Rachael Ray Every Day: What are your go-tos for easy weeknight dinners?
Busy Philipps: With the girls? We definitely do a lot of frozen pizza, which is why I've teamed up with Red Baron. They did a survey of moms and found that 13 days into summer break is when most moms have had it, so they're giving 5,000 parents free groceries and deliveries on Instacart, which is kind of huge. But other than that, we live in Los Angeles, and we do a lot of rice and beans and quesadilla – my girls just like love that and it’s really easy. My daughter’s nanny has taught me how to make the perfect black beans. The secret is that you cook the black beans, and then when they’re almost done, you sauté garlic and finely chopped onion in olive oil on the stove and finely minced garlic and a little bit of minced onion in a sauce pan, then you add them to the black beans before they’re done. And the oil. You add them to the oil too. There’s no measurements, it’s not like, “three cloves of garlic!" And I just serve some rice with that, and a quesadilla on the side. Cricket doesn’t really eat meat, but if Birdie wants some chicken in her quesadilla I’ll make some chicken. Or I’ll do a little roll up with the black beans.
RRED: And are you eating the same thing as your kids?
BP: Not really. We usually do separate meals. They also want to eat so early. I’m like – I don’t even know. I just ate lunch, guys. I can’t. I’m not ready to eat dinner yet. And beyond that, we have an InstantPot that we really like to use. So we make some meals in that. Some soups... it’s kind of better winter food. Not so much for summer.
RRED: What kinds of food lessons are you hoping to pass along to your daughters?
BP: In my house, moderation is really important. I don’t like labeling anything as like “bad foods.” I find that to be problematic for many reasons. Especially since I’m raising two little girls, so I want them to have a really healthy attitude toward food and eating and really enjoy it. I want them to understand that there are some foods that are better for your body, and then there are some that aren’t as good for your body, but you can still eat them! Just, you know, you have to have a balance of both.
RRED: Speaking of balance, do you have any advice for people who may feel overwhelmed?
BP: I think it’s okay to feel overwhelmed. Just know that it's totally natural and you're not alone. That’s what most people feel like all the time: overwhelmed. I think a lot gets made about “finding a balance” and I just think it’s impossible. I don’t know anyone who’s like, "I nail it! I really have the balance between work, and children, and my husband." I just don’t buy it! And when they say it, I’m just like, you’re an asshole. You have people helping you, to achieve that balance. And in that, along those lines, I would say that it’s important to know when you need help, and to ask for help, and to delegate. Even if it’s as simple as, when you’re at the grocery store, asking for them to help you out to the car with your groceries if you’re juggling your kids and trying to answer for a phone call from the doctor, or whatever. Do you know what I mean? You can ask people if they can hold the door for you.
RRED: Last question – ideal dinner party. Who would be there? Let's say three people.
BP: Three people? That’s not a dinner party! That’s a dinner. I don’t know… I would say… Jesus. Why wouldn’t you just want to get to the bottom of it immediately? I want to know all the answers: Are you who they say you are? What do you think about all the interpretations? Where are we at? I would say Oprah. And Rachael. And Martha Stewart. I would sit the three of them next to each other, and right next to Jesus. And Julia Child, who my daughter is obsessed with. Jesus would feel very outnumbered here. It’s like all women. And like, Sylvia Plath. And Gloria Steinem.
RRED: I’m so glad we didn’t cap it at three!
BP: And Janis Joplin.
RRED: What would you eat?
BP: Red Baron pizza of course! I would make it a potluck. What would Jesus bring? You guys, bread and wine! Obviously! He’s bringing bread and wine. What would Rachael bring? We don’t know, we would have to ask. Oprah and Jesus overlap because obviously Oprah’s bringing breaa-a-a-a-a-ddd! Martha Stewart would probably bring dessert. Janis Joplin would bring the weed. Sylvia Plath would bring some… deep thoughts. The alcohol, probably. It would be a really interesting night. And I’m bringing pizza.