Wednesday, September 14, 2011

There will be pizza

Ok, I admit now that I am not a good cook and I don't like to cook.  Maybe if I had the extra time I would enjoy cooking. Maybe if cooking didn't take so much time and so much money I would do it more. I am in a true conundrum. I prefer healthy and read labels. Yet, at the same time, I don't know a lot of quick and easy that doesn't come out of a box or freezer.

The odd thing about this is that my mom cooked from scratch, as much as I can recall. I do not remember  ever having had "Hamburger Helper", "Manwich", or "Ragu" until I was a teenager. I am not even sure my mom eats "Ragu" now. Because of this, I know how to make chili, spaghetti sauce, meatloaf, apple pie, etc without a recipe and completely from scratch. It is the quick things that I have trouble with.

I am the one at the grocery store blocking the aisle as I scan the kids yogurt for any mention of "*some color* dye #...", the bread for "calcium propionate", and anything that says "less sugar", for the artificial sweetener ingredients. On the next aisle I am afraid to even look at the ingredients on the "Hamburger Helper" I toss in the cart.

Today I left the house at 7:15am. That may not sound early, but my hubby takes the kids to school. Some  days I may not even go outside until 11:30am. This works out well since my babies gradually sleep better until they are 6 months old and kick into reverse.  By their 1st birthday, their sleep is so temperamental it changes with each tooth, infection, developmental change, change in barometric pressure, phase of the moon, and who knows what else.  This morning I woke up to a friend's status that happily said how their daughter only got up twice last night.  My 1st thought was, I think I only slept twice last night. 

Yet, at 7:15am I drove 40 mins through morning traffic to B's Occupational Therapist. An hour later we quickly ran into the fabric store on the way home. I needed some red and green to do apple, apple tree, etc appliques for apple picking this weekend.  The fabric store is 30 minutes away but right near therapy so now seemed the most cost effective time to go.  We ran by Subway because B wanted to take her lunch (apparently the pizza line at the school is long). We ran home because she forgot her ID. After dropping her off at school we ran back home for J's forgotten backpack. I ran A to her speech evaluation. When we finished we had to run back home to change messy clothes before running J to school. We finally were home (for the 4th time in 2.5 hours), and actually able to get out of the car, near noon.

Right now we are napping, in preparation for this evening.  I have to pick up from after school activities at 4:30 and 5:00 pm. This wouldn't be a big deal if we didn't have to leave at 5:30 for church.  My crockpot and I only know 4 recipes, none of which I tossed in it this morning. The baby was too tired, after all that running around, to hit the grocery store today. Since the kids have to eat anyway, there will be pizza.  Pizza is also known as "heartburn with cheese".  It has all the food groups though. It has meat (except for the vegetarian), dairy, veggie, and bread. I am afraid to know how artificial the ingredients are, or how many preservatives are in it.  Luckily they don't print them on the box, for me to read while I eat.  Is it bad that one of the first places my teen gets to practice driving is the pizza drive thru?  This is the same teen who weighs nothing, but can polish off half a large pizza herself.

So what's on your menu this week?  Something healthy but super easy?  I am going to have to grocery shop tomorrow, if we don't want heartburn for dinner again. So hit me with what ingredients or staples I should be buying.  What should be on the month's menu?


  1. Brandi, we have a small menu planning group on facebook where we all leach ideas of one another and stop each other from feeling guilty on the days we serve pizza. Would you like to join?

    I always have zuchinni, squash, california mix, baby carrots and bell peppers. I buy several frozen veggies for those 'need a quick stir fry'.moments. Unprepared frozen veggies are my greatest kitchen loves.

  2. Girlfriend, I do a menu plan for a month at a pop. Then I can do one big shop and have all my ingredients to hand. While making up the menu (a blank calendar page with the main dish penciled in - nothing fancy!) is sometimes agonizing, once it's completed, life is GOOD. I no longer have to fuss over what to make each day, and I know that I have everything I'll need. When I was in grad school, I did my planning by semester - rather freaked out the guys at the butcher's counter when I ordered up x packages of 1 pound of hamburger, x packages of stew meat, x packages of this and that kind of chicken pieces, but it worked. (remember I am also a single parent with four children!) I often say that I went through grad school in my crock pot. So... take a deep breath, print out a blank calendar page, grit your teeth, scream loudly in frustration if you need to, but come up with a rotating four-week menu plan. Life gets SO much easier from there!!!