Calling all Moms

September 22, 2009 | By | Comments (23)

0412p120-chicken-mushrooms-lAll you moms out there who struggle to get a meal on the table after a long day at work…I hear you, sisters! Finally I understand what it means to really appreciate a superfast, super-nutritious meal.

I just returned to my job in the Cooking Light test kitchen after a three-month maternity leave. In those months I adjusted to my new reality: five minutes to sit and eat a meal, even less time to shower, and a whirlwind day that may include a 4 p.m. pause just long enough to realize I'm still in my pajamas. Whew! All those things people say about motherhood? I finally get it.

It's our goal at this magazine to provide a number of recipes each month that are quick and easy, but also nutritious and of course delicious. They're lifesavers for moms like me, who want to nurture their families with healthful meals that are downright doable on a hectic weeknight.Heck, I'm a professional cook and it's a challenge for ME, so I know what you're going through.

So my new blog series, New Mom in the Kitchen, will share tricks and tips for getting a meal on the table.  Granted, right now my baby only eats milk, but my husband still wants to eat a regular home-cooked meal most nights. Stay tuned for weekly updates on how I'm navigating this crazy, beautiful new life.  

P.S. Please feel free to pass along any tricks of the mom trade you think I need to know. I know you've got lots!


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  3. rista

    Enjoy !! Remember the best parts of each stage, read lots, play games , and know that someday you will “miss the laundry.” (Last one is in college and I’m down to three loads a week… lonely.)
    Make dinner in the morning before ten. Have it ready to go in the oven later, Get your salads ready and prep your sides. By five you won’t be hungry enough to muster a full meal. Too tired! Also put eight raisins in a cup by the sink. Eat one every time you drink a glass of water. Easy way to remember to hydrate. Some days you won’t be able to count… especially when there are more children or holiday activities.
    Have a home clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy! Time shared makes better memories!!

    October 14, 2009 at 2:27 pm
  4. Marina

    Hi Mary,
    Congratulations on your baby!
    I was one of the finalists for this year’s Ultimate Reader Recipe Cook Off and had a wonderful time. All of the Cooking Light staf are fantastic!
    I have a cooking blog called Yummy Mummy where 2 of my mommy friends and I share our recipes. My favorite quick tips are: slow cooker meals, things that can be made at naptime or the night before, and make 2 batches and freeze one. For example, tonight I’m making halibut bakend in parchment paper, but I filled the parchment pouches in the morning so all I have to do is throw them in the oven at dinnertime.
    Have fun with your new little one!

    September 30, 2009 at 2:50 pm
  5. Cheryl Arkison

    Your babe is a little young for this, but what has really helped me has been getting my little one in the kitchen – turning prep into jsut another activity we do together as opposed to something that has to get done.
    Oh, and don’t beat yourself up if you have scrambled eggs or frozen pasta for dinner sometimes. Cereal too.

    September 30, 2009 at 1:03 pm
  6. Erika Kerekes

    I have a husband, two grade-school boys, a full-time job, and all cooking responsibilities, so yes, I am with you, and I have found a number of shortcuts.
    My standard weeknight meal is: a quick-cooking protein (fish, thin chicken cutlets, steak) either broiled, sauteed or roasted; veg (green beans, asparagus, butternut squash, snap peas), blanched or roasted; and salad. If I need to serve a starch (mostly I don’t), I do rice in the rice cooker, which I set up and turn on before I go to work. Dinner in 20 minutes, healthy, everyone is happy.
    To dress up the above, I make quick mayo-based sauces: with roasted red peppers and garlic, or with lime zest and sorrel, or with mustard and tarragon. 1 min in mini-chopper.
    Hope this helps!

    September 30, 2009 at 11:34 am
  7. Leash

    I’ve recently started a blog about real recipes, that are healthy or on the healthier side. Please take a look!

    September 28, 2009 at 8:37 pm
  8. Leash

    Though I’m not a mom, I do find the quick and easy recipes extremely helpful, especially because I’m trying my hardest to eat healthy and promote healthy eating with my family.

    September 28, 2009 at 8:35 pm
  9. R. Daly

    If husband wants a home-cooked meal and doesn’t help with planning, buying or preparing, then make what you like to eat and then enjoy it. He might get the message or you might get some great meals. Same goes for kids.

    September 28, 2009 at 4:40 pm
  10. Micky

    One word – CROCKPOT. It’s a lifesaver. I can make 2 meals at the same time that last all week (leftovers are our friend girls).

    September 27, 2009 at 2:04 pm
  11. Michelle

    When I get a chance I try to make meals ahead of time. For instance one night I was making a pasta dish with a red sauce that needed to cook a bit, so while it was cooking I made a meatloaf for the next night that I could just pop in the oven once I got home from work, and just make a salad to go with it.

    September 25, 2009 at 9:24 pm
  12. Katie L

    so excited for some new and easy recipes!

    September 24, 2009 at 8:04 pm
  13. Nat

    I don’t have little ones anymore….mine are high schoolers. But w/their crazy school schedules, any help w/dinners is great! We usually do “power cooking” on Sundays…make 2-3 dishes that can be eaten later that week. Always looking for quick, easy AND tasty!

    September 24, 2009 at 2:31 pm
  14. Colleen

    Here’s a tip that has worked wonders for our family… my friends and I formed a Supper Club. There are 6 of us and we take turns cooking 6 meals (once a month each) – chicken, fish, or vegetarian. The meals are freezeable, and it makes life so much easier to have a few meals each month that someone else dreamed up, and cooked. We usually just have to thaw and reheat, or if it is not pre-cooked, we have minimal prep. Last night we had chicken enchiladas. The filling was cooked, I just had to assemble and pop in the oven.

    September 24, 2009 at 12:20 pm
  15. Marchelle

    Great! i know my family is getting tired of hamburgers every night!! can’t wait to hear what you have in store.

    September 24, 2009 at 11:50 am
  16. Kelley N

    I need all the help I can get! Looking forward to tips!

    September 24, 2009 at 11:38 am
  17. Kelley N

    I need all the help I can get- looking forward to tips.

    September 24, 2009 at 11:38 am
  18. caroline

    I can’t wait!!! Thanks for taking the time to do this with all you have going on!

    September 24, 2009 at 11:16 am
  19. Stacy

    This would be a great blog! If it could make meals that satisfy hubby AND toddlers alike then that would be a true lifesaver. Or at least have components that can be offered to toddlers to entice them to try a wider variety of foods. I have a 4 year old and a very picky 2 year old and I am constantly scrambling to get 3 meals made each morning noon and night to please everyone. lol!
    Congrats and welcome to the Mom club! :o)

    September 24, 2009 at 9:56 am
  20. Betts Johnson


    September 23, 2009 at 8:31 pm
  21. kristin

    I am excited for this, too! I have a 6 month old and a just-turned-2 year old. We just aren’t good planners – if I can get out the door having somewhat styled my hair, it is a triumph. Agree about freezer meals, and would love to see fast meals, minimal ingredient meals, and kid-friendly meals! Congratulations on the birth of your child!

    September 22, 2009 at 10:24 pm
  22. Aggie

    I have 2 young ones and it’s always a struggle…looking forward to reading more!

    September 22, 2009 at 9:06 pm
  23. Sarah E

    Im excited for this! Im having a baby end of Nov and am wondering how I will still make dinner for my husband and I once the little one arrives.
    Im thinking about freeze ahead meals but have yet to find more then 1-2 good recipes. Maybe you could showcase some in your series?

    September 22, 2009 at 7:01 pm

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