Friday, January 11, 2008

We Now Bring You: Dinnertime and the Working Mom

And by "working mom" I mean a mom who has a career outside of raising her family. I am not implying that stay at home moms do not work. I do indeed understand that you are working all day long. Believe me when I say that I know you are not just sitting around the house gossiping with your girlfriends and getting manicures. I know that you are teaching your child and playing with him (or her) in between cleaning up the messes made, dealing with the phone calls and ringing doorbells, getting groceries, doing laundry, figuring out dinner, driving carpool, walking the dog and trying to find time for a shower. I am here to help you as well.

This particular post is NOT for you moms who have a nanny, a cook, and a maid. You don't know from our pain. And we kind of hate you.

I will be writing this from my perspective however. And that is of someone who works outside her home and tries to create time that really counts with her kid before tucking him into bed each night.

After leaving work every evening, I drive to my son's school and pick him up from Latchkey (STUPID name for a really wonderful program). I throw him and his load of "stuff" in the car and we head home. When we get there I have a solid two hours to spend with him before bedtime. That's it. (Hello guilt. My name is Judi. Make yourself at home.)

(But first, I have other things that require my attention. Like going to the bathroom. I'm not sure why, but my bladder demands relief as soon as I pull in the driveway. It's very weird my friends. Then I have to get out of my work clothes before I go completely and totally stark raving mad. Once that's done I can finally focus on my kid.)

If My Sweet Tommy gets home first, he prepares our dinner (and let me tell you, the man knows how to cook!). This gives me time to play a game with Logan, look through his school work or just snuggle.

If Tom isn't home first, then I have to get dinner going and as Sister Big can attest, I'm a little culinary challenged. She has struggled to teach me the basics and was frightened when I had a little breakdown during our meatball lessons. I'll let her tell you about that herself one day.

I am always on the hunt for a recipe that is A) healthy, B) simple and fast, and C) something Logan can help me make. Today, my friend Amanda introduced me to Barbecue Chicken Pie. I heart Amanda. Logan and I had fun making it (he loves to cook as much as his daddy), and by all accounts it was delicious. It smelled divine. My favorite thing about this recipe is you are able to use up the leftovers and scraps you already have sitting in your fridge.

All you need is cooked chicken, a pie crust, cheddar cheese, green onions, barbecue sauce, sour cream and cherry tomatoes. Here are some pictures of our cooking adventures today.

That's right kid. Wash those hands reeeeal good.

What, you're already taking a break? Slacker. And why are you still wearing your snow pants? Is your mother nipping at the wine already?

Watch out for your mama's fingers, pal.

What is he eating? Chicken skin. It's his favorite. That's alright. Means more meat for me and his daddy.

You don't have to bake this dish. It can just be warmed in the microwave. I like to feel like I'm really cooking something good for my family (even if it is a big fat lie). I stuck mine in the oven so when my husband walked in he would smell the barbecue-y, chicken-y, cheese-y goodness and praise me to the heavens. I'm just that way.

Make a nice yummy salad with lettuce, carrots, peppers, cucumbers and dried cranberries to serve with the chicken pie. Mmmm. Mmmm. Yum.

Now, if you are partaking in a big, stupid Ten Week Challenge, you will enjoy a Lean Cuisine entree. Lucky!

The recipe for this easy and delicious Barbecue Chicken Pie is below. It refers to the fancy schmancy gadgets you would use if you owned Pampered Chef products. I do not. I made due with my own fancy schmancy Target Clearance Rack stuff.

What's your favorite easy-to-prepare dinner? Please share with us!

Barbecue Chicken Pie

1/2 package (15 ounces) refrigerated pie crust (1 crust)

4 green onions with tops, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

1 block (8 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese

3 cups chopped cooked chicken

2/3 cup barbecue sauce

1 container (8 ounces) reduced-fat sour cream

8 cherry tomatoes

Preheat oven to 425°F. Let pie crust stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Place pie crust in Deep Dish Pie Plate, gently pressing dough into bottom and up sides; prick bottom.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown; cool completely.

Thinly slice green onions; set aside.

Thinly slice half of the cheese. Grate remaining cheese using Deluxe Cheese Grater. Set cheese aside.

Place chicken in Large Micro-Cooker®. Add barbecue sauce; toss to coat. Microwave on HIGH 3-4 minutes or until mixture is hot, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of the grated cheese and half of the green onions.

To assemble pie, line bottom and sides of crust with sliced cheese. Spoon chicken mixture into crust, spreading evenly. Sprinkle top of pie with remaining grated cheese. Using Easy Accent® Decorator, pipe sour cream around edge of pie. Slice cherry tomatoes in half and place on top of sour cream, cut sides up. Garnish with remaining green onions.


Martha said...

Ha haaaa! You crack me up! What's the 10 week challenge?

Sister Honey Bunch said...


The 10 Week Challenge is a couple days back. Scroll down and read it. It's all about me looking hot. Or working toward that goal, anyway.

Ashlee said...

I Love to cook! I too usually look for an easier way to do it though. Time with kids is precious. Even as a SAHM, my older son goes to school, gets home around 4:15 off the bus, and with after school activities our "together" time is sometimes limited. Dinner should not take me away from it all. :0)
I'm sure your son will grow up remembering how much fun he had cooking with you and take those skills on to his very appreciative wife!
How was the Lean Cuisine? Too bad you couldn't even eat the yummy dinner you made! Argh!!!

Susanne said...

Yummy. I love to cook, but easy is right up my alley on work days. I'm so trying this out.

Sister Sassy said...

I need to also because as my daycare lady likes to mention to her young daughters who micmick to my nephew "My kids are always sick because all they eat is junk" like processed chicken nuggets and such. Of course this is not true but I did feed them a bean and cheese burrito the other day.

Sad you had to eat that frozen crap.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain and fear that one day when I have children they will eat nothing but Ramen noodles and spaghetti O's.
I'm working on it...
AND, I have to do the same thing as soon as I get home from work. Bathroom and then out of work clothes.
I love your blog. Still catching up, but enjoying everything so far.

Jim said...

You always make me laugh sister honey bunch.
Tell guilt to go away, at least for 10 weeks or so. You rock sister honey bunch. But as a side note, working 55 hours in a week is sure fire way to feel like I'm trading cold hard cash for time with the ones I love. Cash > Time = Pure Guilt. Mabey I should park the guilt in the garage for a while as well.
Thanks for sharing
Thanks for sharing!

mom of 2 said...

Oh my gosh...that was so funny! And yes, I do kind of hate those moms that have a cook and a nanny! Or maybe I'm just jealous!

You are so good to cook with your son. I, personally, cannot stand to cook with my kids. I think its because I really don't like to cook, so I'm buzzing through it and any distraction makes the agony last longer! haha

Sorry you had to eat a Lean Cuisine!

The Therapist said...

Two words: Slow Cooker.

You and your lovely redhead (I got's one, too, so I am a bit partial), can chop stuff for the recipe. Then in the AM, assemble it, throw it in the cooker and be gone.