Your tiny diners want to skip the main course and head straight to dessert.
Avoid a dinnertime showdown with local cookbook (The Six o’Clock Scramble) author Aviva Goldfarb’s kid-friendly solution.
Mini Meatloaf Muffins
1 tsp. olive oil
1 c. white or yellow onion, finely chopped
½ c. carrots, finely chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. minced garlic, plus 1 whole clove garlic
1½ lb. lean ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken
¾ c. ketchup or tomato sauce
1 c. Italian bread crumbs or crushed crackers
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes
1¼ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
½ c. lowfat or nonfat milk
½ tsp. fresh thyme
Handful of green peas
1. Preheat oven to 350º.
2. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onions, carrots, oregano, and minced garlic 3-5 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
3. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 5 minutes.
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, add the onion and carrot mixture, and stir thoroughly.
5. Spray 12 muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray.
6. Spoon mixture into the muffin tins, dividing evenly and completely filling each cup.
7. Bake the meatloaf muffins for 30 minutes.
8. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
9. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch pieces and add to water with peeled garlic clove and 1 tsp. salt. Simmer 10-15 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.
10. Drain potatoes and garlic and return to pot over medium heat, shaking them until any remaining water dries.
11. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, add butter or margarine, milk, thyme, and ¼ tsp. salt. Beat on medium speed until smooth.
12. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add peas. Boil 3-4 minutes then drain.
13. Remove the meatloaf muffins from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes.
14. “Frost” the muffins with the mashed potatoes and sprinkle peas on top.
15. Let them have their cake and eat it, too.
El Gato y la Gaviota (The Cat and the Seagull)
What: Catch Teatro de la Luna’s bilingual premier of the show that tackles environmental issues and friendship.
Why: When it comes to Mother Earth, we all speak the same language.
When: Sat., 11:30 a.m.
Where: Gunston Arts Center, Theater Two, 2700 S. Lang St., Arlington (703-548-3092). Tickets online at teatrodelaluna.org.
Operation Secret Slumber
What: Sign up now for the overnight espionage adventure complete with disguises and special codes.
Why: This is mission possible.
When: Nov. 21, 7 p.m.-Nov. 22, 10 a.m.
Where: International Spy Museum, 800 F St. NW, b/t 8th & 9th Sts. (202-393-7798). For reservations, call 202-654-0932.
Wilson Aquatic Center
What: Dive into classes, open swim, and events like family night at the sparkling new (and free!) indoor pool.
Why: Family changing cabanas.
When: Mon.-Fri., 6 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: 4551 Fort Dr., b/t 40th & Brandywine Sts. NW (202-730-0583).
Photo: Jupiter Images