Favorite Childhood Dinner

When Ryan and I were still a relatively new couple, I wanted to surprise him with his favorite home cooked meal one evening. When I asked him about his favorite childhood dinner, he rattled off the following foods:

  • Ham steak
  • Peas
  • Ramen noodles (with the broth drained, tossed in butter <— He was very specific about this!)
  • Fresh strawberries

Easy to please!

Ryan still raves about ham steak and threw one in our cart at the grocery store earlier this week. Last night I cooked it in a skillet with a super-simple glaze of Dijon mustard and brown sugar.

Ham steak sweet potato roasted broccoli and cauliflower

We enjoyed the ham with with roasted cauliflower and broccoli and a sweet potato topped with a bit of butter.

sweet potato with kerrygold butter

After a friend highly recommended Kerrygold pure Irish butter, I finally bought some last week and must say it is pretty darn fabulous. Just a little bit of the unsalted butter on top of my sweet potato added so much flavor!

Once we were done eating dinner, we took Sadie on a walk around the neighborhood before we parked our butts on the couch and spent some time reading through all of the awesome travel recommendations you guys left on my morning blog post yesterday.


I love that so many of you encouraged us to enjoy a less-structured vacation in Ireland, since that’s what we really hope to do. Though I’m usually a big-time planner, renting a car and exploring sounds absolutely fabulous!

Question of the Morning

  • What was your favorite dinner as a child? 

I have a few favorites but spaghetti and corned beef and cabbage top my list!


  1. Katherine says

    My favorite dinner as a child was (and kinda still is!) enchiladas. We would all get in on the action with a different task- my dad was always the enchilada roller. Since I went vegetarian really young and my brother was sort of picky, he would “decorate” the tops with different ingredients (olives, peppers, etc.) so that everyone knew which one was their’s. Good times:)


      • stephanie**s says

        My mom would only let me have those kid cuisines like once a month or whatnot and one time she took me to the doctor, and he asked what my favorite meal my mother made for me was and I said “TV DINNERS” haha because that’s what my mom would call them since I could eat them in the living room instead of the table. My mom says she wanted to hide under a rock.


  2. says

    Hm… I loved it all! Although, my favorite might be my dad’s made-from-scratch fettuccine Alfredo, which he made for special occasions! The noodles were from scratch as was the super creamy, cheesy sauce. SO GOOD!


  3. Amber says

    My mom’s lasagna was the best, and I sure do miss it now that we don’t live in the same city! I also loved when she would make blueberry pancakes, bacon, and eggs for dinner too 🙂


  4. says

    When I was little, my mom would ALWAYS try to involve both me and my sister (almost 3 years older than me) in cooking and one of our favorite things to make was called Salad In A Pocket. It was simply a pita split open with basic salad ingredients stuffed inside of it and to this day, I still love Salad In A Pocket. I always daydream myself back to my mom’s kitchen, standing in a high-back chair at the counter, “helping” her and my sister prepare our magical meal together 🙂


  5. Cathryn says

    Oh very definitely country fried steak, green beans, and macaroni & cheese. It’s just one of those meals that tastes like home.


  6. says

    Sketti!!! AKA: “Spaghetti” was my all-time favorite as well! I have to say that Ramen noodles finish a close second though! I have never tried adding butter but I also drain mine. Your dinner looked delicious! Thanks for sharing!


  7. Lindsey says

    I love seeing more dinner posts on PBF lately! I haven’t had a ham steak in ages–I promise I’m going to the grocery store to buy one for dinner now!


  8. says

    Definitely tuna pasta bake with loads and loads of cheese. That and tacos or spaghetti bolognaise.

    Also mum used to make beef croquettes a traditional Dutch dish since mum is Dutch and they were delicious. Basically a deep fried shredded beef in breadcrumbs served with mustard. So not healthy but definitely delicious!


  9. Jen B. says

    What exactly is ham steak?? Just a fried ham patty? My favorite childhood meal was either my dad’s spaghetti (it had fennel seeds in it–so fancy!) or my grandma’s fried pork chops. Or really anything fried, let’s get real!


  10. says

    I’m pretty simple, I love a good grilled cheese and tomato soup. Though these days my grilled cheese are a little more fancy pants with asiago peppercorn sourdough and 3 cheeses but good ol’ square Wonder Bread and Velveeta tastes like childhood. So does Chef Boy Ardee Pepperoni Pizza but I think making it was half the fun!


