Say / Do you (like to) cook




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Say, do you like to cook?  And before I ask that, maybe I should first ask, “do you cook?”  I like to, or if I’m really honest, I used to like to cook.  And If I’m even more honest, I much prefer to bake than to cook (working with cookie dough is so much better than working with a chunk of meat, duh).  Ever since #4 came along, I just can’t seem to find much pleasure in cooking.  Come 4:30/5 I’m totally wiped and the idea of preparing a meal with babies hanging on my leg, older kids running wild and trying to help with homework at the same time is anything but enjoyable (in fact, it’s more like painful).  And right now, for me, almost harder than the actual cooking bit, is the meal planning.  I can’t, for the life of me, seem to come up with new menu ideas.

Do you want to know what I make over and over?  Spaghetti, Tacos, Roast Chicken, Teriayki Salmon, Baked Chicken, and Pasta with Chicken Sausage.  All served with a side of the same vegetables, over and over again.  And that is what is in heavy rotation in my kitchen.  Occasionally, I’ll mix in something a little different or pull out an oldy but goody recipe but this is even pretty far and few between.  I’m in a total rut.  I used to watch the Food Network all the time and inspiration was a flowing.  But I also used to only have 2 kids and a lot more energy.  So for now, I’m trying to just give myself a pat on the back for actually cooking (and using the best ingredients I can find for my very boring dishes.  Sadly, there are no awesome farmers markets, Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s where I live with healthy quick cooking options – wahhhh).  I’m pretty certain that when things slow down some (and my fingers and toes are crossed that slower days are ahead) that I will again, one day enjoy cooking.

One thing that does get me inspired (besides food shows) to get in the kitchen and make something lovely for my lovelies is a new cookbook and some new pretty kitchen utensils, gadgets and the like.  Very Fond of Food by Sophie Dahl is definitely on my wish list.  I mean gorgeous, right (images above)?  And I can attest that she does have some really lovely recipes as I have her first cookbook.  This Le Creuset is on my long standing wish list.

So what about you? Do you like to cook?  Do you make the same things over and over?  Whats in your rotation?  And tell me, where do you go for inspiration and new recipe ideas?  Oh, just feel free to leave me a recipe in the comments… yes, Im kind of that desperate.




  • Florencia Pazos
    Commented on April 26th, 2012 at 8:32am

    nice post and photos…. luckily, i still dont have my own children so i dont have to cook for a lot of people, but i share with you the inspirations… i find them in beautiful things i see in the street, in photography, books… magazines… recently i made some cupcakes that i took from a book i bought last summer in Cape May, NJ, USA, they were amazing….

    good luck with it!

  • Trina
    Commented on April 30th, 2012 at 10:21pm

    Thank you! Oh cupcakes are so fun to make!
    xo .t

  • Shelley Abreu @ A Story About Faith
    Commented on April 26th, 2012 at 9:04am

    Trina, I used to love cooking for my husband before we had kids. Now not so much. I feel the same way as you. And it stresses me out to try and cook while the kids go crazy all around me. I like to say to my husband that motherhood has made me loose my cooking “mojo.” Ha! And I totally agree. I prefer baking. Muffins are my favorite thing to make. Your rotation sounds a lot like mine–we make teriyaki salmon too! Just the other night, however, I went through every a stack of my cookbooks and wrote on a big piece of paper all the meals I could make (relatively easy) that the kids would most likely eat or at least try. I have about a months worth of recipes. We will see how it goes!

  • Trina
    Commented on April 30th, 2012 at 10:18pm

    Shelley – That is a great idea to just take a night to go through all the cookbooks and make a giant list. I always try to rush my meal plan / grocery list and there is where I get in trouble!
    xo . t

  • Catherine
    Commented on April 26th, 2012 at 1:30pm

    If I cook the same things for my family one more time I may go mad!!! I am totally looking for inspiration myself – obviously I need to buy some new cookware! :-))

  • Trina
    Commented on April 30th, 2012 at 10:19pm

    I think that will def get you inspired :) xo . t

  • Mary
    Commented on April 26th, 2012 at 7:29pm

    Oh I totally relate to this post. I go through ruts all the time. Our standbys include quesadillas, roast chicken, spaghetti and meatballs, salmon, homemade fish sticks…very similar list to yours. I use pinterest to find food inspiration and have a couple blogs I like for dinner ideas. Meal-planning sucks but it is so much easier when I do it.

  • Trina
    Commented on April 30th, 2012 at 10:20pm

    So true… even though I’m a planner by nature.. I hate meal planning. Something to work on :)
    xo . t

  • Miz. November
    Commented on April 26th, 2012 at 8:51pm

    Lord. I hate to cook. Which is funny, because everyone used to think that I loved to cook for some reason. Truth is, I love to eat. So, in turn, I must cook. I used to do a lot of stove top stuff, but now I stick everything I can in the oven. Chicken? In the oven. Pork chops? Bake em. Veggies? Chop em up, toss with olive oil/salt/pepper, and put it in the oven.
    I have been trying some homemade pizzas here lately. I just buy pre-made thin crusts and get creative with the toppings. One of the best so far has been this combo: thinly slice a few breakfast steaks, an onion, some fresh mushrooms and a pepper (I used yellow bell) and fry them all together until done. rub pizza crust with olive oil and Italian herbs. top with the steak,onion, pepper and mushrooms. Throw some mozzarella on top and bake. No red sauce. It’s good stuff.
    We also do a lot of frittatas around here with whatever ingredients are in the fridge. Easy and quick and plenty filling.

  • Trina
    Commented on April 30th, 2012 at 10:15pm

    I am with you… love to eat. And you are so right, baking, even with food, is so much easier than cooking on the stove top. I love doing veggies in the oven…they get so sweet. And the pizza sounds amazing.. thanks so much for the idea!
    xo . t

  • Trina
    Commented on May 8th, 2012 at 9:20pm

    Readers, I got the sweetest note from another reader named Susannah that I wanted to share with you. It made me feel so much better about my dislike of cooking at the moment. I thought it might encourage you too……..

    Here’s the thing – you’re not supposed to like cooking when it involves the functional stuff for the kiddies. Once you surrender to that the clouds clear a little. I now separate cooking for enjoyment, (which I do as a special activity when I have a free hour and want to try a new recipe) and cooking the rest of the time, I was stressed out from serving up something new that I had actually gone to the trouble to make only to find them poking it around on the plate and saying WHAT is this??? Just go with the fact that there are meals on rotation that they actually eat and every few months look for a new simple dish to add to the rotation. I have about 6 meals that I pretty much rotate steadily and they’re happy as Larry!! Swimming with the tide is the key here – when you feel like something more gourmet give it a twist just for the grown ups. Eg – boil potatoes for your mash separately and boil with 2 or 3 cloves of garlic. Mash all together whe
    n cooked, including the garlic and add horseradish cream and butter. DIVINE – add that to some plain fish or a simple steak and steamed greens and you’ll feel like a grown up again.
    Just remember, you’re supposed to be in a cooking rut – you’re cooking for 4 little la la’s. They don’t even know it’s a rut….the more predictable the better for them! Don’t be trying to go gourmet with the family meals – that way lies certain madness and angst. Remember – be kind to yourself above all else.

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