WARNING:  I didn't plan on this turning into an essay.  It just happened.  Oops.

You might have noticed posts from me have been pretty scarce lately.

If you're new, you have no idea what I'm talking about.  Take a look around!  Some of my favorites are the posts about our destination wedding, our engagement, and french toast and bacon cupcakes.

So, here's what I've been up to:

About 8 weeks ago, I took a new job.  I'm now the marketing director for an awesome, entrepreneurial solar energy company based here in KC, Brightergy.

7 weeks ago, I finished up a 12-week fitness bootcamp.

6 weeks ago, I went to Nashville for food blog forum.

5 weeks ago, I organized a photography workshop taught by Hélène DuJardin.  She came to KC and it was glorious.

I was tired.  Adjusting.  Mentally spent.  Recuperating.  Transitioning to a new routine.

I haven't been to the grocery store except to grab a few things here and there since.  Besides the no-brainer chicken recipe I'm sharing below, I haven't made dinner in ages.

I did what no food blogger does after going to a food blog conference.  I curled up and rested.  Withdrew.  At that particular point in time, I was pushing it too far.

Too high, too low, now I'm finding my groove.

And no, I'm not talking about drugs.

I'm embarrassed about the recipe I'm about to share.  And about the confession I'm going to make.

Embarrassed, and oh so very excited.  I'm excited to see how many of you out there run into the same challenges when it comes to food.

Food, and its nutrition, is so vital to our lives.  At the same time, it is so hard to balance that with all of our other responsibilities.  We know it's why America is fat.  Yet it's still a challenge to find the time to make wholesome food for ourselves, our families.

Had you asked me about this topic a mere 2 months ago, my perspective would have been completely different.

I would have told you that people are just full of excuses.  Which is true.  But it doesn't change the fact that sometimes, when you come home from work, you don't feel like doing shit.  But you're starving.  You can't get something into your mouth fast enough.

I have recipes on here that are healthful, some that are even the rare ones that are fast and healthy.

Did I make Soy Ginger Glazed Salmon for dinner during my 'sabbatical'?  No.  It's one of my all-time favorite dishes and it only takes about 15 minutes to make.  So, why didn't I just turn to an old staple?

I didn't even have the energy for that.  For the planning, the grocery shopping, the prep, the cooking.  It all adds up.  It's not just getting home and spending those 15 minutes.  You actually have to have the damn ingredients in order to make it.  You had to have thought of an idea for dinner at least a few hours before and also had the time on your way home to grab what you need.

You know, America's getting fatter because America's changing.  Women are working, careers are priorities, children come second, and it's all we can do to make it through the day.  The pace of our lives is ever-increasing, and there's no end in sight.  Food just doesn't make it into the picture. It's just fuel.  We shove any calories we can find into our mouth just to keep ourselves going.

We don't have time to cook whole grains like quinoa for 45 minutes every night.

We don't have time to meal plan.

We don't have the money to buy good, healthful food.

Oh, come now, we all know that's not true, either.

Those really are excuses.  Let's be honest - we just plain don't choose to prioritize mealtimes to ensure they're wholesome.

We choose other things.  Careers.  TV shows.  Entertainment.  Laundry.  New jeans.

It's just the way it is.  I lived it full-blown for the last few weeks.  I get it.  I made boxed cheeseburger macaroni by Velveeta one night.  I am so ashamed of that.  I've never made, nor eaten, any sort of hamburger helper-esque meal.

All I could think about during this time was how on earth I was going to handle life when we (should we be so blessed) have children.  Good heavens, mothers are amazing beings.  Working mothers are superheroes.  I've really got to get my shit figured out.

I can't even stay on top of our laundry.  Ahem, I don't stay on top of our laundry.  I don't stay on top of the housecleaning.  I don't save as much as I should for our future.  I don't take the time to make us a wholesome dinner every night.

I'm not alone.  Right?

tap tap

Is this thing on?

Well, I'm going out on a limb here and assume I'm not alone.  And I'm sharing this recipe for those people.

Actually, let's not call this a recipe.  Let's call it a what-the-heck-are-we-going-to-have-for-dinner idea.

I had gotten a box in the mail from Red Gold tomatoes.

I had chicken in the freezer.

I took the chicken straight from the freezer, put it in my dutch oven, poured a can of Italian style diced tomatoes on top, and put it in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Then I went about the house tidying up. [GASP]

Had I not told The Stallion the experiment I had in the works for dinner before it was done (to which he laughed; so did I), I could have waltzed out with his plate and told him I made chicken parmesan for dinner.

And he would've believed it.  You would have too.

Add a little parmigiano reggiano, and you've just created a masterpiece.

I'm sure you can tell from the planning for this photo just how much faith I had that this dish would turn out to be worth sharing.

Lucky me, I was proven wrong!


  • You'll probably want to break apart the chicken pieces if they're frozen together in order to speed up cooking time.
  • You can bake this in any oven-safe container, just be sure to cover it.  Aluminum foil works just wonderfully!
  • Don't cook the chicken too long - it will dry out and get mealy.
  • I added garlic salt to the chicken, too.


  1. I love this post and love blogging because of this realness! I dont work but I do a lot on the side and I give so much credit to everyone who does what they do to put dinner on the table, its a hard thing when we are busy and stressed. Yes some of it is excuses and I have seen it all over but some is totally valid, you are so right! Really this made me happy because its so true!

    I dont stay up on any of the stuff you listed either, you are not alone!

  2. Lots of truth in this, you are totally not alone. Sometimes I wonder how I end up fitting everything in. I keep wishing the days would get longer!

  3. Hi Carly. I was wondering what kind of chicken you used. Bone in or boneless? I've tried several of your recipes and they were all yummy. Hang in there and keep cooking.

  4. Thanks Anon! I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Bone-in and/or dark meat is typically used for braising dishes, but boneless, skinless breasts were all I had.

    And sincere thanks for the vote of confidence. I'm getting back to it!

  5. hey lady - nice post. i've been wondering what sort of rock you were hiding under or glamorous life you were living. i figured it was the second, but ya never know! i did gasp a bit about the velveeta box meal, but, let's admit, i have a tortilla stuffed with cheese several times a week more than i should because i am STARVING and can't wait to make anything else. it happens. i also have four days worth of mail and newspapers piled on my kitchen table. and a stew in the fridge i slaved over that is really truly not yummy (turmeric and cranberry juice. WHAT was i thinking). probably should just clean my house and not cook and all will be well. now, don't i feel better for getting all that out?!

  6. You are so not alone.
    You are so damn right: women have careers (some have 2!), commitments, relationships, and many more things on our to-do lists! We are amazing!

    I felt like withdrawing after Food Blog Forum too. Not exactly sure why, but I pushed through because of the emotional rollercoaster I was on. During that month I made the easiest dinners and sometimes goat cheese, crackers, champagne & fruit was dinner. It worked. Snacking is easy.

    But lately, I've been trying to call myself on my laziness. There's no reason in the world why I should go to bed with dishes in the sink. It's not like I have kids to take up my time. I just have 2 episodes of Friends to watch.

    Anyway, loved reading your essay! I was worried you were going to stop blogging because I haven't seen much from you lately :) Glad to see you're back on!


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