I don’t understand how it can possibly be true, but from what I hear, some of you don’t get a “high” out of pulling out ingredients and stirring together dishes of deliciousness. When you see a new recipe – you don’t get giddy? How can it be?
It seems that instead, some of you very much enjoy mixing chemicals in beakers, changing the oil in a car, running marathons, writing software, organizing closets, crafting adorable items out of old window frames, decorating living rooms, taking pictures, or making quilts. I’m neither good at any of those, nor do I enjoy them – which is likely because I’m not good at them. Every time I try to run, I am then unable to walk for several days afterward. For me, quilting takes three million years of cross-eyed sewing and ripping out mistakes. And last week – someone handed me a camera with lots of cool lenses and I completely panicked because it wasn’t a simple point-and-shoot. They all stood there saying cheese, and I was like, what do I do? what do I do?
But put me in my kitchen, and I’m completely at ease. Ingredients of all kinds give me joy. (Well, not ingredients like margarine. But, you know what I mean, right?) Creating new recipes is one of my favorite hobbies. Making four dishes at one time is therapeutic for me.
Ah yes, we all have different talents, abilities, strengths, weaknesses, and interests. God did that on purpose. It’s a good thing. Seriously, if it were all up to me, all living rooms would be painted white, NASA wouldn’t exist, and there would be no party games.
While I can call in for back-up when picking paint colors, unfortunately, there’s not much of a way those of you who don’t enjoy cooking can avoid the kitchen. After all, we all need to eat three times each day. I’ll even admit that while I love cooking, sometimes even I don’t feel like going to all the trouble to once again feed the forever hungry people in my house.
So to all of you who do not enjoy cooking, or who might be experiencing some kitchen burn-out, I have a few suggestions:
1. Don’t make it hard.
Is it possible that you don’t like cooking because the recipes you try are complex and challenging? I believe one of the reasons I love cooking is that I always stick with very simple recipes. Basic ingredients. Tasty food. The end. I’ll leave recipes which require fourteen complicated steps to gourmet chefs. As for me, I’ll stick with simple prep, real food, and family friendly meals.
2. Don’t give up.
I promise that cooking gets easier the more you do it. Make just a few recipes over and over, then slowly add in a few more as you become comfortable. Don’t overwhelm yourself, feeling like you have to put loads of work into this. Make a simple main dish, toss a salad, steam a veggie…and you’re done.
3. Make the most of your kitchen time.
If you don’t enjoy cooking, do everything possible to save yourself effort. If you’re making one casserole, make three (eat one, freeze two). Brown several pounds of hamburger at once, freezing one pound portions so you just have to pull out cooked meat to stir into sauce or make into tacos. Check out more of my Eat Healthy, Save Time Tips.
I would say that about 95% of the recipes you’ll find here on my site are very quick to put together. (Homemade Twinkies are the bomb, but who really has time to bake little cakes, and then pipe filling inside except for the rare special treat?)
Here are some of my favorite, super fast and easy recipes to throw together:
- Granola and Dark Chocolate Almond Granola
- Breakfast Cake
- Baked Oatmeal Cups (except that I often skip the cups and just spread the mixture into a pan instead)
- Easy Breakfast Casserole
- Italian Cream Cheese Chicken (fast prep, the crock pot does the work!)
- Chicken Tacos (seriously takes 2 minutes)
- Crock Pot Barbecue Chicken Breasts
- Baked Potatoes in the Crock Pot
- Italian Pasta Bake
- Italian Stew
- Pizza Boats
- Cheesy Beef and Rice
- Cheesy Salsa Enchiladas
Really, the list could continue – just click through all my recipe links in my Recipe drop-down tool bar at the top of my site. And don’t forget to make use of the new Heavenly Homemaker’s Recipe Search By Ingredient Box, located at the top of my right-hand side bar. It can take the thinking out of “what should I make?”
Don’t like to cook? No problem. I’ll do everything I can to make this healthy eating journey easier for you!
Let’s get an idea of how many of you love cooking, or dislike cooking. Share in the comments section! Those of you who don’t like cooking – what other activities do you enjoy? :)
I love cooking and I run marathons. Which go really well together, because marathoners like to eat. :)
Janelle @ The Smudge Curve says
I don’t really enjoy cooking in and of itself, but I’m learning to embrace cooking because it serves my family. I get a kick out of organizing, though! In fact, my brother and his wife are expecting their first baby, and I’ve volunteered to help them reorganize their house (and I’m super excited about it!). Heh… we all have our quirks. ;-)
Amy S says
We both love to cook and try new recipes. Our schedules tend to be a little on the hectic side so we try to keep it simple during the week and maybe a little more involved on the weekends. We like to try to include a new recipe or two in the menu plan each week.
