Spanakopita

Today I attempted to make the traditional and fussy Spanakopita with my children.  And it was a disaster.  A complete disaster.

I wanted to make them because I know my husband loves them and we had a stupid fight this morning and I wanted to do something nice for him.  So we hit up Walmart after my fitness class to get the ingredients.  (Yes I know, shopping for food at Walmart. Ick.  But little chef is completely convinced he works there.  No idea why.  So every time we have to grab a few things we go there and he sits in the cart and shows little sous chef everything on every shelf and tells her all about his job there.  And waves at the staff people and says “Hello, I work here!”  Weird I know.)  After we grab our ingredients relatively unscathed with baby drama we head home to get started.  

We started off well, mixed up some filling, little sous chef ate about a quarter of it, but it’s just spinach and cottage cheese so I figured it was nutritious and ok.  Then the magic began.  Fighting over who got to hold the spoon, fighting over who got to “paint” the phylo pasty with butter, then spilling the butter on themselves and both crying that they got butter on their new ballet shoes.  Yet we persevered.

Next, the fight over the butter brush got physical and little chef got butter in his hair.  Cue little sous chef going in a timeout.  I walk her over to the bedroom to put her in time out and tell little chef not to mess with anything while I’m dealing with his sister.  As I am putting her in the room I hear SMASH and a scream.  Oh no.  I run over and somehow little chef had gotten up on the counter and tried to haul a large pickle jar full of old frying oil from the shelf ABOVE the top cupboards.  And of course it fell and hit him right on the head and he fell off the counter.  The counter he was not supposed to be on in the first place.  And now both kids are sobbing.  So kisses and hugs and bunny snuggles for all to try and calm down.

The spanakopitas are about half done at this point so in my infinite wisdom (not) I decided to give it one more try.  Both kids back up on the stools and start making the last half.  little chef is sort of helping and little sous chef is mostly just painting the entire counter with butter.  Bored of this after a few minutes little chef decides to jump off his chair and wash dishes.  But he didn’t ask for my help or look to see where his sister was standing so he yanked the chair out and of course at that exact moment she had one foot on each chair and came crashing down to the floor.  More tears.  More kisses.  Still not done making the damn spanakopitas.

Once the drama had died down I quickly finished the spanakopitas and threw them in the oven.  They look alright.  Hopefully, Jamie likes them.  Time for me to drink some serious wine.  Why is it that when we try to do something nice for someone and have a beautiful moment with our kids it usually turns into a complete shit show?  It feels like the more I say “Ok today is going to be a good day, I’m going to keep my cool and be patient and fun and not worry.”  And that sends some sort of cyber alert to my children to act like complete rabid chimpanzees.  Speaking of this, I better wrap this up, little sous chef just came out of the bathroom carrying a full potty, and little chef has passed out on the couch, at 4:30.  Meaning he will be up until 10 pm now.  #lordhelpme

I will post the recipe, but with a warning.  Do not make this recipe with your children unless they are over the age of 5 or you have a generous amount of whiskey in your house.

Spanakopita:

4 cups cooked spinach

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 cups cottage cheese or fetta cheese

2 cloves minced garlic

1/2 cup butter melted

1 package of phyllo pastry

Directions:  Mix the spinach, cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic together.  Lay your phyllo pastry out on a cutting board and slice into 4 sections lengthwise.  Cover with a slightly damp cloth.  Take 2 layers of phyllo and place on top of each other, brush the melted butter over the whole thing.  Place a tablespoon of filling in one end.  Take the bottom corner and fold towards the other side to make a small triangle covering the filling.  flip the filling triangle up while keeping the bottom edge square.  Keep folding the triangle up until the entire length of pastry is used up.  Brush with butter and place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve hot or cold.

Enjoy!  And if you have children please comment and let me know how you handle trying to do fun things with them.  I want to know!

-Stephanie

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