Feeding Your Family: Kitchen Dads
By Larissa Phillipsr>
When it comes to the kitchen, my husband is second in command. This is exactly how I want it. I love to cook, and I love having such a willing helper. He appreciates everything I make, and will take over any task I hand him, whether it's running out for more lemons, making the salad, chopping onions or just opening the wine.r>
r>But when I started working late two nights a week, my husband had to take over the role of kitchen captain - as well as kitchen assistant. He was game for the challenge, and we quickly plunged into our new routine. But, we never discussed how he would feed the kids on those nights. Before I knew it, our recycle box had been taken over by a steady influx of empty pizza boxes.r>
r>At first I didn't mind so much. Ushering our 4-year-old and our 8-year-old through a typical school night could rattle the nerves of an NFL head coach. I was happy to cut my husband some slack as he got his solo-parent routine down, without having to worry about cooking dinner or washing dishes.r>
But time passed and the pizza boxes kept coming in. Enough was enough! I called a time-out, and together we came up with some simple meals, acceptable to all three participants, that would require a minimum of preparation. Here are some of the meals that have become standard on no-mom nights:r>
  • Feeding Your Family ArchivesTortellini with tomato sauce, baby carrots and salad.
  • Roast chicken with baked potatoes and salad.
  • Chicken sausages with broccoli and salad.
  • Turkey burgers with whole-grain buns, cherry tomatoes and carrots.
As long as I keep these items on the shopping lists, we keep the pizza boxes out of the house. Yes, I do still need to be in charge of putting them on the list. What can I say? We're working on it.r>
r>Meanwhile, I want to thank my husband and all the other dads out there who have taken down the labor divide one small but important notch, supporting their wives and girlfriends by washing dishes, making sure the kids' favorite pants are clean and dry by morning, helping with homework and packing lunches. r>r>Next up: menu-planning and the fine art of writing notes to the kids' teachers.r>

Happy Fathers' Day!

Larissa Phillips is an award-winning writer, cooking instructor and food writer for Email her at