In The Kitchen

Would You Like Some Pizza With Your Plastic?

What does that even mean? Well, let me tell you.

I once put a frozen pizza in the oven on top of a PLASTIC cutting board thinking….well, actually, I wasn’t thinking. Clearly, I had no clue what the hell I was doing. I saw frozen pizzas sitting on that same cutting board many times before and for some reason I thought my roommate had cooked it on there, too. Pathetic, I know. I was a 26-year-old living in a tiny apartment in the city and I’d been using my oven for storage for the better part of six years.

Okay, back to my pizza.


After I slid it in the oven, I sat on the couch and patiently waited as my stomach grumbled. A few minutes later – nose-burning toxic fumes crept into my air space. The smell was coming from the kitchen. I rushed over to open the oven in fear that my delicious pizza was burning, but as it turned out, the plastic cutting board was burning and taking my pizza down with it.

I grabbed an oven mitt and had to pull out both oven racks because the plastic melted into quite a beautiful art piece bonding the racks together. Luckily, I pulled out the racks just before the plastic reached the bottom of the oven, otherwise the melted plastic would have destroyed it.

My roommate ran into the living room when she heard me yelling profanities only to find me holding a mangled piece of plastic attached to metal – and my destroyed pizza. I looked at her and in all seriousness asked, “Do you think we can still eat it?”

Not kidding.

I realized at that moment I should have paid more attention to my mom in the kitchen. She always made delicious home cooked meals for us with such ease. From ages 18-29, I pretty much ate snack food or processed noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My staple items were ramen, crackers, turkey, cheese, pickles, breakfast bars, tortillas with butter and Red Bull. I know, I know. I was so healthy.

Once I got married I stumbled across an article that advised newly married couples to learn how to cook as it saves a ton of money. Money was something we needed, so I set out on a mission.

I called my mom immediately.

“Mom, how do I make chicken?”

Laughing, “What do you mean? You just buy it from the grocery.”

“No mom, like…cook it?”


“Do I put it in hot water? Will it taste bland?”

She signed. “Oh dear.”

She gave me a few pointers and told me I’d have to learn how to turn on the oven, too.

After our conversation I looked up some recipes online and started a long standing addiction with the Food Network. Thanks to Rachel Ray and a few other shows, I now knew how to turn my oven on – and use it!

Right about this time, I also began a decade long career in the hotel industry, with most of that time being in luxury hotels. I spent a lot of nights in the kitchen learning from renowned chefs and I eventually worked my way up to the Director of Catering position.

Yes, me, the girl who put a plastic cutting board in the oven to cook pizza.

Moral of this story? There’s hope for all of you who don’t even know how to boil water.

Now, I love to cook. People love to come over to my house to eat my food, too! I find prepping food to be therapeutic and seeing my family’s faces light up when they take that first bite makes my heart happy.

Because of my love for food and cooking, I’ve added a food section to the blog! I’ll share all my favorite recipes, many of which my very picky kids love to eat too. I promise there won’t be any plastic making it into your homemade pizza, either.

I’ll see you in the kitchen.

Bon Appetit!

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Holly Rust is a native Texan currently living in the great city of Chicago with her husband and two sons. Aside from chasing around two lunatic boys all day, she is a writer, author, and runs a global skin care business. Her blog was featured on The TODAY Show’s List of Funniest Parents on Facebook. You can find her work on HuffPo, Good Housekeeping, Town & Country, Scary Mommy, Dot Complicated, TODAY and many more. You can also find her essays published in several anthologies. Follow her random thoughts on Facebook and Instagram – but no judging.

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