Welcome to the SOS Series - Skillful Cook
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Welcome to the SOS Series

What do you do when you need to make dinner, but you have a million other things that are dinging, pulling at you, and driving you bonkers? We've got you covered with easy, manageable, delicious recipes that will be a total lifeline.

A person holding a baby and talking to a child.

Click here to see all of our SOS recipes!

Question for you.

What do you do when you need to make dinner, but...

...the dog won't stop barking, and the baby won't stop crying, and the toddler is driving you bonkers, and you're super behind on work, and you haven't showered since who knows when, and you just remembered your wet laundry is still in the washing machine from yesterday (ew), all your potted plants in the yard are still just sitting there dead from the winter and you just keep looking at them and being reminded of how low your standards have gotten, and you just... it's just...


Welcome to the SOS Series, friends. My hope is that these easy, manageable, basic and delicious recipes are a lifeline for you as much as they have been for me over these last few weeks (months) as I've attempted to feed myself and my family fun, beautiful, and exciting food while surviving two kids 2-and-under during a global pandemic. Woof.

Beet salad with burrata and bread.

What Kind Of Recipes Will Be In This Series?

This series will feature 15 recipes that are made with 7 ingredients (not counting the pantry basics - olive oil, salt, etc.).

Some are vegetarian, some are extra-nutritious, some are Instant Pot-friendly, some are make-aheadable. But the one thing ALL 15 recipes have in common is minimal ingredient lists, short prep times, big flavor, and food j-o-y.

Also, importantly, ALL 15 recipes have my personal seal of approval as I have tested them in my own life (like, in my home kitchen, at 5:30pm) and filtered them through these two rigorous standards:

  1. Is this recipe easy enough to make with a toddler underfoot, a baby in the wrap, and a dog following me around, without completely losing my mind?
  2. Do I really love to eat this recipe?

Those are my two non-negotiables. If it's a yes for both, then it's in.

What's So Great About Super Easy SOS-Style Recipes?

A few months ago, during the thick of my maternity leave, I found myself at the lowest of lows. Our toddler had just woken up from a nap and she wouldn't stop crying because I was holding the baby. But every time I put the baby down to stop the toddler from crying, the baby would cry. So then I would pick the baby back up, which would lead to the toddler crying. And the high-pitched toddler crying (read: screaming) would be so intense that it would make the baby cry again. All three of us were at Stress Level 10. I get sweaty just thinking about it. It was a crying trap, and I was so stuck. I had no idea what to do to make it stop, so I picked up my phone and called Bjork.

He answered the phone, and I said, “Okay I know you're working and I'm really sorry to bother you and all that, but this is an SOS moment. Both babies will not stop screaming and I can't handle it right now. I really need you to come home.”

He came home, we got the tears to stop, and then guess what happened?

It was 5pm! Time to make dinner! Whee!

Sorry, but no. You can all eat crackers for dinner. This is just too hard. I don't even have it that hard! and it's still too hard.

That moment, that feeling of total desperation for some fast and easy wins that would help me feel not so completely out of control in my life, and my need to literally feed myself and my family something to avoid Meltdown Showdown 2.0?

That moment was the inspiration for this series.

Because, I thought, I can't be the only one. There have to be more of us food-loving humans out there who:

  • Are very exhausted
  • Are hungry for some actually yummy food, I mean, as much as we love frozen veggie nuggets
  • Want recipe solutions that feel actually manageable right now.

What's great about SOS recipes is that they are fun and inspiring, but not stressful. And they are certainly not pretentious. They are not afraid to take some help from store-bought and pre-made shortcuts. They will not clutter your kitchen with dishes to wash. And yet they are super delicious, and maybe even beautiful enough for a quick post to the gram? and they help you feel like it's all going to be okay. They are in your corner, keeping your belly full and your tastebuds happy, setting you up for the small wins. And the small wins ARE the big wins. We got this.

Who Is This Series For?

This series is dedicated to all the working-late-nighters, the weary quarantiners, the overwhelmed mamas and daddies, the huge life transitioners, the exhausted caretakers, the barely-holding-it-togetherers for whatever reason it might be.

If you are familiar with the SOS feeling of “it's dinnertime and I have zero plans, zero energy, and zero time”, then this series is just right for you.

How Do I Get The Recipes In This Series?

We're going to roll out our 15 new SOS recipes through April and May! We'll be posting brand new recipes twice each week.

And follow POY on Instagram if you're not already, because we'll be sharing the new recipes (including videos) there as well.

And better yet: sign up for email notifications so you get every recipe dropped off right on your (virtual) doorstep.

Sign up here to hop on our email list!

Let's Do This!