  11. mj says

    this is gonna sound gross but it really is deeelish!! my mom makes amazing homemade meatloaf and mac n cheese and with that we’d have creamed spinach (which was just the frozen kind in publix). the gross sounding but oh so awesome part- the only way i loved to eat it was by combining all of them together in one big mixed up pile on my plate. still crave it once and awhile even though i’m grown! 🙂


  12. says

    Ryan and I have very similar tastes! I loved (and still do love) a good ham steak. If you want to work in the peas with it, I’ve always been a fan of diced ham steak, peas, some diced broccoli, and pasta smothered with alfredo sauce. Comfort food for me!


  13. says

    Every now and again, my dad would make these delightful pig-in-a-blanket-esque things, which were hot dogs sliced down the middle, stuffed with American cheese, and then rolled up in a crescent roll. aka the definition of health food 😛 Hahaha. They were SO GOOD! Honestly, I liked the crescent roll more than anything, but that was pretty much the only circumstance under which we would get crescent rolls, so I took what I could get 😛


  14. Samber says

    You never said your own fave childhood dinner?

    Also, what are you typical 2-3 standard bedtime snacks. I have bad habits with this!

    And lastly, can you give the approx. times of your meals? I always ask this bloggers this out of curiosity!



  15. says

    Corned beef is up there for me, but my grandmother made the best chicken spaghetti, it still stands out and I haven’t had it for years. SHe used to slow cook the chicken so it was more shredded than just chunks. She would also add 1 chicken gizzard and who ever got it was set for good luck.


  16. Britani Sidwell says

    Growing up in the midwest–my mom was the Queen of casseroles.

    When i was a kid, she would make something called “corny chicken.” it was a Bake of shredded chicken breast, celerey, and cream of celery soup with cornbread stuffing on top.

    It tasted like a hug.


  17. Chelsea says

    Corn dogs (bonus points for mini ‘dogs) and french fries. On our birhdays growing up we got whatever we wanted to eat, and I had that for probably 10 years in a row. My whole family dreaded my birthday meal!


  18. says

    I loved eating lil smokies with ketchup for dinner in kindergarten. Not exactly well-balanced, but my parents had just divorced so we were all still adjusting. For my dad that meant learning to cook. Nowadays, he’s an AWESOME cook. But I still remember the lil smokies days!! 🙂


  19. Mary says

    Why does Sadie look so sad? Did she find out she’s not going to Ireland? My favorite dinner was definitely turkey dinner with my mom’s turkey gravy. Have never had any gravy that tops it!


    • Marcee says

      Although mom did not make mac & cheese often … it was delicious w/salmon patties and lettuce salad + green goddess dressing! The carb sub could often be veggie baked beans also. We never-ever had pork of any kind in our home. I would often visit the homes of gal-pals that did. Never cared for the aroma of piggie. One friend, her mom would make smoked butt sandwiches on toast w/mayo!?!? Yucko. No way for my tummy! Haaa.


  20. Elizabeth says

    pigs in a blanket! My hubs loved steakums–gross!!! Have you ever cooked those? I have never seen so much grease. Im real sure pigs and a blanket weren’t too great for you either though. I also loved mac and cheese. Now, I think both hubs and I would say PIZZA!! e


  21. says

    My favorite childhood dinner that my mom made was definitely corn beef and cabbage, I used to request it for my birthday dinners. My mom always thought that was weird for a kid to want it for a special meal. Favorite meal my dad made was Mac’ n cheese with spam and pineapple! Sounds gross but my dad will still make this for my kids when we visit and they love it!


  22. says

    I like how you made a healthy version of Ryan’s favorite childhood meal! My favorite meal when I was little was parmesan couscous. Oddly enough, I’m American but I loved the stuff!


  23. Anne says

    What a fun question!

    Growing up we were lucky to eat homemade meals most nights. Whenever out parents went out we would get to eat tv dinners and called them babysitter meals haha! It’s funny how much we just adored that icky food!


  24. says

    Either my stepmom’s lasagna or my mom’s tacos. Still love both dishes to this day, which is why I request them from my wife on an almost weekly basis and campaign to go out to dinner at places that serve either dish! (Of course, Mexican lasagna is the best because it combines both of them)


  25. says

    Aww that is so cute! My boyfriend’s favorites are really similar! Steak, green beans, baked potatoes and he really loves fresh raspberries. And French toast. Can you tell he’s from the Midwest?

    Ha, when I was a toddler, spaghetti and bananas were apparently among my favorite foods! But as far as I can remember, I really loved this cheesy chicken casserole dish my mom used to make, and burritos, burgers and homemade pizza were also really good nights…but if I had to pick a favorite, probably the teriyaki salmon my dad makes! Restaurants can’t beat it.

