Sunday, August 8, 2010

Having A Baby In My 20's Means...

Learning how to cook a meal. Or two.

Hey Lovelies!

So... I have never wanted to learn how to cook. Ever. From the time I was in high school up until umm...last year most of my friends would talk about these fabulous meals that they made. But not me. Don't judge me! I have always been cooking impaired. Always.

Ever since my college days when I was fully on my own, I've been a take-out and restaurant kinda gal. And I'm not just talking Chinese and pizza here. I'm talking Mexican, Thai, Spanish, and Southern Soul Food from restaurants all over NYC. The only nights that I DIDN'T eat out were the ones when my old roommate cooked. Bless her!

Once when I was home alone and wanted to try my luck at mac and cheese, I called my sister and asked, "how do you make mac and cheese, again?" And I'm not talking about the super yummy baked macaroni and cheese pie, I'm talking Kraft mac n cheese... from the box! The one where you boil, drain the water, and add the cheese from the packet. Yea. Pathetic.

And since old habits die hard, I was not about to let motherhood turn me into some Betty Crocker, Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray type gal.

"But, what are you going to feed him?" people would ask me when Aiden was still a baby. I'd respond, "Well, right now he eats baby food and Gerber takes care of that. When he gets older, he'll eat what I eat. I'm a pretty healthy eater so he should be fine." And then I'd get the blank stares, which probably meant what the heck is she thinking?

My biggest "problem" with cooking is that it requires me to slave over a hot stove, as I like to call it. But motherhood means learning how to cook for your child. Especially since my income is not as disposable as it once was BC, before child.

My first attempt at cooking rice, chicken and corn was an EPIC FAIL. "But that's such a simple meal, how do you mess THAT up?" you ask. Yea... I'm seriously cooking impaired.

The rice was very lumpy and clumpy. And NOT edible looking. The chicken was well seasoned, as in way way way too salty. And the corn... how can you screw up corn?... oh, I can! The food looked bad, but I wanted to taste it to see if it was as bad as it looked. Plus, I'm not a fan of wasting food. Problem is, I dragged Aiden into the taste test too.

I fed him two spoonfuls of the rice and chicken. With a this does NOT taste good look on his face, in a very matter-of-factly way, he said, "Mommy... I need juice please."

Couldn't blame the boy. The dinner was A-W-F-U-L! So I gave him some apple juice and ordered take-out.

But I was determined for him to taste -- and LIKE!-- my cooking. Plus, when he gets older, I don't want him to be the only kid in school who says, "my mommy can't cook." So... since then, I've learned how to cook steak, pork chops, pasta, spaghetti and meatballs, mashed potatoes from scratch, and chicken (baked, fried, and grilled).

And Aiden loves 'em all. Or at least pretends to.

But I still can't make good-tasting, edible-looking, that's-so-yummy-in-my-tummy rice. I know, I'm terrible, but eh, maybe one day...

Got any fave recipes that I must try. Leave 'em in the comments!



  1. A lot of people underestimate how hard it is to make that perfect pot of nice fluffy rice. I've struggled with it and stumbled across the boxes with the premeasured rice in the bags (Minute Rice) and it cooks up great every time. One of my favorite easy recipes is angel hair pasta, alfredo sauce and a some kind of meat. It's three ingredients and takes like 30 minutes to make.

  2. I love this post. I actually find cooking to be cathartic but for some reason I don’t cook as often as I should. has some really great and quick recipes. Very kid friendly also. They even have a quarterly magazine full of recipes they send out. It used to be free, but I think they charge for it now.

  3. Lol girl! It happens, I wish my Mom would have spent more time w/ me showing me how to cook. Last year I told her I wanted to start a recipe book and include some of her recipes, so I could make them and pass them onto my daughter. I try and try at cooking, but there are some things, like fried chicken, that I just cant cook, lol. Rice is hard to cook perfect and in just an instant can become mushy. I suggest you invest in a rice cooker, it cooks your rice perfectly. And a crockpot is a good and easy way to make a meal. Just throw everything in a pot set in on low or high and in a few hours you have a meal!! It takes time, just take it one day at a time.

  4. Sweet post!! I like the rice cooker suggestion above. There's always pasta, much more fool proof than rice. And whole foods: bananas, avocados, tomatoes, apple sauce, and then it's all about baby food jars!!

  5. I loved this post, so honest...and funny, don't worry your cooking has gotten better..... Too Funny calling me for Mac and Cheese...lmao

  6. Oh the struggles of feeding a toddler...can we just hi-five. Thank GOD for Fridays - it's pizza pizza night!

    We definitely need to swap meal ideas!
    (landed here via/momfinds via twitter)

  7. cooking rice is hard. I did figure it out a few years and can cook rice well on an electric cooker - add double the amount of water, cover the pan for 10 mins. Then switch off the heat but leave the pan on the ring. Then 10 mins later you should have fluffy individual grains of rice! : ) I still struggle with a gas cooker and rice though...and was kindly given a rice cooker as a wedding pressie..and I've never looked back since! : ) xxx


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