I have a confession: I have no idea how to feed a household.

When I was growing up, I was treated to delicious balanced meals by my grandma and mom. In college I lived in a big house that employed a chef. After college, I worked for a restaurant. So you’d think that with all this prolonged exposure to good food, I would know how to plan a meal. Alas, I do not.

OK that’s not entirely true. I know that you can get an already cooked chicken, reheatable mashed potatoes, and a tossed salad at the grocery store. BAM there’s a meal. But the whole home-cooked meal thing? I fail at it. The sad thing is, I’m not a bad cook. Mike still talks about my chicken enchiladas – the ones I made back when we were dating and I was trying to impress him. I make really good fresh spaghetti sauce. A few years ago? I baked an award-winning cake. But lately, I just can’t do it. And I want to, I truly do.

OK that’s not entirely true, either. I do want to have home cooked meals. But I want them with little effort. I’m not good at planning far enough in advance to get the groceries required for a home cooked meal. And that’s pretty pathetic because I live about fifty feet from a grocery store. It’s just that I get wrapped up in my day, and the next thing I know, it’s 6:15 pm and Mike is eating cereal and I am breaking into my emergency stash.

I want Annabel to grow up the way I did, with a balanced dinner on the table every evening at six o’clock. Right now she is easy to feed (I have that DOWN if you know what I’m sayin’), but I need to figure out how to feed my family before she is eating regular meals. I have everything I need – a crock pot, many lovely pots and pans bestowed upon me by wedding guests, a barbecue. I even have a beautiful red KitchenAid mixer…still in the box. Somewhere, a baker sheds a solitary tear.

HOW do people do this?! I’m not putting undo pressure on myself as I don’t want or need to be super mom with the gourmet meals. I think I am psyching myself out. I mean, people with tiny children cook meals all the time. It can’t possibly be as hard as I am making it, right? I need easy. I need simple. I need an excuse to wear my adorable “Mrs. Spohr” apron as something other than a bib.

Teach me o wise internet readers! I am your grasshopper. Then I will have you all over for a nice dinner. But someone else has to clean up, because I can’t stand cleaning a kitchen.