A Modern Mom’s Pressure Cooker

Do you remember that ’90s movie Twins? It was based on the farfetched concept that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito were twin brothers. The premise was a funny one: Arnold basically got all the good genes and Danny got the leftovers.

Sometimes I feel like I’m Danny DeVito compared to my older sister. At least in the domestic department.


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Healthy meal for the keiki | Tannya Joaquin photo

Seriously, her home is always impeccable. Even her cupboards and closets are labeled and organized. She whips up gourmet meals from scratch. She even hand-crafts amazing favors and gifts for her kids’ classmates.

Honestly, everything she makes could be its own pinterest page. Awesome and seemingly effortless.

It’s mind-boggling to me because she’s a mom to four kids. Yet she somehow finds the time to be a successful family dentist, compete in triathlons and make meals worthy of Top Chef.

She definitely got the Martha Stewart gene, while I’m good at making one thing: reservations.

In fact, it’s a running joke in my family. I’ve never been a good cook. Yes, I had an Easy Bake Oven when I was a child. But it wasn’t so easy for me.

Then, there were a couple of embarrassing episodes. Once I was entrusted to pick up the turkey at the grocery store for the family Thanksgiving and came home with a chicken instead.

Another instance that my family teases me about involves bacon. It’s sort of sad because I love bacon, and don’t want anything to ruin that for me. So, here’s the story. My mom once asked me to cook bacon for breakfast and my response was, “So I just put some oil in a pan and sizzle it, right?”


I did eventually graduate beyond incompetence to at least nail a couple of dishes. Shrimp Pasta and Tacos a la Tannya. That worked for a while, but now I’m supposed to be a responsible mother of two and help pull together nutritious, well-balanced meals that my children actually will eat.

It’s not that I can’t follow a recipe. I just get instant attention deficit disorder when there are more than, like, five ingredients required. Oh, the pressure! More like a pressure cooker.

Well, I recently heard about emeals online. It’s a program designed to simplify meal planning and cut your grocery expenses. It creates a menu for your week and gives you a shopping list and recipes.

Sounds perfect for busy parents. But there’s a catch. You actually have to make it to the grocery store to buy the ingredients. I’m crossing my fingers that I won’t have a mental roadblock when a recipe calls for turkey or bacon.