I love to cook…

It soothes me, calms me, destresses me, makes me a happy camper.

In fact, my family laughs at me and rolls their eyes on the occasions when I shoo them all out of the kitchen, tell them I’m invoking the cone of silence, flip on my own tunes to drown out the noise from the house, and pull out the baking supplies. They laugh, oh yes, but they all know to avoid me and let me be, because if they do there will be wondrous treats at the end. And if they don’t? Well. Let’s just say they know better than that.

And when I’m in a super fabulous mood, I attempt glorious and elaborate dishes. And they come out amazing (mostly), and we are all happy.

All that being said? When I hit maximum overload… you know the times – the ones where you feel “on the verge” pretty much every moment of the day and are barely hanging on like the kitten in that silly poster – I don’t want to cook. Not only that? I don’t even want to THINK ABOUT dinner.

Those are the times when we do take-out. Lots of take-out.

I fear that we’ve been doing that more and more of late, and I worry about the nutrition factor of it all. I try to go for healthy things when I can (rotisserie chicken from publix, pollo tropical, whatever i can find with lots of veggies), but I am still wracked with guilt (thanks mom-who-prepared-well-balanced-completely-from-scratch-meals-for-99%-of-my-childhood. thanks for setting the bar WAAAAAAAY too high).

Anyone else have this issue? Or any suggestions for healthy and convenient meal options? There’s only so much that one can take of chicken/rice/beans…

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8 thoughts on “I love to cook…

  1. I’m always impressed by people who love to cook. My husband is the same way. Like you, there are times he hits maximum overload and cooking is the last thing he wants to do. Those are the days when a balanced meal usually doesn’t happen, unless I come behind him to add in the side dish of vegetables. šŸ™‚

    When cheating, I’ll add fresh grapes, strawberries, and blueberries to the dinner table. Plus, I keep bags of frozen vegetables ready for emergencies. Frozen isn’t as healthy as fresh, but it’s better than nothing at all. šŸ™‚

    As for me, I hate to cook. Baking is fun but since going Gluten-Free, I’ve lost some of the love. I think it’s because it takes a great deal more experimentation on my part to produce not just a delicious concoction but one that simply doesn’t taste like cardboard! šŸ™‚

    All that being said, today I need to make brownies and cupcakes for class events happening at the school tomorrow. Today it’s not about creativity nor fun, it’s about love of my children. They separately requested baked goods, so bake I must!

    • šŸ™‚ Different people have different loves and talents. There are so very many things I can NOT do that I wish I could.

      How’d the baking go for school? šŸ™‚

      Also: about half the time our veggies are frozen. I mean, whenever I roast anything there are brussels sprouts tossed in. And we do the french green beans a lot, or zucchini sauteed with mushrooms… but we also frequently do frozen broccoli/cauliflower blend. Because veggies are veggies!

      I love the idea of using fruit sometimes to get that part of the pyramid… or plate now, or whatever it is!

  2. I’m running into that problem when the kids have an activity from 5-6pm. 4:30 is just WAY to early for dinner and if I don’t prepare an easy breezy freezy meal or something in the slow cooker, then Publix it is!

    Well, there’s an idea. Make double batches when you DO feel like cooking and freeze it for the days you don’t. Sometimes I amaze myself at my own brilliance. šŸ™‚

    • That is definitely a part of the problem for me – my kids have, every wednesday during the school year, activities at different times. My son is from 5-630 and his sister is from 645-815. So we generally eat either pizza or a casserole for dinner on those nights, while my eldest daughter has a lean cuisine (which thrills her!)

      I love your idea of double batches, and I frequently do that when I make chili. I’ll have to try it more often. Or go with your slow cooker idea! I forget I have it until late morning. When I’m at work. Alas…

      thank you for the reminder, though!

  3. I love to cook and bake. I hate cleaning the kitchen after. When the kids were young I made almost everything from scratch, even French breads. And I canned everything we grew in our enormous garden. These days it’s hard to find the time and energy. And with all my guys on the run, it’s hard to figure out who’s even going to be around to eat what I make.

    I love Abigail’s suggestion to make double batches when you feel like cooking and freeze the second. I’m now thinking that second batch should be divvied up into individual portions before freezing so the guys can microwave something more nutritious than an El Monterey (sp?) burrito on days when they’re doing fly-bys.

    • OH do I hate cleaning the kitchen. Except when I’m in my cone of silence zone – then I clean as I go along… It prolongs the time away from everyone else, where I can just have some time to myself.

      Bread from scratch sounds awesome, but I’m scared of yeast. I know, silly, but… what can i say?

      I LOVE the idea of divvying up the leftovers into single portions. I have something like 25 storage containers I got from woot.com that will work perfectly for the freezing. Hmmm…

  4. I hear you. When I’m happy, I cook and bake. When I’m stressed out, I cook MORE. (I also tended to clean up when the DH was anxious. On some level, I wanted to be sure there was one less thing for him to get PO’d about.) It’s when I’m bored that I think, “I don’t feel like making dinner. It’s catch-it-if-you-can night, kids.” Then I’ll have Eggos or cereal for dinner. šŸ™‚

    Really, nothing wrong with breakfast for dinner once in a while. šŸ™‚ The kids even think it’s a treat, though my youngest (with autism) often has bologna sandwiches for breakfast so for him, it’s no big deal.

    • Yeah breakfast for dinner works for me and for the tiniest one. The other three? Not big fans. *headshake* I don’t get it!

      And I love that you let your son have bologna sandwiches for breakfast šŸ™‚ I used to nuke stouffers pasta for breakfast when I was a kid!

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