You are currently viewing Guest Post: Dinner Parties, Before & After Kids

Guest Post: Dinner Parties, Before & After Kids

I can’t tell you how excited I am to introduce today’s guest blogger: Amber Dusick, the genius behind a hilarious new parenting blog called Parenting. Illustrated with Crappy Pictures. Perhaps you’ve already heard of her (I’ve plugged Crappy Pictures on WTEB’s Facebook page, and her blog’s a nominee for Parents magazine’s Funniest Mom Blog. Which it totally is.)
But Amber’s sheer awesomeness isn’t the real reason I’m so psyched to have her here. It’s because Amber’s an honest-to-god friend of mine. We met on a message board oh, sevenish years ago and have watched each other go through marriage, TTC (that’s Trying to Conceive, for the uninitiated), fertility problems, and eventually pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. She was even a recipe tester for my cookbook. Having a ringside seat for her impending cultural explosion makes me absolutely giddy. Seriously, if you’re a parent and you don’t love Crappy Pictures, you must not have a funny bone. Read on, and see if you don’t laugh out loud (or at the very least smile broadly in recognition).
If you’ve come to Words to Eat By via Crappy Pictures, welcome! I hope you’ll spend some time with me. You’ll find loads of parenting-oriented food stuff here. And trust me, you won’t want to miss The Best Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies in the Entire World. Maybe even consider subscribing, via RSS or email? OK, enough with the sales pitch. On to Amber…

When Debbie asked me to guest blog here I immediately said yes. And then regretted it. She has a FOOD blog. How can I fake being a foodie? Have I cooked anything worth mentioning recently? No.

I used to be a foodie though. Can I fake it?

At first, I considered using a story from back before my husband and I had kids. We threw elaborate dinner parties. We did. We’d print up menus. We’d discuss wine pairing at length. Back then, we began cooking days in advance.

I figure I could even drop in food nerd terms like “making a roux” so it seems like I know what I’m talking about still. But I don’t. I don’t even remember what that is exactly. I’m sorry, I just can’t fake this.

Instead, I’ll just admit defeat and give you a drawing of what planning for one of our elaborate dinner parties was like before we had kids:

And now, what planning for one of our “elaborate” dinner parties is like, after having kids:

And it isn’t just dinner parties. It is nearly every night for dinner. Who has the time?

And well, this is why Debbie wrote her cookbook for me. For ME!

Okay, for me and all the other millions of parents who have vague recollections of eating well once upon a time. But mostly for me.

If you have ever forgotten to turn on the oven* due to sleep deprivation, you need this cookbook.

*To be clear, some of Debbie’s recipes involve turning on an oven. Probably several. But you can do it! She will help you!

PS – For my readers who are new here: Debbie wrote a cookbook called Parents Need to Eat Too: Nap-Friendly Recipes, One-Handed Meals, and Time-Saving Kitchen Tricks for New Parents which will be available February, 2012. It will help you eat stuff other than the rejected crusts of your child’s sandwiches! What, you don’t do that?

This Post Has 30 Comments

  1. fourpeet

    This is hilarious and so true! We never threw many dinner parties, but my husband and I loved to try out all the new restaurants in town and play the role of food critics throughout the entire meal. Now we are lucky if we get out for tacos every other month. Luckily, we have WTEB, which plays no small part in our weekly menu (last night we enjoyed Little Gram's sauce and meatballs). I can't wait for the Parents Need to Eat too cookbook!

  2. debbie koenig

    Aww, thanks, fourpeet! (And for the record, world, fourpeet is another of my fantabulous recipe testers…)

  3. Anonymous

    I love how the mom's hair is fabulous before kids and her boobs are perky…not so much after the kids LOLOLOL

  4. Jen

    I am a Crappy Pictures follower, linked to this foodie blog by her. Let me just say this book sounds AMAZING, and I can't wait to get a copy. I would ask if its in e-reader format, but I can't seem to get to use mine since my little one won't give it up long enough, so it doesn't matter 🙂

  5. Amber Dusick

    Yay! Thanks Debbie. "Impending cultural explosion"…ack! stop saying stuff like this, makes me want to hide in a closet nervously. 😉 xoxo

  6. Johanna Bates

    What about that time when Amber's B dug into a massive hunk of… what was it… Camembert? … with a fork? Maybe he was like one year old? That's serious street cred.

    We are also heavy users of Debbie's awesome WTEB for menu planning. Though it's usually just for us, as our 5-year-old will only eat protein in the form of grilled cheese. Still. When he was one, he'd eat almost anything. Not these days.

  7. Laura Vannatta

    We are a takeout every night family, too. I miss cooking.

    PS–Oh my gosh, that Parents Need to Eat Too cookbook is going to save my life!! I lost so much weight after my first baby that I weighed less than my high school weight. Not cool. I'm preggo again, and now I know someone will have tips for me so I can eat, too!

