The 8 Stages of Dinnertime with a Toddler

It's hard enough finding a meal your toddler will actually like, finding time to cook said meal, and surviving the day long enough to get it to the table... but actually making it through dinnertime with a toddler is a journey in itself. These are the 8 stages toddlers go through during dinner, every night.

Remember before you had kids, when your dinnertime was a cherished time to unwind with your spouse, catch up on each other’s days, discuss the latest world events, and just be connected?

Or – let’s be real – a time to eat on the couch, watch TV, and play on Facebook next to your spouse while you both zone out after an exhausting day of work?

Dinnertime with a toddler is basically the same as that, if you did all of those things while wrestling a rattlesnake. Not only is it physically exhausting you from its surprising strength for its size, but you’re actually afraid for your life because it could bite you at any moment. But at the same time, you and the snake both gotta eat, so you’re just powering through and trying to get at least half the plate of food into your mouths before one of you completely breaks (and we all know which one of you it’s going to be). Continue Reading

Instant Pot Italian Sausage Penne

This Instant Pot Italian Sausage Penne is a delicious, fast, easy meal with only 8 ingredients.

The Instant Pot electric pressure cooker strikes again! This Italian Sausage Penne Pasta was the very first thing I made in it, based on a recommendation from a friend. I’ve since made it about 10 times, tweaking it slightly each time, finding the right cook times, measurements, and seasoning mixtures.

And finally – it’s perfect. Or at least as close to perfect as one can get with a toddler running sprints around the kitchen while she cooks. Continue Reading

Instant Pot Meatloaf with Potatoes, and Carrots

This one-pot meatloaf with potatoes & carrots in the Instant Pot is so simple!

The Instant Pot strikes again! The more I use this thing, the more I love it. It’s very quickly becoming a staple in my weekly menu planning.

One thing I’m trying to get the hang of is the “pot-in-pot” method, where you cook two different things at the same time by putting one item in the bottom of the main pot, and then a second item on a trivet, in a smaller pot (or a makeshift aluminum foil “bowl”) above it.

Fewer dishes + faster cook time = 🎉🍾🙌 Continue Reading

Veggie Burrito Bowl

Veggie Burrito Bowl | One Hangry Mama

Here’s a secret about me: I never eat vegetables. Not never never, but definitely not as much as I should. And that means neither does the rest of my family, since I prepare most of their meals. But now that a tiny human is dependent on my cooking for his nutrients (NO PRESSURE), I guess I need to get in gear and level-up in adulting. Level 5: Vegetables.

So when this recipe caught my eye on Pinterest (ya know, because it had the word “burrito” in it), I figured I should give it a try. I’ve tweaked it to make it a little simpler, because I don’t know anyone who has time to get fancy with things like “rinsing rice in a fine mesh sieve” (um, what?), and it’s since become one of our family favorites—husband even requests it sometimes, which is unheard of for something without any meat in it.

And best of all: this is a one-pan meal, AKA THE BEST KIND OF MEAL THERE IS. Continue Reading

Pan-Seared Salmon

One Hangry Mama | Pan-Seared Salmon

So as it turns out, dinner does not cook itself, and with two working parents and a baby on a strict schedule, time for cooking is virtually nonexistent. Enter: pan-seared salmon. I always keep Costco Atlantic salmon in the freezer, so this is my go-to recipe when I’m on my way home from work and realize I made zero plans for dinner and have exactly 30 minutes to get something thrown together–which happens at least once a week. The husband and baby both love it (is it bougey that my baby eats salmon? I hope so), and it only takes 15 minutes to prep and cook. This recipe is also a one-armed-wonder, in that I’ve managed to make it one-handed while the baby terrorist demanded I hold him. Continue Reading