Rate the Hate V 5.0 the Out of the Box edition

And not in the "cool" Out of the Box way, either. This week we feature dinners that come out of a box and don't absolutely suck.

Tonight, Jambalaya. First, you put 2 1/2 cups of water and 2 tbsp oil in a large pan.

I'm sure there are better oils, but Crisco oil comes with a lid that is also a MEASURING cup. It's my bestest friend.

Then, you step over the toddler having a full-blown temper tantrum at your feet.

Next, you add shrimp or sausage or beef or whatever you like to the pan, and the seasonings in the box.

You let that sit for 25 minutes, I think, which is the perfect amount of time to make a pan of cornbread, which I didn't, because evidently, cornbread is a specialty item here and you can't just pick up cornmeal at any old store here. Ugh.

You then give the screaming toddler a slice of really thick white bread to shut her the hell up already...

...and that's it. Dinner is DONE.

My cousin Kathy has her kids putting something beautiful on the table every night for dinner. I am totally stealing that idea. Candles? So far, so good. Here's hoping dead snakes don't qualify as a pretty.

The question is: Do you think they ate it? Or, to make it easier, on a scale of 1-10, how much do you think they hated it? 1 being Best. Dinner. Ever. and 10 being We're Called Child Services and the Food Network to tell on you, you horrible, horrible woman.

I made this weeks' short on purpose, because I'd like to throw an idea out there. See, the holidays are coming up fast and I thought it would be fun to have a little recipe contest. Here's how to play: email at heymrlady [at] gmail [dot] com or post in the comments a favorite holiday recipe. Hell, you could submit a regular old recipe for all I care. I'm going to pick my favorite one every month and cook it. The first Saturday of the month will be Rate the Hate the Let Them Judge YOU edition. And the winning recipe? Will TOTALLY GET A PRIZE. A kitchen prize. A sweet kitchen prize. And maybe, just maybe, if we can keep this going for a year, if enough people play along, maybe I could throw all the winning recipes together into a little cookbook or calender or something.

This is a audience participation sort of thing, so spread the word. Tell your friends. Seriously, the prizes will ROCK YOUR WORLD.