They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We beg to differ. Without a doubt, it’s dinner.
Whether at camp or at home, a casual dinner bookends the day. It’s a comforting window of time to talk about what went well or perhaps not so well. Typically here it’s just regular old impromptu conversation around the table, but sometimes there’s a question of the day or even the simple game “guess what I’m thinking”. The togetherness piece is the valuable part, no matter where you are.
The boys rave about Skylemar food and call it “amazing!” Chefs Junior, Benjamin, Carlos and their crew do a fantastic job of making it taste great and providing plenty of it. The kids think it’s a huge buffet of choices each meal, but actually, it’s not much different than a meal you’d serve at home. One main course, side dishes, salad and at dinner, dessert (yet another reason this meal is important).
Here we take the Subway approach. We keep the pieces of the meal separate so kids can have choice within a handful of options. For example, if dinner is spaghetti, you have the choice of no sauce, marinara or sauce with meatballs. Then you decide if you want parmesan cheese. One entrée can end up on a plate five different ways.
The Skylemar chefs do have some secrets, and for the first time in history, we’re willing to share:
- The secret to Skylemar grilled chicken? Pound the boneless breasts, marinate in Italian dressing and grill.
- The secret to Skylemar meatballs? Use a mix of half ground beef and half ground turkey. Add breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, egg, seasoning and bake at 350 degrees. The turkey cuts down on the fat.
- The secret to Skylemar lasagna? Skip the ricotta cheese. Layer noodles, sauce (we skip the beef too) and mozzarella cheese.
- The secret to fine ground beef for tacos? Add a cup or two of water. Water makes the beef crumble.
- The secret to making perfect rice? Use boiled water following the standard rice to water ratio. Bake in foil-covered 9x9 pan at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
- The secret to getting the boys to eat their vegetables? Put whatever’s leftover in soup. Leftover salad bar items go into a giant blender with frozen fruit and apple juice for a delicious smoothie. Make sure the fruit is either red or blue, because a green color is a vegetable give-away.
Here’s a frequently requested recipe for “Carlos Potatoes”:
3 pounds red skin potatoes
6 tb butter
3 tb minced garlic
5 oz Minor’s or Herb-Ox beef base
2 tb parsley
Cube and parboil potatoes. Drain and spread on sheet pan. Add other ingredients, toss to coat. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
As for Junior’s Special Chicken Tender Sauce? Sorry, but that's a real secret.