I should mention that I have two 2-year-olds and one 4-year-old. They'd had a pretty good snack, but still... "What to have for dinner?" is suddenly an urgent question.
Sure, I could do pancakes or something breakfasty, but we've had NO veggies all day and I wasn't in the mood for eggs. Ergo, time to check out the top 30 minutes or less recipe list at the back (I had frozen peas and sweet potatoes as my veggie options). Ta da! Spaghetti with Butter and Parmesan. Perfect for a cold winter night. I threw in some frozen peas (I have real issues with needing some green on that dinner plate) and served with a side of sweet potatoes (cooked in the microwave). Time from recipe discovery to dinner on the table? Less than 30 minutes. Processed ingredients used? Nada. Kid-friendly? You betcha. Will hubby enjoy it when he gets home? Absolutely (I even saved some pasta water to add to his pasta when we reheat it).
Recipe Used: Spaghetti with Butter and Parmesan, p. 506
Incidentally, I should mention that I spent (wasted) 15 minutes trying to see if another cookbook had a better idea or even if there were better ideas in the Bittman pasta section. I should know by now that feeding my family, especially on short notice, doesn't have to be gourmet.... just healthy, tasty, and low stress.