I'm really, really excited about this series - not just because the recipes are personally SO SPOT ON for me right now, but because I hope they can be a little lifeline for many of you as well.

SOS recipes start tomorrow!

Ready, set, here we go!

Filed Under: SOS Series

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    What a great idea. And I’m right there with you! I live in the Twin Cities too, have a 2.5yr and 8mo. I have survived the last year + thanks to our crockpot, trader joes frozen cauliflower rice, and pre-cut vegetables.

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is me, 4 year old, 2 year old and barking dog. I am so burned out on making dinner for my family but also hate to just slop something together. Oh and did I mention I accepted a promotion and will be transitioning to that role full time in may?? This could not be more perfect timing! SOS!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Something un-pretentious from this blog??? I’ll believe it when I see it. As someone who hasn’t had the luxury of “working” from home, and sees absolutely ZERO humor in the privilege people have to make jokes about not putting on pants or washing their hair for the last year, I needed this a long time ago!!!! And no, I don’t have kids, and yet, I find myself twice as busy as everyone else who does…but like I said, I work for a living…

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Amanda, judge much? I don’t know what you find pretentious about this site, but your obvious scorn for the work of people who work from home and raise children is unnecessary and not attractive. Glad you admit you don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to the work this woman does, and way to support women who have a different job from yours!

      Go read some unpretentious food sites then. I myself find a website that features ingredients like peanut butter pretty unpretentious. (Talking about you, spicy tofu stir fry!)

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Listen hun. I can “judge” if I want, but I didn’t saying anything untrue. My scorn is for every single privileged person like you who has the pleasure to “work” from home and somehow think it makes them the victim! hah! I’m not obligated to “support women” because I’m a woman…which is painfully ironic given your judgy, scornful hypocrisy…

        You keep trying to put words in my mouth while all I see are clucking hens squawking because I hit a nerve.

        I never said a thing about pretentious ingredients (seriously you have to be kidding me), especially because I know that “organic” “clean” “detox” etc are BS marketing terms.

        And as a Minnesotan who literally lives down the street from the office of this blogger…I also have the authority to say that her attitude towards a lot of things is exactly the kind of privileged tripe I have to put up with a lot around here. I’m not going to apologize for not being a sanctimommy or for telling it like it is.

        Go crawl back to your hole.

        You’re Welcome.

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      You’re ignorance is showing. We all have our issues. I have the privilege ( not luxury) of working from home…being MOM…6 kids- college to diapers and homeschooling. 3 properties to deal with and yeah, my showers last about 8 minutes. Most don’t include washing my hair. Just because you are busy with your life, doesn’t mean others who have it differently are full of it. I hope you have the privilege of bearing children one day. Then you’ll remember this conversation. You have no idea what its like, right now. Trust me. Ps…we make sacrifices to be at home.

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        MY ignorance?!?!?/! ROFL okay hun. Just because I haven’t had children yet, does not mean I haven’t had to raise children. I certainly never pretended I was the only busy person in the world.

        One day I will have long forgotten this post because I don’t heed the opinions of sheep.

    3. Skillful Cook Logo

      For someone who works twice as hard as those that have kids I’m surprised you have time to leave snarky comments on blogs you don’t like. I like this blog and appreciate the information and recipes provided for FREE. If you don’t like it may I suggest you don’t read it?

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Haha!!! This comment is so funny to me. So busy yet still commenting on websites that apparently don’t make food you even like.
        Lindsay, my ENTIRE family (mom, sisters and their own families, husband and two kids) LOVE your recipes. I also work full time and have two kids under 5 so I can be a bit picky w what I make and you’re are always winners! My sisters and I will literally text each other pics of our dinners and we all know it’s a POY winner without having to be told where the recipe came from. 😂
        I’m excited for this series!!!

          1. Skillful Cook Logo

            You love to hear a bunch of hypocrites sending hate my way because the truth hurts??? Good to know.

    4. Skillful Cook Logo

      It takes zero energy to keep scrolling. Maybe if you had done so, you’d even have had some energy left over to make yourself some dinner!

    5. Skillful Cook Logo

      girl. you sound stressed and kiiinda like you’re taking it out on a blogger who no one is forcing you to follow. hope you are able to find time in your busy schedule to eat a warm comforting meal and re-evaluate the way you respond to people.

    6. Skillful Cook Logo

      You’re a trip! Sorry you had this unfulfilled need long ago, but now a solution is here…so maybe it’ll still be useful? No use in blaming others for something out of their control.

