Step 1: Before you begin, double-check the recipe and make sure you still have all the ingredients. If you don’t, scream into where the missing ingredient should be (fridge, cupboard, etc.), "Who the hell ate all the [missing ingredient]?" Then Google: "What can I use to replace [missing ingredient] in a recipe?"
Step 2: Think of a kid-friendly name for the recipe. The kids are not going to eat porkchops, sauerkraut mashed potatoes and corn. You must change it to giant chicken nuggets with sugar strings, cream dollops and sunshine fingertips. Suddenly, Sunday Night Dinner is better than Pizza Friday.
Step 3: Speaking of kids, find something to distract them while dinner is being prepared. Let them play an extra hour of "Halo." Let them watch another episode of Adventure Time. Do whatever you gotta do to keep them out of the kitchen. Otherwise, they’ll see the ingredients and know what a filthy, deceiving liar you are.
Step 4: Start dinner.
Step 5: While everything’s a cookin’ go check Facebook until one of the kids yells, "Mom, I think something’s burning!" Dinner is done.
Step 6: Prepare the dinner plates, making sure to give the least-favorite child the burned piece. Flip it over and they’ll never know. Give hubby the best piece so he’ll be so enamored with your cooking, he won’t notice the sink full of dishes or the hampers full of clothes that you just couldn’t bring yourself to fold today.
Step 7: Prepare yourself. You’ve given the food a fun name, you’ve kept the little scamps out of the kitchen for an hour, but they’re still probably going to hate what you’ve so lovingly prepared. They’re going to scowl and pout and ask if you’re punishing them. Then they’re going to ask for a bowl of ketchup. You and I both know it’s so very wrong to ruin food with ketchup gravy, but if it keeps them from bringing you down while you enjoy this delicious meal, so be it.
Step 8: Call family to come eat.
Step 9: Call family to come eat, again. This time use your angry mom/wife voice and stand over them with your arms crossed.
Step 10: Join hands and pray. Make some conversation. Ask the hubs how is day went down. Laugh when the kids sing silly songs about mom’s nasty sugar sauerkraut strings (damn, the jig is up!).
Step 11: Four days later when you’re cleaning out the fridge, cupboard, etc., scream, "Are you kidding me?!?!" to no one in particular when you find the missing ingredient.