How to cook a meal with a hungry toddler “helping”

With Patience. Irritation. Bitterness. And love.

Here is my first go at a “pictorial” food post. It was quite a clusterfuck of a cooking experience…I do it all for you, my dear readers (the 4 or 5 of you reading this).

I’m sure you all care deeply about Balsamic Portabella burgers with Goat Cheese and Roasted Beets.

Away we go.

Gather your ingredients.

4 portabella mushrooms

4 whole wheat buns

Balsamic vinegar

Olive oil

Fresh thyme

Salt & Pepper


Lemon Zest

Goat Cheese



Having a toddler in your possession is good for ingredient gathering


Put your Portabellas in a container, put a few glugs of olive oil and a few glugs of balsamic over it, add thyme you stripped from the woody stems (about 4 stems worth), salt and pepper, toss and let marinate for 30 minutes while you work on steps 2 and 3.

Use the best Balsamic you can find. The first time I made these, I used special fun balsamic and it was one of the most amazing meals ever. This time, it was just alright.





Two: Roast Beets: Cut off the tops, rinse thoroughly, wrap in foil completely, and throw in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the foil, and then peel using your fingers by sliding your thumbs along the skin. This should happen easily after they have steam cooled in the foil.I do this with a batch of beets in advance and eat them for days.






Three: Slice sweet potatoes into wedges, drizzle with olive oil, and slide into the oven with the beets. These will be flipped every 15 minutes for 1 hour, and then tossed with salt (and chopped garlic if you are feeling wild).

This is too much olive oil…That is what happens when you try and photograph yourself pouring olive oil









Heat your grill to a medium heat. I like to grill outdoors, but it was storming last week (the last week in May), so we grilled inside.

Don’t have a cool late ’70s grill in your house? Sucks for you.








. Now, we have a VERY important step. Spill your beer all over the floor

Toddlers think that is HIGHlarious! At least they help clean up:

I know you don’t sweep up beer…but it kept him very busy for 3 minutes. This is a lifetime in toddler time.

NOW: Take a new beer out of your fridge.

Take your mushrooms out of the bag and place on the grill. Flip after about 5 minutes and cook on other side.

Throw your buns on the grill to brown.

Mix the goat cheese with 2 Tablespoons of sour cream, zest of one lemon, and mix until thoroughly combined.

Smear this mixture onto your buns.

Add sliced roasted beets, arugula, and your grilled mushrooms.

Eat with a side of sweet potato fries.

Another photo that shows nothing pretty.

Feed to your child, if he’ll eat it.

He’s eating his on white bread (which I rarely have in my pantry) because I am trying to get rid of it.

Next step: Spend three hours writing a pictorial food post.


He didn’t eat this burger. Neither did D. This really irritated me and made me even more angry that I spilled my beer. Sometimes it’s like that.

Signing out way past my bedtime: ME

Tomorrow-Root veggies


About dirtdonthurtmom

Beauty and Simplicity inspire me. Lack of clarity annoys me. Selfish people really piss me off. I have a filter, but ignore it, mostly.
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4 Responses to How to cook a meal with a hungry toddler “helping”

  1. pop says:

    I’m gonna make it for erin . . . I love portabella shooms

  2. KarlieO says:

    Love it! The part about the beer reminds me of my mother, always advising on her recipe when is the approriate time to have another sip of your beverage. This mean made my mouth water and my heart smile. Rhys is one little cutie!!

  3. gramps says:

    Beets?????? Never tried that before on a burger.
    Yeah, many times I have cooked something that I thought was special—and got dunked on.

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