Nesting Recipes and Quick Fixes

12.02.11 The birth of a new way of cooking


Preparing for a baby is like getting hired for a new, very, very full-time job. Which brings me to my own, unrelated news: After a rigorous search, I’ve succeeded in finding a full-time position that I’m really excited about, and my new career (grant-writing, in case you’re wondering) starts next week! Not quite as earthshaking as the change that those of you preparing for a new baby can anticipate, but still, pretty big.

For the first time in Leo’s life, I’ll be arriving home at 6 every night for the foreseeable future. Our family eats dinner at 6:15. How the heck do you do that?! (Really, do you know?). In preparation, I’m going to focus on foods that can be made in moments or made ahead, frozen, reheated, varied, packed for lunch…you know: scrambled eggs and stew. Yeah. Lots and lots and lots of stew.

Seriously though, this is my goal: to cook up a big batch of something sustaining each weekend that can be heated for dinners and packed for lunches; to hone in on our fastest favorites for weeknights; to have a freezer so stocked we never see the shelves in it; and to finally and fully make the transition from spontaneous cook to plan-ahead chef.

Great, another new transition! Something tells me there are going to be a lot. As I settle in, I may be a way more tired blogger, but my goal is to regularly offer Quick Fixes and Nesting Recipes that will be helpful to anyone who wants to feed a family home-cooked food while working full-time, or during those early months of parenthood when some nights you’re lucky if you can find a minute to reheat a meal and free up one hand to eat it with.

So stay tuned for more Nesting Recipes and Fast Fixes, like these sweet potato fries. Last night I doubled the fry recipe and froze half, serving the rest with turkey burgers (totally plain patties, whole wheat buns, and don’t forget the pickle relish!) and green peas for Leo, quickly sautéed collards for us. We made six turkey patties from 1 pound ground dark turkey (tiny patty for Leo) and froze three for next time, along with three buns. This was a pretty quick dinner, about 30 minutes from start to finish, and now we’ve got burgers, fries, buns and peas in the freezer for an even faster fix next time.

Okay, wish me luck next week!

Fast Fix: Sweet Potato Fries

Zoe Singer is a freelance food writer and cookbook editor and co-author of The Flexitarian Table. Food Editor and blogger for The Faster Times, she tries not to eat for two now that her son is a toddler.