Wow! This SAHM/WAHM, mother of 2 thing ain’t no joke! Since giving birth to my second son, quitting my full-time (out of the house) job to be a full-time SAHM and full-time freelancer, life has been NON-STOP! I’m not complaining, at all. It has been my wish to be a stay at home mom, since giving birth to my first son. We couldn’t make it work back then but when our second son came along, we had to make a change. Luckily, we were able to do that. And I’m thrilled to be able to make a living doing a job that I love and one that also affords me the opportunity to be home with my children. But I’m not gonna lie to you, I’ve been at this SAHM/WAHM gig for 5 months now and I’m still struggling to find balance. I have more acronyms than I know what do with and some days it’s all I can do not to lose my mind. In other words, it’s kicking my ass and I’m not afraid to say so. It’s hard but I know things will get easier, then harder, then easier again. Parenting is funny like that. Better buckle up.
When I was working outside of the home, I busted my butt, rushing home from work to get dinner on the table because the family meal was too important to me to give up. I wanted us all of us to eat a home-cooked meal together, as a family. It was important to me because it was our time together. I had a lot of guilt being away from my son and eating together always gave us a way to bond at the end of each day. It wasn’t easy but I managed to do it and I’m glad I did. Each time I stormed in the door with 15 minutes to spare to create a meal, I would fantasize about having more time to prepare. I would think to myself, “If I’m ever a SAHM, this is going to be so much easier.” I figured I’d have tons of time to grocery shop, meal plan, set a beautiful table and have a hot meal ready and waiting for my husband when he got in the door. A real family meal, like the ones you see on TV. Donna Reed would have nothing on me and I’d have the cute apron to prove it. Fast forward to today. Holy cow!! Was I wrong! I totally romanticized the whole thing.
Not only do I not have the extra time I thought I would, some days, I have even less. Dinnertime sneaks up on a motha like no bodies business. These days, I might have slightly more time to prepare meals but between nursing, work deadlines, house cleaning, diaper changing, NURSING, potty training, kiddie classes, pediatrician appointments, laundry, etc…there’s very little room for luxury time in the meal department. I need meals that are big on flavor and short on time. Any recipe that I create or attempt to make must be quick (15-20 minutes. tops! ) without sacrificing flavor or nutrition. I’m a busy mama and I know you’re busy too. Who isn’t these days? We want real food and we want it FAST. So that is why, right before I pass out for the night, I want to share my recipe for Avgolemono Pasta with you. It’s a recipe I created using my favorite Greek soup as inspiration and it fits all of my criteria for a family meal.
I based this dish on Avgolemono soup, a soup often served at Greek restaurants made with egg, lemon juice, broth and usually some type of tiny pasta or rice. I knew this flavor profile would make a rockin’ pasta dish and it was easily translatable using my basic carbonara recipe and brightening it up with the freshness of lemon. Consider topping this dish with some crispy bacon or pancetta to add even more pizzaz. Theses flavors are just perfect together, refreshing and comforting all at once. A perfect dish for Summer, if I do say so myself.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 clove garlic
1 box spaghetti
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Juice and zest of 1 small lemon
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Melt the butter in a large skillet (preferably, one with high sides) over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until slightly brown. Turn off the heat, remove garlic and discard. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of salted water, until pasta is al dente. Drain pasta and add to the skillet.
2. Working quickly (you want the pasta to remain hot), combine eggs, half of the parmesan cheese and juice and zest of lemon in a small bowl. Pour egg mixture over hot pasta and toss until the egg begins to cook and coat the pasta. If your pasta becomes too cold, simply turn the burner back on to low. Add the remaining parmesan cheese and parsley and toss again. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.