Friday, January 27, 2012


I don't know what my deal is, but I am not a fan of cooking, especially cooking dinner. It seems like I build up anxiety all day long as I think about how I have to cook dinner, and then dinnertime comes and I'm almost afraid to cook. I'm afraid fear making something that flops. It's expensive to make something and then end up hating it. This means I have my few trusted recipes, and it's easy to get sick of them. I also fell into a nasty pattern when morning sickness took over my life. What's for dinner? Well, I don't want to even leave the couch, so we're having a box meal, again.

I knew I needed to change my attitude toward cooking, so one of my New Year's Resolutions has been to be better about dinner. Sounds vague, but I needed it vague because I have a lot to work on. First, cooking isn't a big deal - why be such a wimp? Yes, things flop, but rarely so bad that you can't at least eat it. Then you don't make that again. And forget about those box meals - a real dinner will taste so much better.

The biggest lifesaver for me in keeping this resolution:

Have you discovered how amazing Pinterest is yet? You should. Crafts, DIY projects, fashion, humor, artwork, home decor. You name it. It's all on there and more. Including recipes. Thanks to some wonderful pins, I have discovered that there is more to cooking than just standing in front of a stove. It's about creation and creativity. And seeing how good you can make food taste.

So far, my resolution is basically a success. I have mostly avoided box dinners, and I have even branched out for dinner. Rich is happy about this - he encourages my exploration into the world of cooking. I'm still afraid of intense recipes that require more ingredients than I have in my cupboards and cooking techniques I've never even heard of, but I'm getting better.

Big success: Cafe Rio chicken burritos with cilantro-lime rice and creamy tomatillo dressing - tasted almost exactly like Cafe Rio

Flop: A certain recipe for crockpot macaroni and cheese - much too dry and rather chunky

Needs some work: Winger's amazing sauce - too runny and just not quite the right flavor

Excited for these:
Pesto stuffed shells
Pinned Image

French breakfast muffins (not dinner, but they sound so delicious)
French Breakfast Muffins

I discovered this great website today: Budget Bytes. The author breaks down the cost of each of her recipes for the whole meal and per serving.  Plus, her recipes look super delicious.

If you have any suggestions on how to stay positive about cooking, I'd gladly take them. Also, any of your no-fail recipes would be much appreciated. I'm working on building up my own recipe arsenal.

Here's to a future of positive cooking!

In baby news,
things are going well in the belly so far. I reached 23 weeks yesterday, and I am feeling kicking and movement all of the time, although it took me forever to realize that what I thought was my stomach twitching was actually baby girl. Rich was able to feel her kick for the first time last week, too. I was pretty sure I was feeling her kick on the outside, so I had Rich put his hand on my belly to make sure. At one particularly strong kick, Rich said, "Was that her?" and I knew he felt her. And then I teared up because I'm already an emotional person, and I'm pregnant. I've only felt a couple kicks as strong as that since, but I'm looking forward to more in the future.


  1. I LOVE those muffins! You should for sure make them! Be glad she's not a big kicker. William bruised my ribs when I was pregnant and he still kicks me all the time when we have diaper changing wrestle matches.

  2. Hahaha, my favorite part: "And then I teared up because I'm already an emotional person, and I'm pregnant." I can totally relate to this. :D

  3. I'm so excited about your little one! It's so exciting! Also, Pinterest is such a goldmine, I'm so glad you're making some of the recipes. I know so many people who just pin thousands of things, and never even attempt to do any of them at all. It's crazy. Anyways, those muffins and pesto shells look pretty yummy - I'm going to have to try them :)

  4. yeah, I go through spurts of dinner anxiety too. it's like i forget what i can make or just feel like i make the same 5 meals over & over. I'm all for simple meals! (mexican is my favorite go-to: fajitas, taco salad, a mexican casserole. Or hamburgers) And you shouldn't feel guilty about simple because just wait until baby girl has her fussy time right when you are cooking - best keep things simple & make enough for left overs! I need to get my hands on that cafe rio recipe.