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When the world gets crazy (and just so we are all clear, it is totally crazy right now), I like to cook.  It helps me think I’m in control (when I’m really not). It makes me pretend I have it together (when I totally don’t). It makes me feel healthy (even though I tend to partake in plenty of frozen HomeRun Pizzas and delicious cheese dip on the regular).

Some days you just have to face facts. My facts are:

  • I have a 6-year-old and a 2-year old
  • I run a non-profit
  • I live in Alabama
  • Has anyone read the headlines lately?

So, today I cooked and I managed to make four recipes (if you count the packaged muffin mix, bacon, and 5-minute grits I made for breakfast). I started around 8:00 and was finished by 10:00 this morning. I even had time to wipe down the counters afterward (small miracle). I hope this inspires your week if you are looking for something to cook (or at least a way to release your inner frustrations with the world).

First up, Smitten Kitchen’s Quick Pasta and Chickpeas. It was super easy and fast. My hope is that my 2-year-old will think it is Spaghetti-O’s. That’s the straight up truth.





And… ta da! See? I told you it looks like Spaghetti-O’s.




Next up is Health magazine’s Chicken Chili with White Beans and Chipotles. My husband and I have been cooking this recipe since we first met (and not just because I used to work at Health magazine).  This is probably my favorite chicken chili recipe and I cut every corner I can by using rotisserie chicken and it works JUST fine. Enjoy!





Finished product:




The final recipe was the Pioneer Woman’s Black Bean Burgers. Please forgive me for not taking a photo of the carefully constructed final product including toasted kaiser buns, arugula, and tomato. The truth is I forgot to get the buns at the grocery store last night. Until that happens, I suggest everyone get used to what I plan to call “the deconstructed black bean burger.”



It feels good to be back even though I have a feeling I won’t see you again until…oh, 2018. Until then, let’s hold on tight and to one another.