    I am loving your workouts, btw. I tried one of your arm circuits and I am so sore, but it wasn’t too bad and didn’t make me hate weight lifting like I normally do! So thanks 🙂


  26. says

    Julie, def check out the Powerscourt estate and gardens in Wicklow, Ireland. It’s maybe an hour or 90 minutes outside Dublin? First, there’s a gorgeous palace-type building with an awesome mostly natural and organic restaurant inside and some adorable shops. Outside, there are beautiful flower gardens and fountains and walking trails. Here’s the website: http://www.powerscourt.ie/gardens I also thought Windsor Castle (an hour outside of London) and The Tower of London were among the most impressive sights in England when I lived there.


  27. says

    Corned beef and cabbage?? How funny! I remember my mom making this and the house smelling HORRIBLE. SO bad, I’d use it as an excuse to go to my friends house where her parents hated it. Will you have it on St. Paddy’s Day? I might have a slice (so long as it’s cooked nowhere near me). It’s one of those things for me…like walking into Subway and then smelling like a hot sub sandwich all day! LOL


  28. says

    My mom’s meatloaf and english muffin pizzas. They were a regular meal for us–my mom would put out toppings (sausage, olives, mushrooms, etc) and we’d get to make our own.


  29. Jackie says

    I forgot to comment yesterday, but no matter what you do in Ireland, you absolutely mus go see the Cliffs of Moher. Just the drive there, though the hills and crazy switchback roads, is an adventure! It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been in my life, and it is so special.

    Also, stay in the B&B’s while you’re there, not the hotels. They’re so friendly, it’s like staying with family you never knew 🙂

    Have fun! Ireland is awesome!


  30. says

    This is so funny- I was literally just thinking about this a few minutes ago! My favorite childhood meal was this beef casserole type dish called “Talerine.” Think cheddar cheese, ketchup, noodles, ground beef, corn… it sounds and looks disgusting but is actually quite tasty!


  31. says

    I was a huge ham steak fan too – my mom would heat/glaze the ham steak then finish it off by cooking pineapple rings in the same skillet and putting them on top. SO good! I also loved the nights she got all chef-y with her pasta maker and made homemade fettuccine carbonara.


  32. says

    Kraft Macaroni and Cheese was definitely a win with me. My parents were young when they had me, so my mom was creative with low-budget meals, and I remember her making Kraft mac n’ cheese and adding canned tuna and peas to the mix. It sounds odd (my husband turns his nose up when I suggest it), but it really is great!


  33. says

    My favorite as I remember was hot sandwiches with a lot of cheese (passion for that from so long) and the dinner at grandmothers house like sweet milk noodle (made by my grandmother) soup.

    I have one more recipe on my blog. I think u can try to surprise your boy in the morning with this one – easy to make. http://monikasrdl.blogspot.com.es/


  34. says

    Hmmm… I think my favourite meal as a child was definitely tortellini with red sauce. I know that’s so boring, but I honestly went nuts for it. Taco night or burger-grilling night would be a close second. (Ha, my family sounds so unhealthy. We really weren’t, I swear!)


  35. Lili says

    I’m Mexican so my favorite childhood meals are very different from others. I loved Mexican rice with beans, albondigas soup (meatball soup), but my absolute FAVORITE is my moms chicken molé. It’s a chocolately, spicy, peanut buttery savory chicken dish. It’s AMAZING!!! I’m so lucky to know how to make all of these and make it for my kids. They already love the first 2.


  36. Elisabeth says

    My childhood favorites were spaghetti; cooked cabbage with ham, carrots and potatoes and meatloaf with mashed potatoes! (I still enjoy ‘me all)


  37. says

    I still think that nothing beats the homemade butter…. We have stopped buying any store bought butter ever since we discovered how much better tasting and healthier it is when made fresh from heavy cream at home. Over baked potato and sweet potato it’s even more heavenly.
    My favorite childhood dinner was white bread covered with a lot of home made cream and sprinkled with sugar all over it. Toasted in a sandwich maker or most of the time I used to eat it as it is.


  38. Maeve says

    Hi. Renting a car and exploring is the only to visit Ireland. There are so many hidden gems. Hopefully the Ring of Kerry is on your list with stops in Sneem & Kenmare. Try to visit the Avoca Cafe & Shop along the Ring if you can – great food, great gift shop and a beautiful view.


    • says

      Ramen? Me too.: )

      I chuckled when I read that Ryan liked to have Ramen tossed in butter on the side. I loved Ramen as a kid, and yeah, I’ve become healthier too.


  39. Erin says

    Flank steak, green beans with almonds and a baked potato; which I still have to rank as a top 5 dinner contender to this day!


    • Laura says

      Yup and Totino’s pizza roles…. both of course with Hidden Valley light ranch! Too bad I can’t eat that way right now. I think my butt just grew thinking about it!


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