The Dinner Dance

I’m 33, but soon, oh so very soon, will I be 34. My Facebook and Instagram feeds are full of photos of engagements, bridal parties and picture perfect weddings, but something else has crawled into those images.

Cute babies.

*Pepper Lane (has her own Instagram @pepper_lane)

My feed now is sharing those “first” moments with all my friends and acquaintance moms out there. Babies first crawl, first steps, first bite, first solid food. You get the picture. Chances are if we’re close in age, your social media looks very similar to mine.

Pepper easily gets more likes than even my tastiest looking dish…!

Which has got me thinking, of course, about those little boogers. I recently reached out to my former college roommate Molly England (that’s a new surname that she and 3 little ones now bear). I noticed that she had started a website and teaches a program to expectant mothers on how to give birth naturally. I checked out her website Bluebonnet Babies and read through her articles and blog. We started chatting because I wanted to know what her birthing experiences were like. And wow, was I blown away by her strength in conviction and desire to have natural birth experiences with all her children.

BB Babies Thumbnail Circle

After a bit of emailing back and forth with her about what life has been like these past several years, Molly mentioned that she had a difficult time cooking for her family. Cooking wasn’t something she got excited about doing, the way I get excited about food. It feels stressful, time consuming and oftentimes even anxiety-inducing when trying to follow a complex recipe. And then when her children don’t even like the meal she’s made, she’s frustrated that she went through all the effort to only have the meal left uneaten.

We both had the same light bulb go off at the same time. We decided that we’d come together once a week to collaborate on recipes that are simple, nutritious and come together with little muss or fuss. These recipes will be great for a mom with her hands full, a student that wants to casually entertain, or a dad who has very little cooking experience. We’re going to make the recipes straightforward and talk you through any of the scary bits.

For example, what if you char the chicken skin when you’re supposed to be making it golden brown? No worries! Once it’s braised in the oven with a bit of stock the skin will have softened in the oven, and then garnish away (a bit of green covers all sins)! As long as it’s seasoned well, a bit of char can be overlooked!

So Molly and I will be sharing stories with you weekly.  And we’d like to hear from you what works and what doesn’t. Or if you have requests for recipe ideas, just ask. We’ll take a look at what you’ve made in your kitchen if you hashtag it #thedinnerdance.


*Photos of Pepper by her mom Kristin Mulligan



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