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The Art of a Dad as a Temporary Single Parent, Take 3

This isn’t the first time I’ve admitted I’m terrible at cooking for the family while the wife’s away, and it certainly won’t be the last. I put the effort in I’m just terrible when it comes to planning and then executing anything more complicated than breakfast food.

Recently Casey left me home with Vivi for the weekend while she and Addie went to Chicago. Casey made a few meals throughout the week knowing there would be leftovers that Vivi and I could eat while she was gone. Those meals ran out pretty quickly, which meant that Vivi got to experience my skills as a chef—a breakfast chef, that is.  The baby learned that she loves French toast.

Casey is gone again, this time to Utah with Vivi for a week and a half, leaving Addie here with me. Our first dinner without Casey for this round of me being a temporary single parent? Yep, a breakfast item: puffy pancakes, aka German pancakes.

I can cook breakfast food. Give me some eggs, bread, bacon, sausage, potatoes and cheese, definitely have to have the cheese, and I can whip up all kinds of different egg-based breakfast foods.  And although eggs have been called the most effective food a person can eat, I’m sure that remains the case if each meal is filled with some type of egg-based breakfast item.

Whenever the wife is gone for more than two days, I have to venture out of my breakfast comfort zone and learn how to cook some healthy normal dinners. I try to think of a few non-breakfast dinner items I would like to eat and I then scour Google Images to see if any of those meals look too difficult to cook.

The last time Casey was gone for more than three days, I decided to cook some orange chicken. I searched the internet for a recipe and took a swing at making my first batch of orange chicken. The results? Big Fat Fail. Something went wrong, and I’m not even sure what it was that went wrong, but that batch of orange chicken was pretty nasty. I couldn’t let orange chicken defeat me, so the next night I searched the internet for a different recipe and took another swing at orange chicken. The results? Big Fat Decent. Nobody’s going to buy my orange chicken, but it was passable as a normal home cooked meal.

This time around, however, Babble has made it a bit easier on me. I don’t need to think about dinner ideas, and I don’t need to scour the internet for recipes and cooking tips. I can simply check out Babble’s Top 100 Mom Food Blogs. Take Babble’s second ranked Mom Food Blog, Aggie’s Kitchen; there is a link on the first page of Aggie’s Blog on how to make grilled chicken and use it in various ways. Following that link led me to a plethora of grilled chicken dishes that can be served on a plate, in a sandwich, or in a salad. Talk about a perfect list for someone in my position scrambling for meal ideas and cooking instructions. Babble has listed 99 more Mom Food Blogs all right there ready for me to sort through when it comes time to make Addie’s next meal.

So what am I making for Addie’s next dinner? I don’t know how anyone could pass up this recipe, well, except my wife who doesn’t believe in letting food touch: a bacon, egg & gruyere brat burger, from Babble’s Number Six Mom Food Blog, The Wicked Noodle. Alright, so that recipe doesn’t exactly get me out of my eggs for dinner problem, but it’s a cheeseburger with eggs, bratwurst, and bacon all on a Kaiser roll. Seriously, how does someone pass on one of those?

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More on Dadding:

Gymnastics: Pushing Addie Right up to the Point of Resentment

Top 10 Things I Learned from My “Mothers do Better Than Fathers” Post

Top 25 Funnies Photos From Vivi’s First Year

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