About AuntieM

My name is AuntieM and welcome to my messy kitchen. I am 20-something nine-to-fiver trying to figure out how to make down home dinner without a. it tasting like cardboard, b. it setting fire to the kitchen or myself, c. it making my butt any larger (I actually need it to do the opposite), d. it causing my picky husband to throw it back at me or spiral into an onion induced tantrum on the floor, e. it breaking my budget. Needless to say, I rarely get what I want.

As both an undergraduate and graduate student in English Literature, I naively and idealistically believed that I would end up a college professor at a small liberal arts college somewhere well above the Mason-Dixon line. There, I would spend my days lecturing on contemporary women writers and eating Thai-food while my cinematographer-husband would make great documentaries (and we would what? Sing Kumbaya?) After two years of failed tv-shows, part time gigs, teaching eight classes a semester of English composition at three local colleges, and a few melt downs later we both came to our senses and landed full time jobs.

Then, the reality of adult-life set in and with it the realization that all those caramel macchiatos had settled around my mid-drift (on top of previous layers of cheese-fry sediment). I needed to get healthy and lose weight. So, in the winter of 2009, I started weight watchers with my best friend, and neighbor, Jay. At the same time, my husband, Picasso, separated his shoulder at work and ended up out of work for six months. With a new house and a family to support, losing weight seemed impossible (I mean, everyone knows that losing weight is expensive, right?).

So, the kitchen klutz (my messy kitchen and the often horrible eats that emerged from it are well documented. It is how I got my blog’s name) that always counted on her hubby to do the cooking suddenly had to get schooled in home-cooking on the cheap-cheap. Just in case that wasn’t enough of a challenge, I am married to the pickiest person alive (no joke he eats ONLY meat, potatoes, rice, CANNED (brand specific) peas or green beans, and things from the bread family). So, my light cooking had very specific parameters.

So, last year I set out to make my kitchen right with the lord. In the process of trying to do home-cooking unlike the kind my momma and grandmas used to make (no offense, I just can’t eat all those points. How do you think I got this way?) I have learned that there is a lack of information regarding cooking comfort food without PW or Paula Deen’s gratuitous use of butter. It’s as if cooking light can only be done with a moratorium on beef and with 100 ingredients (Dear WeightWatchers, I heart you, but your recipes, while often delicious, always cost $100 million dollars and require 50 billion ingredients from the far east).  But, my heart screams, I want to cook Marlboro Man’s favorite sandwich—Picasso would love it and it is a cheap dinner!

What is a girl to do? Give up beef and blackberry pie? Starve half the week to pay for three days of fancy-pants recipes? Not this lady. After losing forty pounds, finding some cheap places to grocery shop, and some heavy  recipe builder (see I do heart you WW) research later, I have decided to share with you what I have learned in the hopes that we can exchange some tried and true tricks to de-mystify cooking light. Here, I will write about my often painful transition to one of those granola people. Don’t worry, I am a fat-kid at heart and won’t venture too far into the merits of tofu (although some of that is yummy. Bocca chik’n patty anyone?). I post recipes, links about cooking light, some details about accidental detours into the land of fat and butter,  along with other random things I feel necessary to torture you all with.

Sometimes, it doesn’t go well. Just ask my brother-in-law R-Tini about it.

Here is my kitchen after one such disaster:

The bag of powdered sugar got caught up in the mixer and exploded.

Ouch. Here it is up-close.

Picasso got me a stand-alone mixer for Christmas this year.

Hard to imagine why, hugh?

Here, I had just put a dessert in the oven. Look how clean it is (compared to the others)!

I love my mixer. Thanks, Picasso.

I am getting better at it and have begun branching out into baking light. Lord help us all, because applesauce isn’t a miracle cure all like everyone says, and I have to figure out how to live life with a smaller waist and toffee-coffee bars.

From my messy kitchen with love,


Note: I in no way know what I am doing. I am not a nutritionist, doctor, priest, therapist, personal trainer, or chef. So, basically, I am sharing my personal experiences and am not an expert about anything. So, don’t listen to me.



  1. I relate totally to a husband who is a picky eater. One of the my hubby’s nicest (in his mind) compliments to me, “These mash potatoes are almost as good as fake potatoes (aka. instant).” What, I could win contests with my mash potatoes – what isn’t after all good with two sticks of real butter and cream… regardless, it is a challenge, and I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

    • What is it with those instant mashed potatoes?

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