the top
- crush some tortilla chips on top
- Fold the bottom half of the tortilla, fold one side and then the other
- Eat and enjoy!