Friday, March 9, 2012

so there i was, with a 2 course dinner on the table. {and a smile in my heart}

i have this thing, this struggle, this issue: cooking.

yes, i grew up in a home seeing my mother cook, from scratch, on a regular basis.
yes, i grew up enjoying her homemade meals, and arguing about who's turn it was to do the dishes.

but there's a missing link from my mothers talents and abilities in the kitchen to my own.


it's not just my dislike of cooking though, it's my constant failure while cooking, that creates this barrier around the stove, the cute kitchen aid mixer, the rice steamer, and all those other random kitchen appliances. there's a line between me and them, and it's so difficult to cross.

i'm always making dumb mistakes.

i've set pyrex pans on a hot stove top {cue: pyrex shattering}
i've tried to melt the butter in the microwave because the recipe said "softened butter" but i failed to realize i can't melt the butter with the eggs already in the bowl too {cue: scrambled eggs with a side of melted butter}
i've put tablespoons of salt, cumin, or paprika in instead of teaspoons {cue: it doesn't taste good}
i've baked cinnamon rolls in too small of a pan, that each one overflowed into the oven {cue: giant cinnamon rolls stuck to oven}
the list

however, something happens when i make those silly mistakes.
and i know that most of you would say, "me too!" and "that's ok, just keep trying!!!".....
and, typically, i'm quite the fan of laughter, but when i mess up in the kitchen? laughter is not my go-to form of reaction.
i've been known to stomp. and even cry.

i get SO discouraged.

i try to make these meals, from recipe books, online sites, or pinterest, and i get then i just end up not making anything. i'm sort of ALL OR NOTHING.

but then a miracle happened.
kansas city stepped up, and finally got a couple of these suckers:
yeah yeah. i know.
trader joes is so yesterday for most of y'all.

but for me?
i'm just gettin started, baby.

here's why:
first of all, i convince myself its practically like whole foods and everything there is JUST HEALTHIER.
second of all, they have like $5 wine.
and third of all, everything there is yummy.


lately, my discouragement in the kitchen has been raging like a virus trapped in a mcdonalds play area {HA! rethinking lunch plans, mommas?!! sorry....}

but really, each week i'm all like
"mr leif, i'm so going to meal plan like a super kitchen warrior princess, i mean seriously, i've found so many recipes i wanna make"

and then he gives me his lovely use of silence.

and then i reply to his silence by talking again, "so like, on sunday, i'm going to write up a menu and then i was thinking we could all go to the store on sunday together!!!!!!!"

and then and then and then.......

but really, and then i don't do any of it.
so monday rolls around and i scramble around to make a meal.
i try to get to the store, try to cook with my toddler climbing up my leg saying up up up, and try to stay calm and "be an adult" amongst the chaos called momma's makin' dinner.

those are usually all hot mess experiences.
which end in an even bigger hot mess: my finished product.

sometimes it doesn't turn out, sometimes it tastes like yuck, and sometimes it doesn't even get completed because i quit during the middle {that's usually the one that involves my tantrum}.

regardless, mr leif {poor guy} often comes home to a very discouraged wife, and no dinner.

bless his heart. he loves to cook {and he loves to rescue his wife}
so...........................he often times rescues me by cooking. or going to get a frozen pizza.

the other night,
i made the most AMAZING FROZEN PENNE PASTA DINNER from trader joes.
[i can't remember its actual name]

and, ALL I HAD TO DO WAS...................
1. take package out of freezer
2. add a teency bit of water and a smidge of butter
3. stir and put a lid on it.

then i served it with a salad.
wait for it.......
wait for it................

i felt like the BEST HOMEMAKER EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

seriously though.

as usual, mr leif called me on his way home, and so i knew exactly the time frame i was working with. and when he walked in the door, i was able to serve a pretty rad pasta, and salad. TWO courses.

and the best part, i felt happy. i was proud of myself.

and then i said to my mr, "this was SUCH a positive experience, i actually had FUN, and felt competent, and excited to serve dinner!!!!!!!!!!!"

he totally gave me his approval to make trader joes dinners :)
{and thank goodness, he's never really requested/expected dinner on the table anyways...}

i know i'm totally not doing the cool thing these days which also happens to be the healthiest thing, but making some sort of parsley-flaxseed pesto pasta just isn't in the cards for me right now. and I AM OK WITH THAT!


do i want to make these half premade dinners forever???
do i want to own that kitchen??
but, it's gonna take time.

a dear friend of mine told me the other day to start watching cooking shows.
not to follow their recipes, but to watch them cook!
to pick up on some chopping, mixing, and other random techniques.
i love it.

thank goodness we have cable now.
i mean, it's practically in my job description now.


well, it's almost saturday folks, and momma's off to tJoes in the mornin, to get her some supplies.

now, in theme with my pinterest post from earlier,
here's a happy little collage i put together, to keep things happy round here :)
i should totally pin this under the category, "things i've made"


  1. bah haa!! the collage! oh linds. i'm sitting here at 11:19 on a friday night because i made pioneer women's donut dough and forgot the salt, so i'm waiting for a second batch. you aren't alone--such a waste of money and time!! i'm still gonna taste-test that saltless batch, you better believe.

  2. hahaha! lovely picture of frolicking animals!

    i suck in the kitchen too. but i'm improving because i'm trying so dang hard! keep it up girl! you can do it!!!! funny post!

  3. loved this one, linds! keep trying- you'll find your groove {and more delicious frozen foods- while you're at it ;)!}

  4. you are so cute! loved this story! :) hope you are doing well girl! :) love, jenny