Mar 7Liked by Emily Oster

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!


Expand full comment

IEP Parent:

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.

Expand full comment

Asian Peanut Noodles:

- a pack of noodles (any kind is fine but we love the Trader Joe’s fresh wheat noodles)

- really any veggies - but I typically go with a red pepper, mushroom, garlic, ginger, onion of some kind which I sauté in olive oil, soy sauce, and a little bit of sesame oil

- firm tofu which I bake in the oven at 400 degrees (season with salt & pepper & olive oil) for about 25-30 minutes - flipping half way through

- I top noodles with green onion/scallions & cucumbers sliced long and thin & sesame seeds

The sauce involves:

- about a half cup of peanut butter (the Smuckers Natural kind is the best imo)

- 2-3 tablespoons or so of soy sauce

- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil

- 2-3 tablespoons of rice vinegar

- 1 tablespoon of sriracha

- maybe somewhere between a third cup and a half cup of oat milk to make it creamy

- 1 teaspoon of honey

These measurements are def not exact and tasting the sauce throughout is best. I aim to go for a creamy, peanut-y, and tangy vibe (the tang comes from the rice vinegar which helps balance out the saltiness of the peanut butter, soy sauce, and sesame oil).

Also! Re: beef bulgogi - if you’re a vegetarian like me, Trader Joe’s has INCREDIBLE vegetarian beef bulgogi strips. So good.

Expand full comment

I subscribed to Caro’s newsletter when you first featured here. After months of turning up his nose at everything I made my 4yo devoured her healthy-ish turkey bolognese and deemed it ‘special food’. Highly recommend a subscription!

Expand full comment
Mar 7·edited Mar 7

Our favorite quick, barely-counts-as-cooking dinners:

--Black bean quesadillas: saute some onions, jalapenos, and garlic, add a can of beans and some cumin and other Mexican-y spices, make a quesadilla with some cheese, maybe have some frozen corn (with Tajin!) or other veggies on the side

--Sheet pan shrimp + veggies - either with gochujang + green beans + rice (there's a New York Times recipe for this), or tomatoes + feta + pasta - both cooked under the broiler for 7 minutes.

Expand full comment

@meagain - just want to say THANK YOU for also acknowledging how hard the early yearssss are, not just the early months. I was in Target earlier today with my 2.5 year old and was the parent with the “older” kid, other parents there all had babies. It made me pause remembering once again how fleeting it all is, but also that it’s just as hard now as it was then. The hard is still hard, it’s just different. PS - fellow bookworm here so kudos to you, hope it was a good read!!

Expand full comment

Sheet-Pan Baked Feta With Broccolini, Tomatoes and Lemon


1 bunch broccolini, ends trimmed, thick stalks split lengthwise, or broccoli, stalks trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)

1 small red onion, peeled, quartered and cut into 2-inch wedges

1 lemon, ½ cut into thin rounds and the remaining ½ left intact, for serving

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes

Kosher salt and black pepper

2 (6- to 8-ounce) blocks feta, cut into 1-inch slices

Cooked orzo or farro, for serving

½ cup fresh basil or cilantro leaves and fine stems, roughly chopped (optional)

Step 1

Heat the oven to 400 degrees with a rack set in the lower third. On a sheet pan, combine the broccolini, tomatoes, onion and lemon slices with the olive oil and toss. Add cumin and red-pepper flakes, season with salt and pepper, and toss again until evenly coated. Nestle the feta slices into the vegetables. (It’s OK if they break apart a little.)

Step 2

Roast 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through but leaving the feta in place, until the broccolini is charred at the tips, the stems are easily pierced with a fork and the tomato skins start to blister and break down.

Step 3

Serve over orzo or farro. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with the remaining lemon half for squeezing. Top with fresh herbs, if using.

Expand full comment

Me Again:

My child is 2.5 and I have yet to read a book since giving birth... so thanks for giving me hope that I'll dive back into them again!

Expand full comment

We love Kendra Adachi’s Change Your Life chicken. One sheet pan, flexible for whatever veggies your family eats, and delicious! I often make it when we have company too and serve with Cous Cous for low maintenance fool proof meal. https://www.thelazygeniuscollective.com/blog/change-your-life-chicken

Expand full comment

This baked oatmeal is a staple for our family. I take it anytime I drop off a meal for a friend in need and usually get asked for the recipe after. It's almost impossible to screw up, doubles beautifully, and freezes very well. One recipe fills a 9x13 or 2 pie plates. Add cauliflower rice if desired, adjust sugar to taste, use pumpkin instead of banana for a fall-ish flare, etc etc. Great for snacks, breakfast, and is less messy than stovetop oats. https://therealfooddietitians.com/healthy-blueberry-baked-oatmeal/

Expand full comment

Oh! My kids always cry about cooked fish but I looooove Caroline's crunchy tempura salmon, and my kids love sushi, so I make it into "sushi bowls" by serving with sushi rice, nori, cucumbers and carrots and letting the kids make themselves little maki rolls while the grownups get tempura salmon bowls.

Expand full comment

Two incredible recipes that our 9-month old also loves, and are SO easy (1 sheet pan and/or instant pot):



Both the meatballs and carnitas freeze well for last minute kid meals (or adult meals)!

Expand full comment

Ahhh, I did a happy dance when I saw Caroline's name! Two favorites collide!

Expand full comment

I don't have a link, I'm not sure my husband even uses a recipe, but without fail the kids will always eat "Daddy Chicken" which is just boneless skinless chicken thighs, seared in oil, S&P and then roasted in oven for ~15 mins, then rested for another 5-10 mins (in a dutch oven with lid on). If I have time I make roasted potatoes and carrots, if not I make steamed or mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. The thighs get really crispy and delicious, I can't stop myself from sneaking bites out of the pot as soon as it comes out of the oven.

Expand full comment

My proclaimed spinach-hating 2.5-year-old toddler AND 36-year-old husband both love Smitten Kitchen’s “green pasta”! Roasting the garlic takes some (hands-off) time but it’s really fast and easy to put together after that.


Expand full comment

Easy pasta hack.

Cook 1 Pound of pasta in boiling water.

5 min after pasta, add broccoli florets

When pasta is done, add ~ 1cup frozen peas.


Mix in:

1 -2 cups ricotta cheese


1 jar of kalamata olive tapenade like this one. https://divinamarket.com/products/kalamata-olive-spread-20310

Add Salt and black pepper and parmesan cheese to taste.

Kids love both versions

Expand full comment