Raising Kids, Raising Dogs and Two Simple Recipes

by Melissa on November 20, 2012

Having dogs will prepare us for having a baby.

Oh, silly me. What was I thinking.

Taking care of a human (and we are only finishing up the first month) is about 3,564,892 times more difficult than taking care of a puppy.

However, I will say that raising two dogs from “puppyhood” to adulthood is a stepping stone to mentally preparing to raising a child… the feeding, cleaning (picking up poo!), discipline (no Aubie, drop that!) and love (cuddle time when it’s most needed).

These two were my first “kids” and luckily, they’ve accepted the baby into their pack and love her already.

Now that I’ve jumped (more like been thrown) headfirst into parenthood, the work and responsibility of having a baby is nothing compared to having dogs. It was almost a mental shock.

Going from getting at least 7 straight hours of sleep a night to 3 hour naps, maybe 3 and a half, if I’m lucky.

From having quiet time to work during the day to “Oh please… please sleep for at least 2 hours so that I can cook lunch, check email and throw the laundry in the wash.”

But when she wakes up and looks at me with those big brown eyes, I melt and it’s all worth it.

We’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, as we do every year. And thankfully, there will only be seven of us, tops, with one being the baby.

Usually I like to put together elaborate recipes and a cohesive menu for Thanksgiving. But this year, I’ll be lucky to just get the food on the table while it’s still warm enough for us to enjoy.

Thus, I’m sticking to simple dishes that I know by heart. These two sides are dinner staples in our house and are five ingredient recipes.

Roasted yellow potatoes and sauteed asparagus have been the two most cooked side items in our house this past month. They really are that simple to make and Paul will actually eat all his veggies when I make this asparagus dish – double plus!

You can also use red potatoes in the place of the yellow potatoes, we just find the yellow potatoes tastier in this case.

Garlic Roasted Yellow Potatoes (serves 4)
Yellow potatoes, 6-8 small potatoes cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

Let’s Cook!
Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

Boil the potatoes in a pot of water for 4-5 minutes, until the potatoes start to soften. Remove the potatoes from the heat and drain the water.

In a medium bowl, combine the potatoes, garlic, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Toss the ingredients so that the potatoes are coated well, then transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet or shallow roasting pan (I used a small glass pan), and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the potatoes turn golden brown.

Remove from the oven, serve and enjoy!


Sauteed Asparagus (serves 2)
Asparagus. 1 bunch
Olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon
1 clove garlic, minced
soy sauce, 2 teaspoons (or to taste)
sugar, 1 pinch
sesame oil, optional

Let’s Cook!
Remove the tough ends of the asparagus and cut the remaining into 1 to 1 1/2 inch long pieces.

Heat about 1/4 cup water in a large skillet over high heat. Add the asparagus and blanch for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the asparagus.

In the empty skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat for about 1 minute, then add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the asaparagus and saute for 1-2 minutes. Then add the soy sauce and sugar, mix well and saute for another minute.

Drizzle about 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, if desired, on top of the asparagus. Turn off the heat, serve and enjoy!

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