Sunday, 20 November 2011

Coming Clean & Meal Plan #9

As a food blogger it's natural that I want to put my best 'meal' forward.   I want my blog to showcase my favourite recipes in a pretty little blog package.  While I don't blog daily I do spend typically 1-2 hours making each post {hopefully} interesting.  But when I see all of these fantastic, fancy food blogs and start comparing it to my little slice of the blog universe I get that anxious 'gotta be as good as their blog' kind of feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Not a good feeling. 

It's hard for me not to compare my wee blog when you see these amazing, fancy delicacies these food bloggers whip up!  I'm no newbie in the kitchen but I'm definitely not a 'fancy schmancy' kind of cook.  The gorgeous pictures, the oodles of followers and the sponsors, the professionally designed blog ... it's so hard not to compare!  And don't even get me started on the DIY home decor blogs!!  So inspirational that they're pretty intimidating at times.  Jealousy has raised her nasty head!  Never a good thing.

One of my favourite home decorating blogs (The Thrifty Decor Chick) wrote a wonderful post that put it all in perspective.  Reading her post gave me a virtual slap upside the head and brought me back down to reality.  I adore blogging and although it is a lot of work I truly love it I knew that I was putting a lot of undue stress on myself. 

I thought that in order to decrease some more of the stress I put myself under I'd 'come clean' to you all.  Ooooo.  I know what you're thinking.  The Baking Bookworm has some hidden, deep, dark secret.  No, I'm not a huge hoarder.  And no, Justin Bieber didn't father any of my children.  If you're waiting for some kind of huge revelation you may be less than shocked. ;)
I am coming clean about what I sometimes feed my family.  I don't want to give everyone the wrong impression that I only make 'right from scratch/been in the kitchen all day' kind of meals -- because I don't.  In my perfect world I'd love to have the time and energy to make huge meals --- but sometimes chicken fingers and fries that are ready in 20 minutes are pretty enticing too.  Not to mention that occasionally I do crave a Pogo dipped in mustard with a side of fries!
I do adore cooking (most of the time) but I will admit that it can sometimes be stressful thinking up new recipes each week and shopping for those meals.  For me, cooking should be fun and not taxing on my sanity.  This is why I want everyone to know that were you to look in my basement deep freeze you'd see that I keep a stock of ...... wait for it ..... dark secret coming  ......  Deliscio frozen pizzas,  frozen fries, chicken burgers, Eggo waffles and chicken fingers.  My name is Laurie and I sometimes serve and enjoy Deep Freeze Cuisine.  There I admitted it.   Phew!  Not only do we partake of this 'cuisine' occasionally but my kids hail me as a hero when I announce that we're having chicken nuggets and fries.  "Yay, we don't have to eat roasted root veggies and marinated pork tenderloin!  Mom's awesome!".   I'll take those Mom Points, kids!  Thanks!

Those 'quick to the table' kind of meals, while admittedly not the healthiest option, can save the day for those times when I don't have time to make the planned meal.  Or those {knock on wood} rare times when I'm sick and Brad can pop something easy in the oven after work that the kids will eagerly eat.  Brad's a good cook but when you have three starving kids who are so hungry that their blood sugar is plummeting making them plan a revolt, throwing a couple of 'zzas in the oven to appease them can be a sanity saver.  It could, in fact, save you from being drawn and quartered by mini humans.

Why do I put so much stress on myself?  I don't know.  It's a gift ... and probably has something to do with my Type A 'gotta be organized/prepared 24/7' kind of mindset.  The Psych major in me knows this isn't productive but the Type A part of me shoves a proverbial newly baked cranberry scone in the Psych major's mouth to shut her up promptly. 

Last week I didn't follow my meal plan ... at all.  Nope.  Not one iota and it honestly threw me off my cookin' mojo.   While Brad was in Chicago on business the kids and I threw healthy cooking out the window and sowed down on some easy fare for a few days ... and we had a great time.  So starting this week I'm learning to not feel like I have to do it all.  It's OK to cook a pizza that has a dough that .... wasn't ... made by my .... hands.  It's ok to send my kids to school with {breathe Laurie} store bought cookies. 

My point is that most of us will occasionally choose a quick meal over a three course, from scratch 'good for you' meal.  And that's OK.  Hopefully a night off in the kitchen, a bunch of accrued Mom Points in my pocket will help me get my cookin' mojo back (so I stay on my meal plan this week!!) and decrease some of the stress I put on myself!

So here's my Meal Plan for this week!!

Sausage and Spinach Lasagna
Caesar Salad

Lasagna leftovers!

Crab Cakes
Homemade  Oven Fries
Green Beans

Cranberry Pork Roast (slow cooker)
Mashed Potatoes
Ginger Sweet Potato Butternut Puree {NEW RECIPE}

Spaghetti with Mega Meat Sauce (frozen from last month)

Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese {NEW RECIPE}

Work Christmas Party! Prime Rib buffet here I come!!

So there's my plan for this week! What do you all have lined up?  I know that my American followers will be knee deep in turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce -- oh my!!  Totally jealous!

If you've made it this far in this giant post hats off to you -- you're awesome!  I hope you enjoy the recipes and book reviews that I have planned this week!  My blog is not fancy but it does come from my heart.  I may not have professional photos of my creations (or understand my new camera) but with the help of my mini camera crew (ie. my kids holding up a piece of white bristol board as the 'backdrop' for my pictures 'just so' to catch the right light) I'll continue trying to take pretty pictures.  Along with my family's willing bellies to try out my new recipes and my kids and YOU letting me know of great new reads I'll continue to feel good about my little slice of blogdom.
My hope is that you come to visit my blog {often!} for some culinary inspiration  and to find and share good reads!  I hope that my blog feels welcoming and you feel comfortable sharing your favourite reads and leaving some comments to let me know you're popped by. 

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Heather said...

So basically, you are normal and not a Saint! This is a relief :) Especially because I don't enjoy cooking. I'm perfectly fine at it, the results are always tasty. I just don't enjoy the chaos of having my 3 kids underfoot while I'm scrambling around the kitchen.
I like reading your blog as it gives me hope that one day, when my kids are older than 1, 4 and 6, I might actually enjoy those moments in the kitchen making dinner. :)

Anonymous said...

It is normal that if we go on with our life we will not always have a party in our kitchen. nor time to photograph that all:)So one should set a rule how many times one should normally blog.Otherwise it easyly takes you over...

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Heather - I remember those not-so-long-ago days with three young kids. Mine are still in the kitchen with me but they're old enough to either help me our get out of the way. ;)

Dzoli - I think that I have overextended myself a time or two when it comes to blogging. I really do love blogging but need to learn that it's ok to take a break now and then. :)

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