I like to cook but I do admit to liking it less now that we are empty nesters. Every recipe makes way too much and many of them cannot be cut down because of the ingredients. It was much more fun when the dishes were empty at the end of the meal and I could make something new tomorrow. Also, after cooking for nearly 36 years of marriage and raising 5 children and feeding their dozens of friends I am pretty much over cooking and will always jump at the opportunity to let someone else do the cooking and go out.
I agree, empty nest cooking is much harder. One of the things I do is make the dish then divide it into 2-4 serving size dishes and freeze the extras. This won’t work with everything but with lots of things. Lasgana is my favorite to do this way (after all how can two people eat five pounds of lasagna!) and I use foil loaf pans for easy clean-up.
Beth @ Turn2theSimple says
I enjoy cooking…but with three kids (5,3,1) who has tons of time…just trying to keep their bellies full! My husband doesn’t mind eating the same thing over and over….which is great–it was a huge pressure off when he said, “Just make what we like, don’t try new things all the time.” So breakfast and lunch is pretty much the same…supper is pretty much just a rotation of the same 7 meals. Works for us!
This is off the subject, but have you changed your font recently? The print on your blog seems so much lighter and harder to read than it used to. Maybe it’s just me …
We changed our site look about a month ago. The text color was a light gray, so right away, I had my tech guy darken it, which has made it much better. It may just take some getting used to!
I, too, have had trouble seeing your font/text as well as I used to. The darker and bolder the better for me, since I work most of my day on a computer and end up with eye-strain headaches. Maybe I can figure out a way to make it more readable?
Yes, there may be something on your end that will make it better. In the meantime, I’ve emailed my tech guy about possibly darkening the text a bit more. :)
I ,too, have been challenged to read it some days. The darker the better!
Thanks for having someone look into this. It might help to make it darker and just slightly larger, too.
Vickie Houser says
Thanks you! It is a bit of a strain.
What’s interesting is that this new font size is actually significantly larger than what it was before. I definitely can’t set it to larger. It makes me wonder exactly what you are seeing on your end. Would you be willing to send me a screen shot so that we can be more help?
If I knew how to do a screen shot, I would! But even just typing this now, I notice every “w”, “v”, and “y” is lighter than all the other letters. Go figure, right?
And the “?” is also light.
Weird. From my computer, the font is large, plenty dark, and very readable. We’re a little stumped! That’s especially strange that some letters are lighter than others on your computer!
I’m using Google Chrome, so maybe that is a factor? But yes, consistently the w,y,v,?, and I’m not sure what else.
Oh, here, let’s do a test:
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz. Just vwxy are light here. I don’t know how many more symbols. I could be completely insane, of course. But it would be interesting to know if others are having similar results.
What browser do you use? I hate to admit it, but this kind of troubleshooting is actually pretty fun to me! :)
Oh, and everything you typed in italics is light (so all letters in italics). And the date at the top of your post, thought not in italics, is also light. Okay, I’ll shut up now. :)
I’m viewing through Internet Explorer. But when I viewed through Google Chrome, the font actually showed up even darker and bolder for me! Also, through IE, letters in italic are darker. So…it’s all a mystery.
Here’s what my tech guy just suggested: Since so many computers are showing so many different views, it might be nice to use http://readability.com so that each person can adjust it accordingly. :)
I,too, noticed a difference. Now, I just recently bought a new laptop with an LED screen. I have downloaded about 7 different browsers to experiment (Midori, SeaMonkey, Safari, Firefox, Chrome,Explorer, and Opera.) I regularly use Chrome. Out of the browsers I experimented with, Firefox seems to display your font the best. I detest Explorer and I won’t use it but I did notice it displayed the font better than Chrome. I know this sounds obsessive but since your site is one of my favorites that I visit daily, I would like to be able to read it clearly. Another thing I did was to implement the “Clear Type” that is available with Windows 7.That may be an issue, do you use Windows 8? I also noticed on my cell phone that the fonts look great. That’s my 2 cents on the font issue. :))
Cooking comes easy to me, I also love dogs and swimming. One note though , it’s very easy to cook if you grocery budget is infinite. My challenge is having great healthy food on a very frugal budget. We’re seminary student family with four girls. The girls are a picture of health and are thriving. Thanks for heaps for all great recipes!
I really do love to cook. But I have five young children, two of whom are little babies, so cooking is just HARD right now! Of course, so is everything else. :) I also really love to take pictures, eat ice cream, and read.
I used to like to cook, but with a baby and 2 yr old, and kids who turn their noses up at the texture of meat and vegetables, I’m very very very burnt out with cooking. I like your blog because your kids eat what you cook, and that gives me hope (and scares me a little) for when they get to be teenagers. Will they eat my chicken pot pie? I’m also experimenting with letting my 11 yr old into the kitchen, however the thought of her cutting herself with a knife terrifies me. Six kids into it, I don’t remember what I love, I have so little free time. There was a time when I loved to go for long walks alone, or plant seeds that actually grew into vegetables or flowers.
