5 Things This Weekend


Tonight we’re having friends over, and I’m making Ina Garten’s roast chicken, which is my current favorite recipe. Fact: I had never roasted a whole bird in my LIFE until earlier this year. I was so intimidated by it! But now I feel like Wonder Woman with a Chicken when I pull that baby out of the oven.


But…… Internet, can I be honest? I kind of hate cooking. No, wait, it’s not that I hate cooking. In fact, I kind of liked it – and then I became a mom. And now I’ve got a handy little set of critics. It’s worse than being on Top Chef. EWWW WHAT IS THIS. I DON’T LIKE IT. IT LOOKS FUNNY. WHAT’S THAT SMELL. And this is all before anyone even tastes anything. Kind of sucks the joy out of it, right? I KNOW YOU OTHER MOMS FEEL ME. My friend Rita calls dinnertime at her house The Hour of Disappointment. ?

And to be fair, I’m not highly creative in the kitchen. I enjoy baking the most but I’m probably not going to be out there coming up with my own recipes. So by the time I’ve come up with some kind of meal plan that satisfies Jude (but probably not Simon –  or the inverse of this scenario where Simon is happy but Jude is not), gone shopping for everything and spent all the dollars, come home, unloaded it, prepared it, made an epic mess, and probably sat eating it alone because Simon’s showing a house and Jude’s decided to go for a PB&J in lieu of the magnificence on his plate that I have BLOOD-SWEAT-AND-TEARS PREPARED? Well, I am frankly over it. TOTALLY UTTERLY OVER IT.  And do not even get me started on worrying about nutrition. I mean at this point, who’s worrying about how healthy it all is when no one will even eat what you made?

GAHHH. So I finally hit an impasse when sitting in counseling bemoaning the role of all mothers and how bad it sucks to prepare food for the ungrateful citizens. And the counselor nodded. But then she sagely reminded me that it’s about nurturing.

Oh. Insert my sheepish expression. Yeah. I kind of forgot about that. Nurturing my loved ones. TAKING CARE OF MY PEOPLE.  And then because the Holy Spirit had to go and, you know, MOVE IN MY SOUL,  I’ve also found that my word for 2016 has been “serve.” Because it’s so easy to fall into selfishness and self-pity, especially in the trenches of new motherhood. Daily – hourly – I find the Holy Spirit whispering that word to me over and over again.

So. What’s a tired, hungry mom to do? I felt so overwhelmed by recipes in general, and we’ve all tried those terrible Pinterest recipes that look good but taste awful. I realized that the only chef I consistently liked was Ina Garten.  I mean, look – she’s cooking all day for Jeffery, and I started to realize “Well crap. If it’s good enough for Jeffery, it’s good enough for Simon Shingleton.” And so I’ve gone on my own Julie & Julia journey of sorts.  For the past few months, I’ve challenged myself to try something Ina Garten created on a fairly consistent basis, and I’m on a mission to master the roast chicken.

“How easy was that?”

Here’s to the weekend and taking care of my people… check out some fun links to read before you take your afternoon nap.



Jonathan Adler is the new creative director at Fisher-Price. Expect cool toys to come of this.


Let’s go to Cornwall, England, and rent this ADORABLE cottage.


Speaking of Ina, 13 interesting facts about her (she met Jeffery when she was only 15!)


Obsessed with this adorable scalloped table at Target for a steal.


Characteristics of highly creative individuals. So fascinating – are you one of them?



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  • Candice

    Go ahead and add Ina Garten’s Beef Bourguignon to your list if you haven’t already made that one. Heaven! HEAVEN! (And we never have the cognac so just skip it.).

  • I see your cottage rental and raise you BUYING AN ENTIRE ENGLISH VILLAGE!!!

    Also, I am dreading the stage where Alexander can critique my cooking. 🙁 I can’t imagine how frustrating that will be, but I love that you pointed out (yay counselor!!) that it’s about serving. Keep up the good work. At least you try! That’s the important thing. (And laying on the couch eating chocolate counts on days where that’s the most you can muster.) Love the post, thanks for sharing!

  • Randi

    Wow, this really struck a cord with me. I struggle mightily with the dinner routine as well. I’m a morning person, and by the time I get home from work I’m tired. As are my kids. And the issues around who likes what are ever-present. So I often give up. But the idea of dinner as nurturing event — while it should be self-evident — is very powerful. And your idea of working through Ina’s recipes is brilliant — I love collecting recipes, but then they mostly sit there. Thanks for giving me something to think about.

    • You’re welcome. I honestly have struggled with the whole domestic role as mom off and on for years. I don’t want to feel like a maid, you know? And the dinner hour is the worst part of the day for everyone. We’re all tired and done with the day!