Our goal is to provide information, ideas and support for working women who are also full-time mothers.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Working Mom's Cooking Guide

I hate to cook. With a passion. I never cooked before I was a mom. My husband cooked, especially early in our dating years when he was trying to impress me. But in college I'd eat soup or tuna straight out of the can. I'd make instant mashed potatoes and mix in a can of corn. Disgusting, I know. But that's how much I hate to cook. Of course I can't hand my 2-1/2 year old a can of tomato soup and a can opener. She has to eat. Real food. So, I've learned to like that I hate to cook. My husband and I switch off when we can, but because of his schedule, it's often up to me.

As we all know, being a working mom creates all sorts of new challenges in the kitchen. There's great meals my mom used to make but I simply don't have the time. It's hard to find time to even bake cookies for Christmas. Or a homemade cake for our kids' birthdays. Yet we want to do it for them. I hate the thought of my kids missing out on anything because I'm working. So this week I want to share some things I've learned over the last couple years to make dinner less of a daunting task:
  • Embrace your crockpot. Don't have one? Get one. It's a working mom's best friend.
  • Explore the web. There are some wonderful websites out there to help us find quick and easy recipes. You can even jump on during your lunch break, plug in the ingredients you have on hand, and get a recipe for dinner.
  • Rotate your favorites. Find what recipes work and don't be afraid to use them 2-3 times a month. It's fun to try something new too, but don't feel like you have to be Emeril. WAY too much pressure.
  • Weekend cooking: save the more complex dishes for the weekends. Even then, don't do too much--unless you love to cook!
  • Don't forget the old stand-bys. There's nothing wrong with BLTs, sloppy joes, or quesadillas. All easy.
  • Substitue to make it healthier. Easy doesn't have to be entirely bad for you. Substitute whole grains when you can. Reduce sugar and sodium when possible. Throw in some vegetables. I've recently discovered the new microwavable frozen veggies by Bird's Eye. They are WONDERFUL! In five minutes you can steam your veggies right in the microwave and they're delicious.
  • Share the wealth! Want to find a new recipe or share a great one you've discovered? Check out realworkingmom.com's message boards and click on "Recipe Box," or just click here: http://realworkingmom.proboards106.com/index.cgi?board=recipes


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