In the past 12 years, The Pioneer Woman has built an empire on cooking and writing about food in the most relatable way. During that time her fans have watched her children turn from cute little kids to full-grown teenagers who do things like walk through the door with 12 hungry friends 10 minutes before lunch. Drummond handled that particular event with red Solo cups and fried chicken from the deli, and generally she seems to be really enjoy being constantly surrounded by huge numbers of teenagers.
My youngest just officially left the toddler years for that “threenager” year, but the struggles of feeding a toddler are not too far away from my memory. Toddlers bounce from happy and inquisitive to tired and cranky easily without the capacity to tell us that they are hungry and headed for a meltdown. All of this is to say that after a day, or a week, or even hours of extraordinary emotional highs and lows and generally wrestling a wild, stubborn 2-year-old, you are tired. And you all still need to eat.
Here are 10 of our go-to dinners for the nights when growing up has really worked up your toddler’s appetite and you are too tired to cook an elaborate meal.
Chicken breasts are truly a blank slate, which is kind of what makes them so amazing. It’s true they can be bland and boring on their own, but if you marinate them in some yogurt or sear them with spices, they become a meal to remember. The fact that they are so versatile and so quick to cook is why we love them for weeknight dinners. Whether you prefer the stovetop, oven, or slow cooker, these 10 recipes will show you how to turn chicken breast into dinner, and keep it interesting.
Usually when I think of pink food, it might be rosé, or a donut, or some unicorn-themed drink from Starbucks — but not today. Today I’m talking about pink lettuce. You know, like the stuff you find in a salad? Lately I’ve been seeing it all over Instagram and it’s not just a post-Valentine’s Day gimmick. I promise!
Costco became a global icon by offering some of the best deals a person could find. Whether it’s selling a cookie butter cheesecake the size of a wagon wheel, or four-and-a-half pounds of its own version of Nutella for $7.99, Costco has some wonderful affordable offerings. And probably the best steal in the whole building is the $1.50 hot dog and soda combo at the Costco food court.
A couple years ago, at my second home (the grocery store, alas, not, like, the shore) I was passing through the boxed macaroni and cheese section and realized my son, then five, had grown up so far without ever trying it. I realize some people pat themselves on the back about this, but I’m more skeptical about things. Realistically, by the time my kids grow up, I will have inundated them so with so many kale caesars, farro salads and wholesome slaws, sweet potatoes, and homemade from-scratch birthday cakes they’ll have no choice but to rebel with a steady diet of sugar cereals, frozen pocketed foods, and frosting from a can. Maybe leveling things up earlier on will help avoid this outcome? So I bought a box, made it for dinner that night (with the requisite steamed broccoli on the side, nobody ever tells you how much broccoli you’re going to steam when you become a parent) and oh, I’m sorry, were you waiting for me to call it terrible? A disappointment? A memory from childhood that did not hold up? It was anything but. I love orange cheese powder and I do not wish to keep it to myself any longer.
I understand that the internet can supply me with orange cheese powder but I promise, that’s not where I’m going with this. I want to talk about why we like it and what I — an adult who doesn’t want to make a habit of the boxed stuff, nor live a life devoid of the dish it creates — do when I’m craving stovetop pasta with a sauce of melted cheese intensely* and nothing else will do.
For anyone who was sad that this past fall marked the final Oh Joy for Target decor collection, we have some good news. As it turns out, the whimsical patterns and colors aren’t totally gone from Target stores — they’re just in a new (disposable) form.
Plastic wrap is a silly thing to have a strong opinion about, and yet us editors at Kitchn have one. You see, there’s one brand of plastic wrap that our food editors buy for their own kitchens, where they test and develop all of our recipes. And it’s the same brand that we use in our photo studio kitchen.
What brand is it? Keep reading for the big reveal.
Fun fact: It’s also Ina Garten’s favorite plastic wrap, which she’s been sure to point out in her recent cookbooks.