In the Parent 'hood: Cooking Made Easy

When I first started this blog, I anticipated there would be many posts about being a parent, since it is such a huge and wonderful part of my life. But six months into this endeavor and nary a single word on the subject has crossed this keyboard. And I've come to realize the reason: There are many things in life that I naturally excel at. That I've developed some sense of mastery or expertise in and even feel that I can provide guidance or advice to others. Parenting is not one of them. 

But what I have become quite the expert at is simplifying other parts of my life in order to make the challenging task of parenting easier. For example: Cooking. Before I became a Mom, I looooved to cook. And the longer the recipe, the more complicated the technique, the more obscure the ingredients, the better! I scoffed at people who shied away from complex cooking, who purchased convenience items like pre-chopped vegetables, and who referred to cookbooks with the words "30-minutes" and "easy" in the titles. And just like most judgements I made before I was myself a parent, boy was I wrong. 

Since becoming a Mom I have purchased almost every cookbook promising "easy", "30-minute", "weeknight", "simple", "5-ingredient" meals, with varying degrees of disappointment. One book clearly never timed the recipes, because they always took me well over an hour to make. One book made the assumption that if you want to cook quickly, you must also not like food very much because everything in it was bland and boring. Another book obviously never tested their recipes because they always came out just wrong. But thankfully, there was one bright spot in the bunch: 

This book provides a variety of recipes using a wide range of ingredients. You will not be bored! Also, the recipes are simplified with a high standard for the quality of the food. In other words, instead of throwing in cans of condensed soup into a recipe (with all due respect to the 1950's, gag!), you're buying a pre-roasted chicken from the grocery store to save time. And the recipes really do take only 30-45 mins, depending on your organization and knife skills. The well worn pages of my copy clearly speak to my love for this book, and I think any fellow lapsed foodie with young children will agree.