I think most people assume that we eat really well just by the pure fact that we have a chef in the house – and for the most part we do, but we’ve gotten into a food rut lately. Maybe you can relate? We suffer from a lack of dinner inspiration sometimes, which is to be expected if you’re cooking 98% of all meals at home. As you might be able to tell from the lack of recipe posts, we aren’t exactly cooking elaborate dinners. Truth is, a lot of times dinner is thrown together because of our busy schedules and I’ve since realized that I don’t have the patience to style and fuss with food; at the end of the day, we just want to eat. To our credit (which all goes to Mark) we’ve avoided the trap of take out and eating out mostly because we still have a strict food budget that we need adhere to. We also rarely buy pre-packaged, processed food because that can become a slippery slope once you head down that road. More often than not, this is the scenario that goes down at our house:
Mark: “Anyone got any dinner ideas? I’m going to the store.”
Blank stares all around.
Mark: “C’mon. Throw out some ideas. I don’t know what to make.”
Mark: “We had pasta yesterday.”
C: “More pasta.”
C looks at Mia who looks at me and we all just blank stare and shrug.
Mark (mumbling as he shuffles to the door): “Oh alright, I’ll figure something out.”
If you’ve been reading here awhile, then you know I don’t cook (yeah, I didn’t make that pizza, above). I think people who don’t know us assume that I also bake, but I’m useless in a commercial kitchen. I’m a bit more useful in our home kitchen, but I could probably count on all ten fingers all the times I have made dinner since the kids were born. I know…pathetic! But somewhere along the way, roles were divied up when I first became pregnant with debilitating nausea and the roles just stuck for the last 10 years – so much so, that on rare occasions when Mark has to go out of town for a few days without us, the girls react completely confused and ask in all seriousness without any sarcasm, “How are we going to eat?”
I mean, really, girls?? Do they forget who makes them breakfast and get their lunches together nearly every single day? Me! Sure, it may not really be “cooking”, but come on!
So I’ve decided this year that I’m going to ease my way back into cooking. I only know how to cook vegetarian dishes and I think I’ll just keep it that way since I have absolutely no idea what to do with a chicken leg, so I have made baked ziti (er, twice) and a watermelon feta salad with mint. I know, no big deal, but yes…big deal!
“WHAT. YOU’RE cooking dinner?? What’s happening??” (um, thanks kids).
So we’re not even 3 weeks into my Year of Cooking (and driving, but that’s a different story) and I’m already at a loss on what to make. Any suggestions? What is your favorite go-to dinner? Now, let me let you in on a little secret: I don’t really enjoy flipping through cookbooks or looking at recipes online. I mean I like looking at pictures of pretty food, sure, but I could care less if there was a recipe attached. I think you can already guess that cooking isn’t my favorite activity, but I’m trying. I am actually pretty decent at it (or was when I did cook a lot years ago), but damn it, I am trying because I don’t want to be THAT mom who doesn’t know how to cook for her children and whose girls tell stories to their spouses one day that their mom fed them cheddar bunnies and toast for dinner every time their dad wasn’t around (for the record, I have never done that).