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Friday, October 8, 2010

I'm Cooking Again!!!

All you working moms of school-age children know the drill:

  • Get up, shower, get dressed
  • Pack the car (cooler of Powerade, apples, crackers, granola bars, etc.) [This is my vain attempt to insert some amount of nutrition in my girls' lives.]
  • Go to work
  • Slave all day for Da Man
  • Hurry to pick up the kids after school, feeding them whatever is in the cooler
  • Drop them at (insert activity). For us that's been tennis lately and--fortunately!--both girls are on the same team (pause for a moment as I count my blessings...)
  • Breathe a sigh of relief and plop into a lawn chair with a pile of papers from your inbox to watch an hour-and-a-half of practice
  • Drive home, grilling the kids about what homework is left to do, signing notes and permission slips at the stop lights
  • Feed them something more substantial (like PB&J or grilled cheese!) when you get home; that is, unless they proclaim the WILL DIE if I don't get them a taco or hamburger at a drive-up
  • Hurry the kids through the shower, homework and into bed
  • Fall into bed
  • Rinse and repeat...
That's been our life four days a week since school started in August. Needless to say, the only "real" meals we've had have been on the weekends. (Heck, the weather's been so dry this fall, I haven't even had the rain-day reprieve!)
Side note: The real bummer is we rarely have left-overs lately. So, I've been relegated to eating canned soup most days for lunch.

Anyway, we had a day off of practice today, and--BONUS!--I got home early.
So, I decided it was time for a real meal in our house!!!

I got a little exotic (at least for this family) and made Tuscan Baked Chicken and Beans from this month's issue of Cooking Light magazine (recipe online here). Check it out:

Note from the Cook: I substituted chicken thighs, because those were on sale for lots cheaper.

I don't know if that's why it needed an extra 10 minutes in the oven to get it to the safe cooking temperature of 170 degrees (as verified by my trusty meat thermometer).

This recipe was good timing, because The Husband was recently told by his doctor that he needs to getting more potassium in his diet. Beans, spinach and tomatoes are all good sources of good ole' K.

I have to give a Blogger High Five to Amanda over at The Nutritionist Reviews. Since I was running out of food inspiration beyond bananas and potaotoes, I emailed her for some ideas. Based on her response blog, I knew this recipe would be a potassium power house.

So, what you really want to know is: Did the kids eat it?

Well, sort of. One ate the beans and the other just ate the chicken (but she won't eat any veg beyond carrots and green beans). I (not being much of a bean eater) actually liked it. Must have been the bacon. The Husband is working late, so his share is still in the oven.

Now I'm on the look out for other, real meals I can make. I think I might dust off the Crock Pot and fire it up next week!

1. What do you listen to while driving?
Usually National Public Radio. Or (especially if my kids' friends are riding with us) flipping between the XM 80s, 70s and XM Willie's Place stations to do my Car Karaoke. Drives the youngin's nuts.

2. What is your least favorite thing about Fall?
Trees turning colors. I'm really missing it this year, with the dry weather. But I really appreciate the ones that are turning.

3. What does your dream house look like, inside and out?
Amazing. I don't know how to even begin. I always wanted an Italianate-style fixer-upper that I could gut. It wouldn't have a single white wall, anywhere.

4. Would you ever own a minivan?
Do we really need to talk about this???
I'm embarassed to say, yes, I did own one. But I'm reformed now.
I bought it because the Cheapskate in me won out. We stood there on the lot, looking back and forth between the Montana and the Suburban. And The Husband kept asking, "Is it worth the extra $8000?"
Like I said, the Cheapskate in me usually wins. And it did.
But, those days are gone!
Besides, my driving the minivan wasn't nearly as painful as The Husband trading in his Corvette for it!!!!

5. Do you wash new clothes before wearing them?
Usually not, unless it's a thrift store find. Then it always gets a Cootie Bath.


  1. I love to read your blog - you always make me giggle and I love to giggle!

  2. What a busy day - you deserve an award...

    and I've got an award for you over at my blog.

  3. Hi Big D, thanks for stopping by from Over 40 Friday! I love this post... it is SO true. I wish I could break the cycle.

    Thanks again for stopping by.

    Stef @

  4. How well I remember those days of kids changing into sports gear, eating an afternoon snack and doing their spelling words all while in the back seat of the car en route to their after school activity! Good times :-)

    Thanks for visiting my blog,

  5. I've been in a big cooking rut myself. I have been traveling so much for work I haven't even been home to cook, but I have tried to leave my mother-in-law with 1-2 meals each week for everyone to eat which has included beef and noodles and then pork chops in the crockpot. The crockpot is like the working mom's best friend.

  6. Love the new recipe. I'm thinking all the Real Farmwives of America (RFAs for short from now on) are feeling the strain of harvest and picky eaters and kids that miss their dads, and even (GASP) their moms. Most probably won't admit that last one! I'm a thigh girl so I will go the way you did! Keep on truckin' Chickie!

  7. Your life sounds exhausting. You do know that stress is a killer, right? It really is vital that everyone take some time every day for themselves. Think about it. Want you to stay healthy.

    You dropped in on my blog and I am returning the favor. You do a lot of fun stuff here. Maybe this blog is your Me Time. If so, that is good. Writing can be therapeutic. It is for me.

    I saw your five questions and decided to take a stab at them.

    1. Books on CD (this was when I was driving ~ long story there)
    2. Raking leaves
    3. Brick ranch with a spacious, open feel to it
    4. Been there, done that. Not unless I married someone with kids.
    5. Yes.

    Looking forward to reading more of your stuff. I only said that about the stress because I think people oftentimes just don't give themselves a break. It all goes to their family, job, etc. Moms are the worst about giving themselves that much deserved Me Time. I think it is because moms are nurturers and they just can't help but nurture everyone but themselves.

  8. Thanks for the wonderful complements on our blog.... happy to find yours and follow your adventures with Teens/soon to be teens!

  9. I so remember those days!! I had three girls and was also counting blessings when even two of them were on the same team, same dance class, same cheerleading squad...etc. I feel for you!