Bringing Up Baby — Simple Scratch Cooking

by in Family, February 21st, 2012

three bean and beef chili
The early days of becoming a new parent felt like a blur. Life was on fast-forward, and faced with sleep deprivation, well, it’s no wonder my memories are far from vivid regarding that “breaking in” period. What I do clearly remember, though, is that by the end of the first month, I craved a home-cooked meal. No kidding — my husband and I ate takeout for the first four weeks as Mom and Dad.

Even ordering the healthiest to-go meals took its toll on me mentally. I missed the scent of onions browning in a skillet and marinara sauce bubbling away on the stovetop. By the time our second daughter was born five years later, I had a better idea of what to expect and easily jumped back into my normal cooking routines.

If you’re wondering about a better way to balance mealtime and motherhood the first time around, you’re in luck. Debbie Koenig, who blogs at Words To Eat By, has a new book out that I wish existed back in 2003, when my brood was just beginning. Full disclosure: Debbie and I are friends, but once you start reading Parents Need to Eat Too: Nap-Friendly Recipes, One-Handed Meals and Time-Saving Kitchen Tricks for New Parents, you’ll see my gushing over her book has nothing to do with friendship. It’s a survival guide of sorts, a cheat sheet to making your own nutrition as high a priority as your new baby’s.

One of my favorite tips, silly as it may sound, is to buy a kitchen timer if you don’t already own one. Right now it may be easy to keep track of what’s in the oven, but once you’ve got a little one who needs changing, napping and feeding of his own, you’ll realize that little “beep, beep” is the difference between a home-cooked meal and a burnt one.

Fast and Easy, New Parent Meal Ideas:

Fish Piccata

Three Bean and Beef Chili

Italian Mixed Salad

Ginger-Soy Marinated Flank Steak

Jennifer Perillo is a recipe developer and food writer living in Brooklyn, N.Y. Her recipes and tips for feeding families homemade meals are a regular feature in Working Mother magazine, where she’s the consulting food editor, as well Relish Magazine, Parenting, Kiwi and her blog, In Jennie’s Kitchen.

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Comments (4)

  1. Christina says:

    I love easy! Especially if there are kids running around. Nothing better than smelling a simmering pot of delicious food. :) This looks so chunky and good!

    Check out a similar rendition of Giada's Cheese Stuffed Artichokes I made. http://becauseofmadalene.blogspot.com/2012/02/che

    Christina

  2. Ayanna says:

    I love this! I don't have children myself, but I do have a niece. She loves to eat beans, go figure, but I think this recipe would be a great way to get her to eat more veggies.

    My niece also loves my dessert breads as well. Check out simplybakedbreads.com for more info.

  3. nanjhnyc says:

    I love it!

  4. wiki says:

    You can sell food at a restaurant with targeted promotions and a well-trained staff. Most restaurants make the largest portion of their revenue in food sales. The restaurant's bottom line benefits when the food sales per customer are increased. Menu options and upgrades can be marketed to potential guests before they enter the restaurant and continue once they visit the establishment. Spread the word about the great food options you serve to sell more than before. Thanks.
    Regards,
    creativebioscience.com

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