I’m not going to lie. I’m a foodie.
I’m not obnoxious about it. (At least, I don’t think I am.) But I like to cook and I like to eat good food. I love baking to the point that it’s almost a psychologically diagnosable disorder. I get Cook’s Illustrated magazine (which, The Geek likes to point out, never has any illustrations of actual cooks) and I have a collection of cookbooks that’s almost embarrassing.
Despite my love of cooking, I still struggle with meal planning. I do almost all the cooking in my family. Between family dinners, weekend breakfasts and kid lunches and snacks, I’m responsible for seventeen to twenty meals a week. Sometimes I just want to yell, “Why can’t you people eat less often???”
Plus, planning’s not my strong suit. But I’m trying to get better. I’ve been doing the weekly meal planning thing for a couple of years now. I try to keep it (sort of) simple on week nights. Only cooking things I’ve already made before or using recipes that look easy. But sometimes, I miss the mark.
Last night, for example, I’d picked out a recipe from one of Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute cook books. Something vegetarian with spinach and mushrooms and pasta. Looked easy enough. Ninety minutes later, my kids are crazy and starving, the kitchen is trashed. My husband looked at me hungrily. “Is there anything I can do to help?” I glared at the pile of mushrooms I’d spent a full thirty minutes scrubbing. “That Rachel Ray is a lying b**ch.”
Worse still was the fact that the meal was only so so. I mean, it was fine. It just wasn’t 90 minutes good.
I honestly don’t mind spending ninety minutes cooking. Some people scrapbook or craft. I cook. It’s all good. I just like knowing what I’m getting into. I’ll gladly invest ninety minutes in a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, because their recipes are also amazing. Or something from the Smitten Kitchen blog, because again, her recipes totally rock it! (If you aren’t familiar with the Smitten Kitchen, here’s my favorite recipe of hers: Pancetta White Bean Pot Pies. Yes, they take a while, but holy crap they are so good you’ll want to climb in the bowl and roll around.
So tell me, do you love to cook? If so what’s your favorite cookbook/cooking blog? If you don’t like to cook, what is your hobby? I’ll send a copy of one of my books to one person who comments.