By Heather Jones of hmjoneswriter.com
If you have a recipe folder on Pinterest, this article is probably not for you. You are fine. You can stir fry and julienne, you know when chicken breasts are done, you probably even know how to pronounce quinoa (I still prefer kin-oh-ah.) Go ahead and stop reading now, and get back to your life of champagne wishes and caviar dreams. If, on the other hand, you consider trading regular Kraft Dinner for Extra Creamy to be gourmet cooking, you have come to the right place.
I can’t cook. At all. I am not one of these people who says they can’t cook while they are whipping up a quick roast. I am unable to cook anything an 8-year-old couldn’t master. We are talking exploding eggs in the microwave with such a force that I literally ducked and covered. I once cut myself on spaghetti sauce. Not the jar, the actual sauce. That takes impressive talent. My lack of cooking skills at 36 years old is a skill in and of itself.
My husband, mercifully, is a great cook, and does 90% of the cooking. (He also does the groceries and the dishes. Sorry, ladies, he’s taken.) We have been together for 12 years and he has eaten exactly one thing I have made. Did I mention I can’t cook? I can’t cook.
That said, my husband is not always there to save the day, and I have two kids who don’t enjoy grazing in the backyard, so I do need to feed them somehow. May I present to you my you-can’t-possibly-screw-this-up-healthy(ish)-go-to recipes? Please don’t ask for exact measurements and specific instructions. I’m not Martha Stewart.
In light of recent freaky clown sightings, feel free to rename this to something less murdery. Pick an animal, or make it a flower. Or just call it what it actually is: a mishmash of stuff you found in the fridge. Essentially, take some lunch meat or boiled eggs (do NOT microwave them), some fruit, some cheese, some veggies, whatever really, and make a face with it. Now, we’re not talking that super impressive lunch box art that permeates your Facebook feed at the beginning of every school year. You are not making an Elsa here; it should only vaguely resemble a face. If you are tempted to take a photo, you did way more than you had to.
Banana Hot Dogs
I got this one on Pinterest, which means that it is nothing short of a delicacy and full of superfoods, right? Humour me. First, you take a hot dog bun (I go with whole wheat; it makes me feel better), then you spread peanut butter and jam (or unsweetened berry applesauce) on it. Are you with me so far? I know, it’s super complicated. Then you stick a banana on it. (Peel the banana first…just in case there are people out there who are more clueless than I am.)
Easy, right? Don’t burn your eyebrow (yes, I’ve managed to do that too). The sneaky thing about pancakes is you can hide virtually anything in there. Tuna and cheese. Veggies. Waldo. Really, you put anything in there and as long as you put syrup on it, they won’t notice. Admittedly, my kids have learned to have low expectations, but I’m standing by my syrup makes anything appear edible stance.
Pasta Cream Cheese Thing
I don’t think that is the official title of this dish, but that is what it is called in this house. This is maybe the most complicated thing I make, so pay close attention. Cook that pasta that looks like a screw. It might be called Rotini, but don’t quote me. Set a plateful of plain noodles aside for your 3-year-old who isn’t going to eat anything with sauce anyway. Melt half a brick of cream cheese into the hot pasta. Add tomato sauce. Shred some cheddar cheese (or buy shredded if you aren’t cheap like I am) and put that in there. Add some cheese to your 3-year old’s plate so he has something to pick off the noodles he isn’t going to eat. Heat and stir the pasta, sauce, cream cheese, and cheddar combo until it’s all melted and blended. That’s it. It’s good, trust me.
Pasta Cream Cheese Thing With Chili
Same as above, but use chili (canned, because who are we kidding) instead of tomato sauce.
There you have it, 5 meals that are possible for even the worst cook. I should know.
This post was originally published on The Baby Post.
About the Author
Heather Jones is a freelance writer in Toronto, and mother of two young boys. She is a regular contributor for Yummy Mummy Club and the Savvymom group of parenting websites. Heather has also been featured on the CBC, The Mighty, BluntMoms, The HerStories Project, and several other publications. Read more at hmjoneswriter.com and follow Heather on Facebook and Twitter.