Maybe I have what it takes?

I don’t call meals in our house by their names, I call them “snacks,” because I tend to eat like a 5 year old. More nights of the week I have string cheese for “dinner” that I can’t in good faith really call it “dinner,” and I very rarely cook. I mean, I cook for my kid, if you count making tortellini from a box from Costco and throwing it in some marinara sauce.

When I was newly married, Boof came home to find me eating Tostitos chips with cheese melted on (let’s call them “nachos” shall we?) and a Klondike bar…for dinner. I’m basically a frat boy or bachelor in my eating choices. And while I can make an amazing lasagna, tacos, and a dish called “smothered chicken,” I very rarely cook. It overwhelms me to say the least.

So, the other day, when I was perusing Offbeat Home, I came across this “one pot pasta” recipe that looked…um…amazing. And so I went out to the story and bought the ingredients. I even got wild and bought a bag of fresh crimini mushrooms. The recipe called for shallots (whatever the hell those are), but overall it looked like a super simple recipe and so yesterday I got to cracking. I even got fancy and fried up the mushrooms and garlic and shallots in oil before I dumped them in the pot with the rest of the ingredients. I even got crazy and added sausage chunks (which didn’t need to be added) and the result: delish.

It’s recipes like this that make me think that maybe I have what it takes to be a good cook. I actually really enjoyed the process, and the result was better than any boxed meal I could have made. But I was prepared, and preparing stresses me out most days. And trying to get everything done in a short amount of time, with a crazy toddler, stresses me out even more. Also, when I’m overly hungry my brain reverts to only remembering things I like to eat…which means I reach for goldfish crackers or string cheese or cookies. I’m surprised I’m not 400lbs with the kind of snacking I live off.

So if you want the recipe, here it is:


  • One box (or 12 ounces) spinach linguine
  • ½ Cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (omit or lessen to your tastes)
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • Kosher Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups water
  • 1½ cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, extra basil, and pepper to garnish


Combine all ingredients except garnishes in a large pan. The pan should be large enough for the linguine to lay flat without being broken.

Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil on high heat, stirring frequently, until pasta is al dente and the liquid is nearly evaporated (10-12 minutes).

Garnish with Parmesan cheese, pretty basil ribbons, and a little more pepper.

Again, I added sausage and Crimini mushrooms (fresh) from Trader Joes. And I didn’t have quite 12oz of pasta, but it still worked ok. I’ll have to play with the liquids in the future, they were a little soggy, but still overall delish.


Any quick and easy (but delicious) recipes you have to share for this stressed out snacking mama?

How I ended up cooking dinner naked…

My kid eating Triscuit minis off the floor should have been the first sign that the night wasn’t going to go as plan. No, wait, Grandma telling me that Potamus only took a 45 minute nap at church daycare  and didn’t eat much all day, was the first sign that the night wasn’t going to go as planned.

And then there was him playing in the recycling bin as I desperately tried to rustle up some food for this budding  picky eater connoisseur. Desperately steaming broccoli and defrosting blueberries, I shoved a pretzel roll in his grubby little hands and got him to calm down for two seconds to finish the prep process.

Meanwhile, I had started the chicken cooking for our dinner, and got all the pans and noodles out for that prep. His dinner was winding down when I got this awesomely bright idea to try and cut his hair while he was in the high chair. Because this blog isn’t old enough, you all didn’t witness my “I pulled a Britney before Britney” hair cutting experience of 2003, but needless to say, when the whim happens, the trim happens.

Dog clippers in hand, I begin buzzing away on my boy’s hair. He tolerates it for about 4 minutes until he gets a fistful of broccoli/hair casserole and promptly begins freaking out, crying, rubbing his eyes (which just gets hair in them) and generally being unhappy. With my chicken and sauce bubbling and noodles boiling I rush him back to the shower to get him cleaned off.

He had a poopy diaper.

I strip down in 3.4 seconds, run to turn down the boiling-over-pot of noodles, and jump in the shower with poop-bottom-boy who is crawling around the bathroom occupying himself with toys and generally smearing poop nuggets all over. I jump in the shower, get him all scrubbed off, and throw a towel around us while dashing (safely, in wet feet) down the hallway to the kitchen to stir the noodles and chicken. Standing there for a second to catch my breath, Potamus reaches his head down and begins nursing.

And that’s where the story begins, folks.

Stark naked. Baby nursing from my bare breast. Cooking chicken and noodles for dinner.

It was a scene from National Geographic if I ever saw one. Probably why those women keep there boobies bare, saves on laundry and lets you get some spaghetti cooked. Not that they cook spaghetti, but whatever. I manage to dash down the hallway, get him in his jammies, and make it back to finish up the final process of dinner making. Where he then proceeds to nurse from my other boob.


Realizing what a crazy ridiculous situation this was, I almost began laughing. But the noodles were done and I needed to stir it all together. Unlatching boy-wonder before he was fully finished caused a fit of toddler crying rage, despite my trying to distract him with a song and dance number (all still naked, btw). I go to cover the noodle dish with aluminum foil, to keep it warm, since Boof is running late, and the whole roll goes crashing to the floor and spreads out a good 4 feet of foil that I have to crumple roll back up. All with a crying baby.

About the time I would start to cry, I settle him down with an episode of The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and am able to get some underoos on this naked lady, and eat my dinner (probably without chewing, but whatevs).

Boof walks in the door, just as everything calms down and I am clothed, nobody is crying, and even the dog is behaving.


Thanks Universe.