There comes a point (many points?) in every mom’s life where she throws in the towel and exclaims, “I just can’t cook another meal!” That’s where we come in. But shortly after a loving spouse or teenager orders a pizza and/or finally does the dishes, mom may realize, “wait, I actually like cooking.”
She may like the methodical tasks like chopping veggies where you can see real progress right away. Or the opportunity to put on a podcast and tune out whatever is going on in the other room. Perhaps she knows a night out isn’t in the cards, and this is the only way she’ll enjoy something gourmet.
Whatever gets her there, there are some recipes made for these occasions. Here are five to keep on the backburner the next time you’re the mom feeling so inspired.
Yes, enchilada sauce in a jar is so easy (I’m partial to this one), but making your own really doesn’t take that much more time, and you can get the flavor exactly as you want for these butternut squash and black bean enchiladas. Hack at a butternut squash to work out your stressors or buy the pre-chopped stuff from the grocery store. Just be sure to get ripe avocados to really seal the deal on this meal.
Warning – the chicken cutlets in this (or any) Chicken Milanese recipe need to be watched very carefully while cooking. There is only about a 20-second window between undercooked and scorched. However, when it hits the mark, this is such a delightful way to enjoy the standby chicken breast. Also, put that arugula and tomato salad on everything! Surprising pro-tip: it’s great on top of a cheese pizza.
So this recipe for Spaghetti in the Instant Pot is actually about 4,000% easier than the traditional method, but it will still give you three minutes of meditation that comes with browning meat. I only use about half the meat the recipe calls for and replace the rest with diced veggies—no need to cook those ahead of time. Oh, add a smidge more pasta than it calls for; otherwise, the sauce is pretty watery. This recipe makes a ton, so plan on freezing half for a meal in the future.
These Broccoli and Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes are the bee’s knees, friends! Make them in shifts – bake the potatoes while dinner is cooking the night before. Prep the insides whenever you have a free 30-minutes and refrigerate until dinner time. These freeze great, too, so double the recipe if so inspired.
I bake. I bake a lot. My husband has the very rough job of being my official taste-tester. After one of these cookies, he proclaimed it was the best cookie he ever ate. That’s not me. It’s the recipe for these Chubby Rocco Cookies from Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery fame.
So those are my current project-y meals and treats. What’s your favorite recipe to use when you need to escape the rest of your life?