...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

'you cook so well, all nice and French'

I very much enjoy the ritual of cooking meals for my family. One of my goals this year was to reduce the number of times we eat out and instead enjoy a healthy, home cooked meal, so nothing gives me more pleasure than to plan, shop for, and prepare a meal that we'll all eventually gather around and warm our souls over while also enjoying great conversation. Each day as the clock ticks nearer to 5 p.m., and the motivation to journey to the kitchen to begin laboring over the stove approaches, I'm delighted to do this for those who depend on me to nourish them.

My plan, of course, is truly going well. In fact, if restaurants were built on such kudos as "Is this *really* what this is supposed to taste like?" and "I've had worse, I guess," then believe me, friends, I'd have a string of successful eateries dotting our nation's landscape, each staffed by individuals who began their days happy and eager to try new creations only to end them frustrated and packing away leftovers, all at your service! My flagship eatery would be named "YES, it has onions in it! Jesus! Just DEAL!" I hope you enjoy today's special, "If I wanted to poison you, believe me, I'd do it with something other than meatloaf."

Of course, the reactions my meals have been garnering the last few days might make you believe I'm a poor cook. Au contraire, mon frere! I am an excellent cook. I present to you the following photograph as evidence:

(not pictured - the 14 other options I presented my children with for a far healthier, more satisfying meal)

Yummy! Notice the sheen on that pile of Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni (also known as 'the only good Hamburger Helper')! That means it's good for you! Oh, broccoli, your barely green hue makes me feel stronger and healthier just looking at you, so can you imagine how amazing you're going to make my body feel?

Yes, I am a good cook. Just ask my kids, who, after being served this meal, looked lovingly at me over their forks and spoons and declared this the best meal I've served them in days. Nay! Weeks!

"Is this a new recipe?" my oldest son asked. "This tastes delicious! Did you put some kind of spice or something in it?"

Seriously. Yes. I put some kind of spice in the Hamburger Helper to jazz it up. It was called water and whatever that weird cheese powder is. Screw the suggestions on the side of the box that would have creative cooks perking up an already flawless casserole by tossing in a can of diced tomatoes or adding a toasty crust of french onions! We're not in New York City! Let's not get all fancy pants with our palate, m'kay?

Speaking of fancy, it's time for the list of things that made me happy this week, part deux! What a coincidence! The first thing on my list is a delicious food item!
  • Green Monster spinach smoothies - I've honestly had dreams about these, so that gives you a little insight into just how exciting my life is. So good. So filling. So want one in my belly right now.
  • Playing Scrabble on my Nook.
  • Accidental twins days with my coworkers - that moment when I get to work and find out I'm wearing the same color shirt/pants combo as at least one other friend on the clock. We're as simple folk.
  • Scratching tasks off my 'to do' list.
  • Uncluttered kitchen counters - the fleeting bit of time between when my counters are devoid of clutter and everyone else comes home and dumps their stuff all over them makes me feel like I could run the world.
  • Taking the afternoon to do nothing but curl up on the couch and thumb through my magazine pile - on a side note, methinks me's getting too old for Glamour.
  • Playing this song by Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover to all you fans of Community) - yeah, the woman who recently told her kids that, and I quote, "I can't listen to any more of this rappy music" can not stop stop listening to this (NSFW) song. Of course, if I keep gobbing that Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni, I'm probably going to end up looking like one of those rap guys' girlfriends, so it's all good.
  • Downton Abbey - I must confess, though, that I'm still watching the first season and recording the second so I can keep up. And that until this week, I thought the show was called Downtown Abbey, which would probably be the American version starring Queen Latifah and Chris Rock.
  • Letting my dog, Max, burrow under my Snuggi (yep) so we could both stay warm and nap in my favorite chair Sunday afternoon.
  • That our free weekend of Showtime allowed me to see the U2 documentary From The Sky Down. I will never not adore Bono.
  • IQ84 by Haruki Murakami - Although maybe you should ask me again in a week when I'm more than 100 pages into this beast.
And that's all I got. Well, that and a gut ache from last night's dinner. Hopefully I'll cure that with my recipe for "Gah! Why can't we just have spaghetti?" tonight. That's not what I call it, of course, but trust me, it'll be delicious! If you're around, you're invited!



Blogger Bijoux said...

Well, my kids won't eat ground beef in anything but a hamburger, so how's that for Mr.FancyPants eaters?

I watched an early '80's U2 concert that took place in Germany on some obscure cable station while flipping through last week, looking for something to watch while ironing. I will always adore mullet Bono!

Friday, January 13, 2012 6:43:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa @ Lisa Moves said...

my kids won't eat a single thing I make. They eat pasta with butter or grandma comes over and makes chicken nuggets (hers are better than mine, apparently).