      Also, not to make this a kids vs. no kids argument, but coming from someone who has always been a hard worker and works a lot, I have to say that in my experience…having no kids vs. having kids is no comparison. NO comparison. You *think* you’re twice as busy as everyone who has kids and works full-time, but…that’s the comedy of not having kids, you truly have no idea. 😀 Have a wonderful day!

    7. Skillful Cook Logo

      I never leave comments, but I thought I’d drop one here. I have 5 littles aged 7,6,4,2.5 and 15 months. Cooking has become the ball that I dropped and I almost cried tears of joy when I read that there might actually be recipes that are easy AND TASTE GOOD for me to make in the season of life. And then I almost cried again when I got to the bottom and realized there was no recipe in the post 🙃 I am so looking forward to this series! Thank you for your honesty and sharing your recipes.

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    YES! This is brilliant! I always appreciate easy recipes. Thank you for doing this! Sending a virtual hug to you and your family. 🙂

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    I am SO excited for this!!!! I love your recipes as is, but SOS recipe style?! BRING IT ON!

    My all time fave from you is that spicy african peanut stew in the IP. That’s an SOS meal to me!

    Also please Ms. Amanda below. She sounds bitter. We all have different life situations and no one ever knows someone else’s hard or why that can be so challenging.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Yay! So excited. Your recipes have never failed me and I cannot recommend you enough! With 3 babies under 3, two dogs and a cat, I can relate to the craziness! Looking forward to your recipes and thanks so much!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thank you for this! I love so many of your recipes and constantly feel the 5pm pressure. Sure the meals will be simple and delicious.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      New Mom, so tired but miss cooking, my happy place. Cannot wait for this! Your recipes are the best so I know these will be amazing. thank you for doing this and keeping motherhood real!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Thanks for following along, Lisa! We hope you enjoy the new recipes!

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    I already follow your Instagram and get your emails. Will these be a different email? Do I need to sign up again for these recipes?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      No need to sign up again if you already receive Skillful Cook emails!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hi Lindsay!

    I have followed your blog for many many years now and would love to have our companies collaborate. I am also a fellow Minnesotan now living in NYC.

    Our company is called Phoebe. It is a business dedicated to everything new mothers and we support our members from pregnancy through postpartum and back to work.

    I would love to have your series featured in our support for new parents.

    Chief Executive Mom at Phoebe

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Heck yes! What has helped me are sheet pan dinners and grill dinners. It all goes in, I set a timer and that’s the end of it.
    Also, frozen chopped veggies like onions are surprisingly helpful

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Yes, we love sheet pan dinners! And great tip on using frozen veggies to cut down on prep time!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow!. I can’t wait for these recipes! I could have used one last night! No energy, baby crying unless held, dog also wants attention, 20 other things on the to do list. Thank you for such a wonderful idea!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow! This is totally me, dying potted plants from Fall 2020 still in the backyard and all! Looking forward to this series.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    No babies or toddlers, but newly widowed (1.5 yrs, but still new every day) with interest but no energy or enthusiasm. SOS recipes sound perfect, and this one sounds delish Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      So sorry to hear about your loss – cooking when grieving is HARD. Sending you positive energy.

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      I’m right there with you. I lost my husband 1-1/2 years ago, too. Meal prep is really hard , and cooking for one is not easy . Really, really looking forward to SOS.

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thank You so much for all of your wonderful help and recipes….. I don’t have the little ones…. I take care of seniors…… and I enjoy all of your recipes…. I’ve made many of them….with great reviews!!!!

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hey Lindsay,

    Fabulous idea and looking forward to seeing what the POY team has been cooking up!

    Hang in there.


  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    oh my god, this is what I’ve been waiting for. Homeschooling mom to a 6 y/o, 3 y/o and 9 m/o with a husband who works long hours, and we basically have two meals around here: lunch is tortillas, apples, cucumbers, and cheese — and dinner is bread w/ honey, carrots, berries, and yogurt. Every day that I crap out and just give the kids this, I feel guilty. Thank you for this series!

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    I was a divorced mom raising 6 kids by myself in the 70’s and worked outside the home to support them. Believe me, it was hard, I am now in my 80’s, but I rememer thinking, “What to feed the kids”!

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    Your way of expressing gratefulness yet desperation during the toddler + baby + quarantine time of life is so well said and relatable all at once- it makes me laugh and tear up at the same time! Can’t wait for this series!

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    This series sounds fantastic! I can’t wait to see what you & the POY team have put together!
    Thanks for so many great recipes, and years of excellent work 😀

  19. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m SO excited for this series! We’re about to have our first baby and I was already feeling overwhelmed about how we’ll juggle making healthy(ish), feel-good food with a newborn. I’ve been making POY recipes for years and y’all have my favorites! Can’t wait for more! 🙂