Hang in there! It will get easier. I raised 5 children and I remember just feeling so burnt out at just keeping everyone fed. I did not make separate meals for our kids but expected them to eat what I cooked. I did not however make foods that I knew no one liked. Our DIL has a tendency to make food that is for adult tastes and then get angry when the kids, all 5 and under, will not eat it. I am not talking about a diet of chicken nuggets and fries though. They will eat what you cook if they know it is their only option. It is SO hard let the kids help and get burned or cut! I felt the same way. The way I got a bit of time for myself was to take one night and go grocery shopping alone. I think it saved my sanity! I am hoping this comes across as compassionate because that is how I feel for you right now.
So glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t like party games!:) I love to cook, just wish I had more time and someone to clean up after me!
I love to cook, but don’t make up my own recipes or ever write anything down, so if something I dream up comes out great, I am challenged to repeat it. I appreciate tried and true good recipes that aren’t complicated! I have a cabinet full of cookbooks, but find I rarely crack one these days with the ease of finding a recipe online simply by Googling the ingredients I have. I’m rambling! I am a single mom with two boys (14 and 11), one of them is a foodie and the other one hates trying anything new. Always a challenge around here! Thankfully the super-finicky eater in our family, the one that would never allow me to make a meal plan because he liked to have dinner be a “whatever he was in the mood for” thing, doesn’t live here anymore. ‘Nuff said.
I love cooking, and am trying to pass that love onto my kids. I also stick to simple recipes, and have found a great many of our new favorites on your site. Thanks!
On a rare occasion, I’ll do something more complicated (like potstickers), but usually it’s just very basic, very simple food. So tasty! And so much less stress.
I don’ t love to cook, because I am not comfortable in the kitchen. My mom passed away when I was little, and I just never had any instruction in the kitchen. I am attempting to learn to cook now and it does get easier, but I am far from being comfortable enough in the kitchen to cook for anyone but my kids! Nothing fancy coming from my kitchen any time soon! Your site has been a wonderful blessing!! Most of what I do in the kitchen these days was learned from you! I am not exaggerating. You ROCK! Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
I have a love/hate relationship with cooking. Sometimes I love to cook, but honestly, most of the time not so much. I think part of the reason though, is that I am a homeschooling Mom with 4 elementary aged children who require LOTS of my time and attention. By the time I have time to think about meals, I have no energy and no desire to clean up the mess afterward after trying to clean up all the other messes as well as get school done. I started cooking with my Mom when I was in elementary school as well, so I know there are times when it is enjoyable, but during this season I’m just treading water ;). I also enjoy quilting, gardening, camping and reading… Just not now :)
I love to cook. I just don’t have alot of time to do it. I also love to knit, quilt and garden and read. I work full time so I try and do a little of all of it when I get a chance.
BUSY MOM IN AL says
My kitchen looks like yours Laura!! I love to cook and it is therapeutic to be in the kitchen, chopping away. I get that “high” when several things are sizzling at once! :)
I love the “forever hungry people” comment! I laughed out loud. We have determined that in the spring time all my little people have a growth spurt and need. . . extra. . . food!! I keep seeing the need to monitor the intake of our snack time better. Sometimes I have no idea how much food they just went through! The jar of peanut butter is almost gone as I type, better go!! Yikes!
Vickie Houser says
I love to cook and even more I love to shop for and grow the food. It’s like a gift to those I feed. I just wish I had more people to feed. I’ve cooked for two for 26 years now. It is a challenge when some meals can feed 6 or 8. Anytime I get a chance, I like invite someone to dinner.
Another challenge I have is ingredients. My husband wont eat cheese, eggs, most cooked vegetables(most any vegetables), and he balks at trying something new. I asked him last night what vegetable or fruit he’d like with his dinner and his reply was “Aren’t we having rice?” Seriously, he believes if it was grown in the ground it is a fruit or vegetable.
So I serve leftovers for lunch the next day and freeze any other extra servings. I stay away from casseroles and large pots of soup. I love learning new things from you Laura. Cooking in advance and having a plan for the week makes even my busiest days easier in the kitchen. Thanks :)
I’m with you Laura, I love love love the kitchen!! I love to bake, cook, create, and more!!
I love ingredients, kitchen appliances, and seeing happy little faces covered with chocolate after making 6 dozen cookies!
I love how happy my husband gets when he walks in and smiles because something smells good, I laugh even harder on the rare events when he has walked in and said “what is that smell?” not in a complimentary way because it burned!!
I love the time invested in cooking, it’s therapeutic for me and because once it’s all done we all sit around the dinning room table thank the Lord for all that He has provided and for the hands that help prepare the food and after dinner and talk for an hour or more.
