Wins, Woes, and Recipes
Our first recipe swap, with Caroline Chambers
If you follow me on Instagram, you may know that I am a big fan of Caroline Chambers and her newsletter What To Cook When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking. I’ve been using her recipes for a while, and today we asked her to host a recipe swap and share one of my (and my kids’) favorite recipes of hers.
So read on for this week’s stories and ParentData’s first recipe swap. I can’t wait to see what all of you share!
As always, you can leave a comment for any of our readers and contribute your own story or question for a future newsletter here. We love to hear from you.
Happy at Day Care
We recently started day care with our 4.5-month-old, and I was feeling all the guilt of having him there for eight or nine hours a day. I also was worried that he would not recognize or be as happy to see me because he’s spending all day with other people. My guilt went away when I saw how happy he is when he goes to day care and how happy he is to see me when I pick him up. Every morning I wake him up, and he’s still so smiley and definitely knows who I am. I think day care has been good for him, and I was worried it wouldn’t be.
Let me tell you about being the parent of an adorable, funny, intelligent 7-year-old boy who lives in a world that thinks he is an enigma (I hear this at every parent-teacher conference). I am so overwhelmed by fighting for his education. There are not many resources in the state where I live for parents of disabled children (especially for his diagnosis of childhood apraxia of speech, which has a precedent of 1 in 1,000). Everything I do is trial and error (mostly errors). I enrolled him in a private school that touted their D&I statement on every wall in the building. Eight weeks into the school year, and they decided they could not accommodate his differences. Here we are at public school with a new set of challenges. I feel like a not-so-great parent because I feel like I have a blindfold on every step of this journey, and every error I make impacts my child’s future. Parents of children with disabilities have no good options. Private schools will not accept these kids, and the public schools do not have the resources. There is zero data to support decision-making.
So I hired an IEP [individualized education program] advocate. This seems like a no-brainer decision, but I didn’t know there were people out there who can help me carry this weight. This helps me feel like a better parent to fight the good fight for equity for all learners.
I read my first book after having my baby. I just feel so “me” again! He is turning 2 in April — so it’s taken some time. But I just need others to know, those first 24 months are tough, and that is OK. You will feel like “you” again!
And now… it’s time for the first ParentData recipe swap!
We’re kicking things off with a recipe for beef bulgogi bowls from the one and only Caroline Chambers, a professional recipe developer and cookbook author. She is a master of developing recipes that dirty minimal dishes, require minimal brainpower, use fewer ingredients, and require less time — but still absolutely rock. She shares lots of mom tricks and recipes on Instagram, but her Substack, What To Cook When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking, is a weekly recipe subscription built for busy people who want to eat delicious food.
I asked Caroline to share this recipe because, honestly, it’s probably my family’s favorite. It’s the only thing I can reliably count on all three other people to express excitement about. I think the key is the choice — my family loves anything that feels like a “bar.” Penelope has more rice than beef. Finn has more beef than rice. I have more cucumbers and kimchi. Jesse eats the remainders. It is delicious, it feels fancy, and everyone is happy. What more is there?
Click below for the full recipe with helpful notes and substitutions, including meatless options.
And now we want to hear from all of you! Leave a comment with a recipe you love to cook for or with your family. Bonus points if your kids will (sometimes) eat it.
Do you know someone who might relate to today’s newsletter? Share it with a friend!
I always have the ingredients in the cupboard this this one, and it takes barely 20 minutes total. Super quick and easy, and universally eaten by everyone in the house!
I'm so sorry it has been such a struggle for you to get the right supports for your child at school. I'm a public school educator and I totally understand your frustration and applaud your advocacy. While I obviously don't know the details of your child's needs and the school district, I think transitioning to public school (more rules and requirements when it comes to special education) and hiring an advocate were great first steps. The IEP process can be long and drawn out, but please continue to ask questions, keep detailed notes, and collaborate with your advocate. Keep fighting the good fight and know that your child is going to get what he needs eventually. He's got a great support system in you and you can keep adding more people to his educational support system along the way.