  8. Crystal

    I love how the 'after' is complete with non-curly hair and tired lines under the eyes. I love this, I may print this post out and frame it – yesterday I was watching a show where an older woman who is very food-snobby was getting angry with her daughter in law who has two kids and would rather cook from a box, and the DIL says, 'We have all these convenient things now to save time so *I* can have more time to spend with my family.' and the MIL huffs, 'What? Are you saying you CAN'T take time to cook slowly because you have kids to take care of and a house to clean? Like *I* did when I was a young mother and didn't have a problem??' ….I with my one (needy needy) baby and so-so dinners had an instant combo guilt/irritation attack and snapped the tv off. This post makes me feel muuuuuch better.

  9. Veronica

    Totally unfair how dad is the same before and after! Thant's how I see myself and my husband. I looked great before kids, hair always done. Now… I'm lucky if I get out of my PJ's and get a shower every other day! 🙂

  10. Lisa

    Heck yes Trader Joe's! That's about as fancy as it gets over here too.

  11. Deb

    I love how your clothes/looks changed, but your husband's did not (minus the wine glass of course). You always have an eye to detail! 🙂

  12. Kelly Pifer

    I can't even pretend that I threw more than one dinner party pre-kids nor can I say I run to Trader Joe's now. If I don't get cooking in my schedule either I beg the hubby to stop and pick up a "Hot-N-Ready" $5 pizza from Little Caesars or I ask everyone what their cereal of choice will be that evening!! I used to love to cook from scratch, prided myself that my freezer was only used for ice and maybe some frozen bread dough. I laughed at the guest post (I follow Amber's blog & FB page) and was inspired to pre-order Debbie's cookbook. I can't wait until February – I only hope we survive until then!!

  13. Anonymous

    I was so hoping that "nap friendly recipes" were those that induced sleep. I could really use some meal ideas that will put my super active four year old son to sleep.

  14. debbie koenig

    Jen, my understanding is that the book will be simultaneously published for e-readers. Stay tuned! Hopefully by February you'll have yours back 😉

    Kelly, thanks for the pre-order!

    Anon, I hate to tell you but Harry stopped napping at 2. It seems that once they stop, they don't go back. Oh, how I wish it were otherwise.

  15. Anonymous

    My breakfast often consists solely of sandwich crusts!

  16. Sammie

    I am Crappy Pictures follower expecting my first child in just a few short weeks (by the way, I have LOVED the stories of things I still have to look forward to with children). One of the things I have been the most worried about is my ability to cook after baby is born (it is hard enough working full time, cooking, and cleaning the house, now you want to add a baby to it?). I am really looking forward to exploring this blog more and hopefully getting some great tips to help make cooking for hubby and myself possible in the next few months. Hubby may even be told to preorder the cookbook as a late Valentine's Day present for me!

  17. Cameron

    I just added the cookbook to my baby registry! 🙂

  18. Laura

    I think I NEED that cookbook!

  19. Laura (another one)

    I think your husband doesn't look completely 100% the same – I think there's a little dark circle peeking out from under his eye, right? Just so no one gets in trouble for inaccurate portrayals of supporting characters…

  20. Anonymous

    So true about the crusts and all the other random leftovers. I used to think it was totally gross when my sisters would even use the same spoon as their kids knowing that there would have to be some saliva still on it. Now sharing a spoon doesn't even enter on the radar of gross stuff I do.

  21. Vera Marie Badertscher

    Love this post, and I love the way it brought out the Erma Bombeck in all the readers. (Even thought most of them are too young to recognize Erma).

  22. Chi

    I have food allergies to dairy and soy. Are there any recipes friendly to that in your book? I am always making everything from scratch ar home and worry about time once the baby arrives. Thanks.

  23. debbie koenig

    Thanks for the pre-orders & general enthusiasm, all!

    Vera, *I* know who Erma Bombeck is, even if others don't. And I love you for bringing her here.

    Chi, the recipes aren't specifically allergy-sensitive, but there are a lot of bean-based dishes. Does that help?

  24. kperantie

    Chi – I'm not allergic but I have several friends who are. There are good blogs out there for cooking for allergic kids so you can probably find help. You might start with "Allergic to Air". And Budget Mommy often has some info too since she is gluten-free.

  25. Teresa (Embracing the Spectrum)

    Will have to check out that cookbook!

  26. TheUrbanMum

    I do like that through Crappy Pictures I found this blog.

    I have to say I still eat out, cook, entertain and am blessed with kids who eat most things.
    However…this cookbook sounds wonderful and I shall order it – and follow Words to Eat by too…x

  27. Barb

    Book looks great!

  28. oilandgarlic

    This got me thinking. My food blog also got hijacked by having kids! We now rely way too much on Trader Joes, too. I think what saves my sanity is that my husband is the main cok, while I know a few good recipes. I know many people who split chores differently but it's tough if you're the only one responsible for getting healthy food on the table! Book looks great!

  29. Natasha

    I totally NEED this cookbook. Although does it have a section called "What to cook when NEITHER kid naps?" 🙂

  30. Stephanie

    I think it’s hilarious and SO true…boobs in the before picture but what the heck happened after kids?? Fancy dinners aren’t the only things that disappear!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.