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Oh Barb, I am so the 'go-to' gal for your "problem"! First problem with recipe books - they ususally only teach you how to prepare one part of your meal (the meat; the side dish) so you're left wondering what to cook with the rest of it. Buy a simple cookbook (I love Good Housekeeping's Illustrated Cook Book - I give it to beginner cooks as a gift all the time: http://www.amazon.ca/Housekeeping-Illustrated-Cookbook-Step-Step/dp/158816070X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247747269&sr=8-1 ) that teaches you the basics, like how long to boil potatoes. I love to cook and hate to work out but know I must do it - you love to work out but hate to cook yet your body needs quality fuel. More to come in email, but I feel for you - it honestly does help if you enjoy it. :)


Ha, I'm right there with you. Most days we manage to eat a decent supper but we do eat our fair share of pre-packaged foods too. When we manage to eat real meals by keeping it simple: one meat (usually grilled on the BBQ in the summer, or in the convection oven in the winter), a green salad, and a starch (usually rice). Not fancy but right up Kevin's alley, lol. I prefer dishes that are a bit more fancy but there's just no time so we save those for special occasions.


Same here! I watch my friends pull meals together like it's nothing and wonder why they aren't pulling their hair out. Finally, I just admitted I DON'T LIKE TO COOK and I'm okay with it. If my friends get tired of me bringing the same three dishes to potlucks, they can assign me the forks next time!


I'm right there with you, Barb. I used to enjoy cooking until I had kids! I really have to get it together. Fortunately all summer we BBQ most meals - served with a salad/cole slaw/sliced veggies and we're done. I'm definitely checking out your friend Carolyn's book suggestion!

Erin Morehouse

Let me know how you figure this one out- I'll be right behind you!( Thank goodness the hubby likes to cook- too bad he's not here at dinnertime to do it!)


I hear ya.

Two words for you - Slow Cooker.

Makes a world of difference. You load it up in the morning, when you have more energy. And it's all ready to eat at supper, when you're tired and don't feel like cooking.


i think the best plan of action barb, is to make a list of what you want to make for a week and then go buy all your ingredients so that you have them in the house when you have the urge to cook (;)) then you always make more than the recipe calls for (like double your recipe) so that you have left overs for the next night or a couple of night later which will help you get your healthy meal and only have cooked once. ;)

sorry can't be of more help, i hear ya, cause i hate cooking now after doing it day in and day out for 37 years!!!


I think that you have to find a couple of simple receipes that you can make every couple of weeks like macaroni au gratin or shepperd's pie that you can prepare ahead of time and just put in the oven or the microwave when you get home. Make a batch of spagetti sauce ahead of time and freeze it so you can reheat it when you need it. Chicken breast just browned in the pan and then put in the oven to cook for about 20min. Then you can add whatever you like with it.

As surprizing as it can be, there are a couple of quick, easy and good receipes on the Kraft site. You can put whatever ingredients you have on hand and they'll tell you what you can make with those.

Good luck with this. It is difficult to come up with new ideas day in and day out...


i am so with you! i seem to cook the same things over and over and I AM TIRED OF IT lol


Nicole S

Google search 'Jamie Oliver' or better yet, look on food channels for his programs. He is VERY down to earth, no fuss, and SOOO inspiring to watch. basic ingredients, done simply. I'm going to address this food issue on my blog too - it's a problem for many!! Me included.

Rachel Tops

Baby .. you need to retire like me!!!!!!!! LOL

I will send you a few recipes as I come across them that inspire me .. hopefully you find inspiration sweetie.

As always though .. this made for a good blog read! WINK!

Luvs Ya

Nathalie (brn2scrp)

I hear ya. I definitely run out of inspiration; there's only so much you can make for dinner in a short period of time (I get home around 6, so if I want to eat before 7, I really have to cook something quick!). I had to give up on processed stuff a while back, as I've developed intolerances to a whole bunch of food additives. Then, my dh went high protein-low carb. Then, my dd went vegetarian. And of course, for the last 6 months I've been on Weight Watchers! Thank God, the boy still eats anything you put in front of him! So meal preparation is a challenge in my house too. Most nights consist of a vegetable dish like salad, stir fry or steamed veggies plus meat on the bbq. Then I add non-meat protein for the girl. Some nights (not all the time) I add a carb like brown rice or boiled small potatoes.

My favorite trick is buying frozen veggies. They have wonderful mixes now and they are as good as fresh, if not better since you don't have to do the chopping. I find they're best in stir-fries, or the Europe's Best brand is just great steamed. I do try to plan out my meals a few days in advance so that I have all the ingredients on hand. Not precisely, but I usually have a vague idea of what I'll make.


i pull the meat out of the freezer in the morning. then it's defrosted by dinner.
I use frozen veggies (microwave them) and usually have potatoes and salad.


Have you heard of the Sandi Richard cookbooks? She has a tv show - the series of books are called "Cooking for the Rushed" and can be found here: http://www.cookingfortherushed.com/. You can buy them at Chapters.

Each one has 6-8 weeks of recipes and meal plans all set out for you, including grocery lists you can print off the website (cross off what you already have in your cupboards).

Each week has 5 recipes, and they are alwayys for a complete meal, including a veggie side dish. She indicates how long each meal will take (e.g. 20 minutes prep and on your table in 40 minutes) and from my experience, they are actually accurate. Lots of recipes that take less than 30 minutes.

I have a friend who owns several of the books and she just rotates through them so she doesn't repeat a recipe for several months. Even with the 1 book I have, it is 6 weeks worth of meals, so lots of variety.

If there is a recipe you don't like (for example, we don't do roasts), we just sub in a family favourite like spaghetti on that night.

I LOVE how this helps to plan the meals out for the week so I only have to shop once, and it is nice because Denis can also help with cooking if he's home first since he knows what's planned.


I have to agree with what Patti has written.....that's how I work most of the time.
I have the luxury of being home and not working but I also make it easy on myself......anything I can make double or triple batches of(meatballs,spag bol,soup,chili,curry,mince for shepherds pie,quiches,tomato sauce etc) I do and then it makes it easy for the next time.
I make a weekly but have 4 weeks at a time showing food chart.It's not set in stone :) I do pasta twice a week and have 8 or 9 pasta dishes going on rotation.It works like that for me and I can plan exactly what food I need or have leftover for the following week.It helps save money and not waste food.

I never buy pre prepared food..I just hate all the extra stuff in their that doesn't have to be.Sure I put sugar and salt in my pasta sauce but at least I know how much I put in there :)

Bottom line is I enjoy cooking so I suppose that helps.I like recipes I can adapt,I adapt everything :).........check out Jamie Oliver's back to basic type cook books....off hand I can't think of which one but there is one where he give a basic recipe and shows other ways of using it.I like him because he's a throw a bit of this and that kind of chef,not all about exact recipes.

Oh sorry I wrote an essay :)!!!


Well, I'm not much help at all because I don't cook much, since I still live at home and my mom is Martha Stewart-ish and does everything. But I understand the pressure thing and I feel stressed and unmotivated for when I do move out and have to start cooking on top of working and everything else. I like the advice you got in your comments, however!! My advice is don't be too hard on yourself - you are an amazing mom, volunteer, career woman, etc, so no wonder there is not much time left over for the cooking thing! But good for you for wanting to make it better :)

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