Thursday, February 22, 2007

the oven - mama's BFF

For the first 5 weeks we've been lucky to get takeout from restaurant mom & dad. They were more than happy to provide both lunch and dinner - I suspect to get their daily dose of baby K. This week, I decided it was time to wrestle up some food independence and start cooking on my own again.

My challenge, however, was time. I don't have the luxury of uninterrupted time before the dinner hour to fix an entire meal from start to finish. So, I learned quickly to compromise and cater to Kayla's schedule. Now I prepare the meal during her naps or during what I call her "non-fussy" periods (when she'll sit happily in the bouncer with her music and toys). This means the oven has become my most valued cooking tool and my repertoire of recipes now include casseroles, bakes and anything I can cook in the oven! Not many Chinese dishes (if any at all) call for oven cooking, so some of this is new territory for me.

My kitchen routine these days: chop, slice and prepare the ingredients during her morning nap; assemble the meal during her afternoon nap; pop in the oven right before her 6pm feeding. This allows hubby and I to sit down for dinner around 7pm.


On the menu:

  • Monday - steak fajitas

  • Tuesday - stuffed shells with arrabbiata sauce - I saw the recipe last week while watching Food Network's Everyday Italian with Giada De Laurentiis (photo)

  • Wednesday - mushroom turkey casserole

  • tonight - pork chops with horseradish mashed potatoes
I think tomorrow, I'll take a break and we'll get takeout... and next, I'll discover the slow cooker.

I wonder how other moms handle the dinner prep. Let me know if you have any insights or just plain good recipes!

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