Sleepover Staples

Know what the first thing I always ask my kids is after they have been to a friend’s place for a sleepover?
“What did you eat there?’
Is that strange? Or am I not alone in being a nosey parker? Don’t you wonder what people serve up for dinner in their homes, even if it is only for their kids’ friends? It fascinates me. Truly it does.
I think my over-interest all stems from several years ago, when Boy 1’s best friend used to come over a lot….. and he never touched anything I served. I kid you not! He would just say , “Oh, I am really too full. Sorry.” OR he would take whatever I served him, and then later I would find his fully untouched meal congealed on the plate in a corner somewhere. Then, the little wretch would sneak down to the corner store and buy coke and chips to sustain him till he got back to his own home and the food to which he was accustomed. Poor Boy 1 never ‘fessed up to this, because he thought I would be devastated. I certainly wanted to know what it was I was getting wrong! So when Boy 1would go to this child’s house, I would always ask what he ate there. What were they eating that was so different?
Pancakes and bacon? Really? OK, let’s try that; again! I would carefully make delicate fluffy pancakes and crispy bacon for breakfast for our visitor, but still he wouldn’t eat it. Turns out I discovered later, he was used to the shake-it bottle pancakes, which are quite a bit sweeter than homemade…..but still it left me feeling like a sleepover failure!
Back to the here and now: I still make my poor kids spell out every meal they had, blow by blow before even enquiring if they had a great time away. Some of the regular fare they tell me about is hot chips, McDonalds, chicken nuggets, stir fry, takeaway pizza, sausages and veggies……. and now that we live in posh Canberra, sometimes they have been taken out for dinner!!!!!
Over time, I have worked out the easiest and cheapest food to impress honed sleepover cuisine into a fine art, weeded out the duds, and kept whatever has been raved over.
What do we serve our sleepover victims?
Well, traditionally I chuck a ‘Make your own pizza’ night. While the bread maker makes the dough (I use this pizza dough recipe), I chop up the general range of kid friendly ingredients (shredded bacon, mozzarella, LOTS of pineapple, chorizo sausage (Primo brand), Italian sausage, cabanossi ( again Primo), mushrooms (I usually eat these as no one in our family will go near them), sliced red onion, and green capsicum) Then I set them out buffet style. There is no-one on God’s green earth who doesn’t enjoy creating their own pizza.

Here is how it goes down for my kids, toppings-wise:
Boy 1 does a massive Meatlover’s with BBQ sauce and all the meat and some cheese, onion and a little capsicum.
Boy 2 makes a calzone- which I can’t really tell you is inside as it is not visible !

Solo Girl does a classic Hawaiian pizza (but uses bacon instead of ham. Um, does that negate what I said about it being the classic version?)
Boy 3 loves, loves, loves to make his own pizza. He smears the tomato sauce on, then some cheese and finally a generous topping of pineapple pieces !
Note: when we do our own pizza nights when we are on our own, everyone still makes their own smaller ones, but I make 2 or 3 to share. Generally a Meatlovers, then a Hodgepodge (a Taylor special using all the meats, some veggies, baby spinach and precooked potato wedges on BBA sauce), and our very favourite Tandoori Chicken Pizza. So yummy!

For the extra nosey parkers (like myself)
My other sleepover staples are:
Breakfast: Pancakes (duh!) or homemade bacon and egg (mc) muffins.
Lunch: chicken schnitzel burger or a regular burger to get some veggies into them.
Movie Snacks: large batch of choc chips cookies, large batch of brownies, homemade caramel popcorn, and of course chocolate. Just to totally negate the veggies!
What do you cook for sleepover food? I’d love to know.

PS. Flatatta- a lesson learned
I loved the picture I saw of the Frittata Bites with Spinach, Sausage, and Feta

and decided I must make the dish…… – note to self- What I MUST do is actually read the recipe thoroughly first! I baked the mix in a pan twice the size the recipe called for, and by the time I realized; it was too late and the damage was done. Not so photogenic my flatatta, but it went like hotcakes, which surprised me! I really underestimated my children in thinking that the spinach would turn them off, but not a bit. And they didn’t even seem to realize that they don’t like feta cheese. Every last crumb went down the hatch. I am certainly going to do it again. In the right pan. Haha.

Frittata Bites with Spinach, Sausage, and Feta
 Nonstick vegetable oil spray
 12-ounces baby spinach
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 1 cup chopped onion
 8 ounces mild Italian sausages, casings removed, sausage broken into 1-inch pieces
 8 large eggs
 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 41/2 ounces)
 Fresh Italian parsley leaves
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray. Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add Swiss chard and cook just until wilted, about 2 minutes. Drain. Finely chop chard, then place in kitchen towel and squeeze dry. Set chard aside.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to skillet and sauté until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add sausage and sauté until brown and cooked through, breaking up with fork, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
Whisk eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in large bowl to blend. Add chard and cooled sausage mixture, then feta; stir to blend. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.
Bake frittata until set in center, 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer baking dish to rack and cool frittata 15 to 20 minutes. Place platter atop dish with frittata. Using oven mitts, hold baking dish and platter firmly together and invert frittata onto platter; place another platter atop frittata and invert again so that frittata is right side up. Cut frittata into 20 pieces. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Place frittata pieces on rimmed baking sheet. Cover and chill. Rewarm in 325°F oven until heated through, about 10 minutes.
Transfer frittata pieces to platter. Garnish each piece with parsley; serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 16 small squares.


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