Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Returning to the Kitchen

When a new baby arrives, all eyes are on that adorable babe. And, for new parents, all their attention and energy go to that little wonder. It’s amazing and utterly exhausting. At least this is how it was for Husby and me with both Lil’ O and Lil’ Chica.

We’ve just recently crossed the line with Lil’ Chica (now a whopping five months!) that we can reintroduce our own hobbies. The precursor to this has been the return of regular sleep. Hallelujah! I’d still like more, but I can mostly count on a six hour stretch at night; and, compared to those early days and nights of two hours max at a time, six hours is simply glorious. Now that Lil’ Chica is mostly on a schedule, I also know what windows of time are available to me to get anything done.

The laundry, tidying and cleaning is unending, but Husby and I have gotten to a balance that we can start to think beyond basic home and kiddo care. For him it’s the return of his MBA classes this week. For me, it’s mostly the idea and goal of cooking more. I’ve been happily reading a Christmas influx of cookbooks and dreaming up how I can more regularly return to the kitchen. Cooking dinner falls exactly when I’m nursing Lil’ Chica, so I’ve been out of commission and we’ve all been relying on multi-talented Husby to get dinner on the table each night. I’ve cooked up some breakfasts and other things, but dinner has been eluding me. No more!

I enjoy cooking, and I now have the time and brain space to start problem solving how I can tackle dinner, even while I continue nursing Lil’ Chica the 30-45 minutes just before dinner is served. I’ve been piecing together how I can use tools like the slow cooker and the freezer to tackle the task. My first dinner was this week and it was a hit! I used one of my new cookbooks, Ina Garten’s Make It Ahead Cookbook, to prepare an entrĂ©e in advance. When it came time, I popped it in the oven and then nursed Lil’ Chica while it cooked. Husby then put in the side I’d also prepared in advance. He got it all out and plated, then we ate. Triumphant success!!!

I have lots more recipes to try and am especially excited about using my slow cooker to create some Indian masterpieces with the help of this gem of a cookbook. Tools are at the ready. Here’s hoping for more dinnertime successes and lots more fun recipe reading.

It's a family affair: Cooking and cookbooks are a shared (inherited?) passion.

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