I love cooking!!! I also do enjoy your blog so very much. It’s one of the few blogs I let my 3 girls because you always keep it clean and I do appreciate that more than words can express!!
Jeana Ditch says
I do not like cooking, nor shopping, nothing that has to do with preparing food, I do not even like eating “meals”. I like to snack on simple things when I feel hungry. It was a real challenge in my first marriage because I let my husband bully me into doing all the around the house work. I did learn over the 18 years to cook well and economically, but I really would have rather been working, gardening, or reading. Now I am married to a man who likes cooking and does a lot of work around the house, though he detests shopping, so I do it, it is well worth the trade. My 10 year old twins LOVE cooking, so both of us work with them a lot and soon they will be able to take over my cooking duties totally. I now primarily like exploring all kinds of new/old things on the computer. I have read completely through snopes.com and love wikipedia for reading up on all kinds of things, I also like reading good fiction books and spending time with my family; human, canine, and feline.
I looove to bake, but can enjoy cooking as well. I didn’t really start until getting married after college and even then my husband cooked dinner most nights. after having 2 kids though, I’ve started cooking more bc they “can’t” wait for dad to get home to start cooking. I don’t make my own recipes, but will modify others to our taste. our meals are generally pretty easy and simple, but sometimes I like to shake things up with something fancy or different!
You are right about me Laura, I do not enjoy cooking….cooking for one is the pits :), I do not like a lot of leftovers, and I do not like freezing foods…..most of the recipes I see online need 17-19 ingredients to make said recipe…..which I think is ridiculous…….my daughter just made a Quinoa recipe last nite and it had about 16 ingredients…..it took awhile to make it, but it was very good….but I myself would NEVER make this recipe :)
I do like your recipes as they do not have a lot of ingredients, but usually I have to cut everything in half to make…..I made your granola bars, and we really did enjoy those…..
Cooking is not an easy job…. I cooked when my kids were small,but now it is just me and I eat what ever I can find or make in 5 mins LOL…..just saying……
I cook 1 potato, may make a pan of cornbread, eat on it a couple days, freeze the rest and later throw it out because of freezer burn…….that’s my story…..and I know there are others out there who feel just like I do….I have talked to many of them……with kids you gotta cook, but for one person…..you really don’t have too…..
I love to cook, but I have no patience for standing around and waiting for something to brown or boil or whatever. Your tip about making the most of your kitchen time has really helped me. If you have to be in the kitchen for one task, how many others can you accomplish in that same time?
Cooking and baking is my therapy. When things get stressful i either stress eat or starting cooking and baking. That beening they dont go hand in hand. I do one or the other but not both. I usually don’t eat my baking but my family and neighbors enjoy it,
I actually love to cook. Although it has been a bit challenging lately with one of my 5 children having a gluten intolerance. So many times I have to make 2 meals. Although I have found many meals that are naturally gluten free. I cook many of your recipes Laura. I do love to make simple meals. The simpler the better. I have discovered healthy food doesn’t have to be hard.
Also, wanted to let you all know that iHerb is having a special right now through the end of the month.
Love to cook! Love to follow recipes, and getting more confident about being creative. Often find two recipes of the same dish, with different ingredients, and pick and choose from each to match likes and dislikes, and what we have on hand. Recently started writing a weekly food column for our local paper. Do you mind me sharing some of your recipes giving you proper attribution of course? After all, a great portion of my favorite recipes seem to be coming from you lately. I am cooking for some very gracious eaters, who compliment my cooking and are very good food testers. Makes cooking a lot of fun. It is definitely my therapy, and we gotta eat, so I’m glad I enjoy it.
I never learned to cook. My mom was a single mom and had to work long hours. I know she did her best so I don’t blame her I just got so used to reheating some frozen dish that I didn’t have the patience for cooking. It took me a while to relearn to start making a meal before I am actually hungry. I love love love your 5 ingredient meals! Those helped a lot while I was first starting out because everything else seemed overwhelming. I include fruit and veggies with every meal but husband refuses to eat anything whole-grain and hates rice. Still, we make it work, I love your recipes, and you are so encouraging to read! :)
I actually love the act of cooking I just struggle with our budget, planning, and time for cooking and buying the food. I’m a 21 year old newlywed with a toddler and both hubby and I work during the day so Im finding it difficult to get started beyond the basics (tacos, spaghetti, chicken). I hope to take advantage of your preplanned freezer meal pages, and I’m thinking that would be the smartest bet for me. I’ve decided to take it slow as you advised and add a few new things a little at a time and stick to simple. Your blog has been a true blessing to me and my family in numerous ways and you’ve helped guide me in my role as mom/wife more than you can imagine! :) thank you Laura