There are a lot of words that I could use to describe myself. Mom. Wife. Teacher. Photographer. Tired. Grateful. Those are a few. Despiser of Laundry and Beach-Goer would also make the list. A word that does not make the list when describing myself is Cook. I love to bake and enjoy baking (and eating) sweet treats. Yet despite a long history of out-of-this-world incredible family chefs, I somehow did not inherit the cooking gene. I don’t particularly enjoy it, and mostly, I just really am not very good at it. I have a very difficult time following a recipe, either due to a lack of patience, boredom, or simply my desire to do it ‘my own way.’ Silly, I know, because every time I try to reinvent the wheel, I fail miserably. Thankfully, I have a husband who not only somewhat enjoys cooking, but is kind and caring enough to do it for us regularly because he knows I don’t love it (and probably also because he wants to have edible meals.)
Why am I telling you this? Because if I share a recipe with you and tell you it’s easy, it really is. It’s not only easy for all of you folks Googling recipes because you enjoy cooking – it’s easy for the likes of me who are Googling recipes out of pure desperation; desperate to feel like I’m earning my keep around here, or perhaps simply because we are out of PB&J and cheerios.
My dear friend Alex is one of my favorite cooks. Meals are always a highlight for me when we visit her home, not only because they are so delightfully good, but because watching her pull them off is mesmerizing to me. She is creative, she’s lively, and she actively parents four wonderfully wild boys while she’s at it. She knows me and my cooking woes, and so I know when she recommends a recipe for me, she’s got my back. She knows that I am not an active cook. She knows that Mitchell, my husband, is one of the pickiest eaters on the planet, (and over the years has learned his likes and dislike well) and she knows we are a family on a budget so we’re not whipping up any super lavish meals around here.
I tried her recipe as is and loved it. Then, I tried it again, adapting to meet our particular family’s needs a little more closely. Here are the adaptations I made:
- We make ours veggie heavy, but we cook almost all the vegetables. You see, Mitchell will eat vegetables, but ONLY cooked vegetables. Therefore, topping the recipe with chopped carrots, etc. really didn’t work for us. Instead, I decided to sauté the veggies and mix them into to the Pad Thai. Mushrooms and peas are some of Lincoln’s favorite things, so we decided to add this to the mix too. We use the green onion and cilantro as our toppings. Doing it this way means both my boys get more veggies in their diet, and since they’re mixed in (instead of a topping) they can’t just add a pinch to say they did.
- Although we love sprouts, I omitted them this time because I am pregnant and they are considered a higher risk food.
- Also thanks to my pregnancy, I used 1/2 teaspoon of Sriracha instead of one tablespoon. I love spicy foods, but spice just isn’t working for me this go around. This little bit was enough to add that touch of flavor without keeping me up all night with heartburn.
- I use three scrambled eggs instead of two, and use thinly sliced chicken thighs rather than breasts, just because that is what we tend to have on hand.
- Finally, I doubled the recipe for the sauce (we like ours a bit more saucy!) and added 1 tablespoon of Rice Vinegar.
- I also tried two different types of noodles. The first time I used the Thai Kitchen brand that Alex recommends. I found that they were a bit thick for my tastes. The second time I used the Annie Chun’s brand. They’re slightly thinner and I just preferred them to the other. I’m sure this is a matter of personal preference, so if the first one you try doesn’t work for you, give the other a go.
Want to give this simple Pad Thai a try? You can get the full recipe from Alex here at Inspiration Clothesline. If you are on the hunt for some great meals or just want a glimpse of how this busy momma feeds her family of six and does it amazingly well, take a look at the Food section of her site and I promise you won’t be disappointed. A few years ago she did a feature titled 31 Days of Cast Iron Cooking, and is just finishing up 31 Days of Feeding My Family, both of which have tons of great recipes and cooking inspiration.
Here are a few of our other favorites from Alex at Inspiration Clothesline:
Japanese Chicken Curry – Alex made this delightful dish for our entire wedding party in Hawaii. It was such a fun evening surrounded by our closest family and friends, and my heart is overwhelmed when I think of the way she fed us while providing a space for togetherness and celebration. We cook this one a lot at our house and it’s definitely a family favorite.
Baby Dutchman German Pancakes – She has whipped these up more than a handful of times for us after a family sleepover and they are SUCH a treat. I haven’t attempted these myself yet, but I think I will soon!
Vanilla Chai Tea – While it’s the perfect time of year to share this recipe, I actually indulge in it all year long because it is so, so good. I can’t even order them out anymore because none compare to this perfect take on Vanilla Chai. PS: Although it’s not nearly as luxurious as drinking it with milk, you can add it to hot water and it’s still delicious!
Let me know if you try this Pad Thai or another recipe from Alex! Or if you have an easy (don’t mess with me here, I mean REALLY easy) recipe you’d like to share, I would LOVE to try it!