Friday, January 13, 2012 8:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We gots one "I'll eat and like near anything" daughter and another "if it ain't fish, I ain't liking it" daughter. Guess which one gets her favorites most often? ;-)

She's also the same one who LOVES to cook/bake when she can.

Friday, January 13, 2012 8:53:00 AM  
Blogger The Lady's Lounge said...

The paper plate really makes the dish wouldn't you say?

My little brother lived on nothing but peanut butter on toast for about a year.

Luckily for me, all three of my monsters' favourite foods include salad and sushi.

Friday, January 13, 2012 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Principled Slut said...

I hate anything hamburger helper, but I will never not adore U2. :)

Friday, January 13, 2012 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger lime said...

once when my kids were small they and i all got a horrid belly bug. they recovered quicker than i did. i was kown for making dinner from scratch, my husband can urn water. since the kids were better and hungry and i was still in horrid shape he said he'd feed them. he made box macaroni and cheese, put in a can of tuna and a can of peas. then he perked it all up with....brace yourself.....purple food coloring. it looked like the very sort of thing we'd been ejecting from our bodies during the days of illness. my children raved like it was the most exquisite gourmet cuisine they;d ever had. i asked myself why i bother.

i feel your pain. oh yes i do.

Friday, January 13, 2012 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Craig said...

My kids are all about the box mac-n-cheeze. Or an in-house recipe that they call 'Cheese-on-chips', consisting of tortilla chips spread on a paper plate, and covered with shredded cheddar. Nuke on 'high' for one minute, and - VOILA! Instant hardening of the arteries!

So Jen usually tries to slant things toward the fruits and veggies, and chicken, and suchlike. But left to themselves, they just don't want to work that hard. . .

I can put together a mean pot of chili (and its meanness is directly proportional to the number of Scoville units contained in the pot), and a pretty good spaghetti sauce, and my jalapeno cheese dip is to die for. But honestly, I think my kids would be happy if all we did was stock the pantry with 29 boxes of 'Life' every week. . .

Friday, January 13, 2012 12:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh picky eaters...the ban of my existence.

I just started watching Downton Abbey and I love it. I heard so many good things about it that I finally caved and yay British period dramas!

Friday, January 13, 2012 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger TheLab said...

This is one of those posts of yours that resulted in a co-worker saying, "What's Leslie doing over there?" (for real, that just happened). Leslie was trying to laugh very quietly, but this sometimes results in a snort. Sadly. This was WAY too funny.

and hear it isn't coming back for another season? Why? Smart people need comedy shows, too!!!! GRRRRRRR!!!

Anyway, this post was just perfection. I want to quote every line with a <----- ha ha ha ha ha! after it.

Also, my friend was posting about Downton Abbey all last year and then again recently when it started again. Until you wrote this post, I totally thought it was Downtown Abbey. And yes, Latifah and Rock! HA HA HA HA HA!

Too old for Glamour, me too.

LOVE THIS POST. (Did I say that already?)

p.s. The word verification is "dords" - it sounds like the name you'd call someone who is too old for Glamour and totally gets ALL the humor in Community. I'm SUCH a dord.

Friday, January 13, 2012 1:31:00 PM  
Blogger TheLab said...

p.s. I just read the comment from "lime" above - I almost snorted again! "Brace yourself, purple food coloring" - that is INSANE and hilarious and awesome! And the fact that it trumped her homemade dishes is so funny! (I say that because she can't hit me from where I'm sitting.)

Friday, January 13, 2012 1:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey have I ever talked about the time I made green eggs and ham for the fam?


Stands to reason as Queenie allows speak of that NOT. :-)

Friday, January 13, 2012 3:56:00 PM  
Blogger Bethany said...

U2 documentary = l.o.v.e
Funny things your boys say, awesome.
My kids love my cooking too. So I could really relate to the 'packing up the leftovers' part... but my favorite night is when I make something especially for them, and I am the only one that eats it. Yay. My 10 yr old recently told me that the Tyson chicken nuggets and kraft mac n cheese was the best dinner ever, and how did I make it SO good.
Again, yay.
Fun post fadkog, fun!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 7:39:00 PM  
Blogger Melissa @ I Pick Pretty said...

That is the fancy, good Hamburger Helper, and I speak from experience here.

Speaking of good, a relative of mine was just asking about "Downtown Abbey" (his phrasing) this weekend, having had enjoyed the first couple of episodes. I wonder if he'd found the Chris Rock version somewhere, because I'd watch that too . . .

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 9:00:00 PM  
Blogger Logical Libby said...

Thank God Meg doesn't know there is such a thing as "helper" yet. It's bad enough she thinks fruit snacks are a real food.

Keep up the good fight.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 5:03:00 PM  
Blogger the weirdgirl said...

Your picture? That looks EXACTLY like the meals I make! Thank you. Thank you very much. Oh, I also do top ramen with some peas and an egg cracked into it. It's SO exotic.

Thursday, January 19, 2012 1:59:00 PM  

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