Someone needs to write a cookbook entitled “How to Win Friends and Influence People Through Food.” It would have to be written by a mom. Because the two main genres of people who are won over and influenced by food? Husbands and little kids.

I used to joke that Addie would perform light housework for raspberries. Then I realized it’s actually true, Addie will in fact perform light housework for raspberries. Preferably a pint at a time. I still remember a grocery day where I had to push a sobbing two year old through the check out line because I insisted we pay for the bananas before she could eat one. Lest you think it’s a fruit festival up in here, I may or may not keep a secret stash of Tootsie Rolls, Addie’s six year old equivalent of gold bullion bricks, for those extra special occasions.

Then there’s Cody.

I learned while we were dating that the way to Cody’s heart is with lasagne. I learned while we were married that pretty much anything dripping with cheese floated Cody’s love boat. Nothing softens him up quite like a real dinner on the table when he gets home from work. (While it seems appropriate that I would be wearing heels and an apron whilst serving said dinner, I’m afraid that this is not the case. These days he’s lucky if I’m showered let alone made dinner.) For Father’s Day I figured I’d show my love and affection for the father of my children by baking him his favorite cake from scratch. The effort was there, the sugar was not.

I realized halfway through baking the cake that it looked funny. I then realized it looked funny because I had completely forgotten to put sugar in it. Ew. Thankfully for him the effort was enough (or he’s a really good liar) and I decided I should ease myself a little more gently back into the culinary world after a good 11 months off. (My spaghetti sauce from the other night would like you to know that I overcompensated the lack of sugar in the Father’s Day cake and made up for it in Monday night’s spaghetti sauce. Baby steps.)

This last week I had a friend and her two boys in from out of town (out of the country technically, OH CANADA!) and the younger of the two boys happened to be an especially picky eater. I decided to win his affection by preparing the most kid friendly picky eater meal ever. I’m pleased to announce it was a total success. The kid left my house with a full belly and convinced that America is the greatest because we put cherries on top of our milkshakes.

It’s the little things that lead to the big ones, like your family’s unending adoration.


Hillshire Farm knows the sneaky motives as to why some of us cook. To get what we want. (Feed Cody lasagne, earn a girls night out!) and when you like them on Facebook you’ll have access to exclusive recipes and coupons that could very well land you in whatever is the complete opposite of the dog house with cute new shoes and a pedicure to boot. (Just don’t forget the sugar in the cake.)

DISCLOSURE: This is one of the four sponsored posts I’ll be doing with Hillshire Farm’s new “So Good They’ll Think it’s for Them” campaign. Heaven knows I’m not above winning over my family at the dinner table. GO MEAT!


  1. This is funny because Dan will ask me what’s for dinner, and I’ll tell him… if it’s something really awesome, he’s always like ‘WHAT DO YOU WANT?’ and I’m like… um, I wanted a good dinner? Like I’m ANGLING FOR SOMETHING? (which… I have done. heh) But sometimes, I just wanna eat something yummy and the only way that’s gonna happen is if *I* make it 🙂

  2. Bellamomma says:

    I offered to make my hubby chicken & dumplings one night shortly after our wedding & he looked like he had fallen in love with me all over again … until I pulled out a can of chicken & dumplings and he looked like I just shot a puppy. I decided to learn how to make the dish from scratch & (this is how I know he loves me) it’s taken 6 years, at least 12 different recipes & untold attempts, but he’s stuck by me & tried every single dish I handed him. No matter how horrid (dish #3), how undercooked (dishes 2 – 18) or how thick the dumplings ended up being – he’s tasted them all & told me it was a good effort 😉 I can make anything else that I put my mind to (risotto, lasagna, homemade pasta) but dumplings are my kryptonite!!

    (And I no longer confuse the oil bottles in my kitchen & grab the olive oil for cake mixes. Only took me one time to learn that lesson!)