You are going to notice a certain regression on the blog in the next few months. Though I have not been blogging, I have been thinking about it a lot. Thinking about whether to keep doing it, what my purpose is, what can I possibly contribute to the vast number of food blogs on the world wide web. I thought of a lot of things I can’t offer: amazing photographs (though I have a fancy camera, my I-phone is usually my go-to), super gourmet recipes (remember those two little girls I have to keep alive?), insightful quips on parenting (no explanation needed). So after being down thinking about all I couldn’t offer, I started to think about what I could offer which led me to why I created my blog. My blog is about LEARNING to cook. So essentially, I want to go back and start teaching. I’m thinking of my nieces who are just coming out of college or moving out on their own. I’m thinking of all of us who realize we don’t quite know everything yet and how excited I am when I figure something out. I’m thinking about the random questions and cooking confessions I hear in conversations with friends. 

So if you are a seasoned foodie: first, I’m surprised you are reading my blog, and second, you may be over what I am going to start posting. You probably have it figured out. Which is great. Because I sure the heck don’t.

And I’m also sticking to a strict blogging schedule. I promise you I will post twice every week: a recipe type post on Monday and whatever I can scrape together on Friday. Probably not parenting nuggets of wisdom, but more like confessions like how I actually believed the 4K teacher when she said no valentines and then my daughter was the only one who didn’t bring them. Spoiler alert: she was totally fine being on the receiving end. Or how I have given up making my youngest wear socks no matter how many guilty looks I get from other people. 

So, that’s what you can expect. So, let’s get started with what I hope becomes a recurring subject matter on the blog….

Back to the Basics: Oh Sh*$ Meals*

*I’m sorry, Mom. The only way to describe these meals is ‘Oh Sh*$’ meals. You can’t give me too hard of a time given the amount of times I heard you say those words growing up. **

**I probably just lost my only loyal reader.

Alright, so let’s say you were super ambitious and prepped a slow cooker meal to be enjoyed post kids activity craziness and then you came home to an error message on your slow cooker. Or you were just on vacation and got accustomed to going out to eat and suddenly you are home and you are responsible for feeding 4 humans or more. Or less. Or you have just had a helluva day at work or at home or anywhere else and it’s dinner time and you’re exhausted. Or you made dinner and it totally sucked. 

Please tell me I am not alone in any of the above scenarios.

What are you going to eat?

The trick to this question is a nicely stocked pantry and freezer. Okay, before you freak out, it doesn’t have to be that nicely stocked but here are some things that it helps to have on hand.

-Some kind of sauce: Marinara, Pesto, Thai Peanut Sauce

-Some kind of ready to go protein: frozen meatballs, chicken sausages, or maybe some leftover chicken

-Some kind of vegetable: precut fresh is good, but I’m not always that together. Enter frozen veggies in a steamer bag. Cue the chorus of angels. 

-If you are into grains, it never hurts to have some pasta ready to go in a pot of boiling water.  

Pesto Chicken Veggie Bowl

This is one of my favorite combinations for these crazy type nights. At first I was always adding in GF pasta till Manatee pointed out it would be even better with just veggies. I didn’t agree with him, BUT it sounded easier and therefore I started doing it. Easier is always better in my book. 

Pesto Chicken Veggies:

Leftover chicken or chicken sausages

huge scoop o pesto

bag of frozen veggies

  1. Heat veggies according to directions on the bag. Toss in bowl with reheated leftover chicken or microwaved chicken sausage. Dinner is done!

I feel like the next logical question for those with kids: will my kids eat it? Mine don’t. But they will eat steamed veggies and the meat as long as it’s dipped into ketchup or ranch or hummus or all three. And that’s fine with me. And some kids like pesto. 

But I really like pasta….

If you are feeling fancy, go ahead and add some cooked pasta and/or toasted pine nuts and/or feta or parmesan cheese.

If you are adding pasta, here are some tips:

  • If you are cooking pasta and you have some kind of veggies on hand, it’s always good to throw them in there for the last 2-4 minutes of cooking depending on size of veggies. I’d add broccoli for the last 3-4 minutes, but strips of peppers for just 2 minutes. Or remember those handy frozen veggies? Throw those in two or steam them add them at the end. 
  • Add some spinach after you drain the pasta and you are stirring in your pesto and other add-ins. The spinach will wilt nicely and you get another veggie in there. Score!
  • Don’t have a sauce? After you finishing cooking the pasta, stir in some shredded cheese or feta with some butter or ghee and seasonings. It makes a nice, easy creamy base as pictured below:
Creamy artichoke, spinach, and chicken sausage GF pasta dish.

Creamy artichoke, spinach, and chicken sausage GF pasta dish.

Here are my favorite ingredients for meals like this:

 

And maybe next time, I will have a picture of the finished product of my pesto dish. Truth be told, I was so hungry that I devoured it. Not every meal you make is photo-worthy and that’s okay. Sometimes you just need something that nourishes you and tastes pretty darn good too. 

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Do you have any favorite ingredients you keep on hand? What are some of your favorite ‘Oh Sh$%’ meals? 

And, what are some cooking basics you would like to see me cover in the next few months?

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