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I used to love cooking. How can I get back to that?

(10 Posts)
naturelover Fri 07-Jan-11 19:49:26

Basically, I'm finding cooking for my family really joyless at the moment.

DH likes his food traditional and meat-heavy.
DD aged 3 is pretty fussy and although she has a varied and pretty healthy diet, definitely favours children's food (my fault entirely, I have got stuck in a rut with her). She loves eggs and dairy.
DS is allergic to eggs and dairy and I have to avoid them too as I'm breastfeeding. He is 18mo.

I have found myself doing what I swore I would never do - cooking different things for everyone. Well, I eat with DH later on and we eat the same. I stick to things I know he will like, but it drives me crazy that he's so unadventurous with food - would rather eat something he knows he likes than try something new.

My goal is for all four of us to eat the same food. In an ideal world we would all eat at the same time too, but DH works long hours so that is impossible right now.

Has anyone got the Fay's family food book and is it dairy and egg-heavy? Anyone got any other cookbook suggestions? Any other tips or suggestions would be most welcome. My budget is not massive which adds to the challenge.

BTW I eat almost anything! I enjoy cooking and trying new things although I can't dedicate much time to cooking right now because the DCs are so little.

Thanks

HowToLookGoodGlaikit Fri 07-Jan-11 20:13:50

Ive just been to the WH Smith sale and got Tania Ramseys cookbook for just £2.99 (reduced from £20!) and it has a lot of tasty looking recipes in it. I ended up buying 4 new cookbooks today blush

HowToLookGoodGlaikit Fri 07-Jan-11 20:15:09

This is the book here

taffetacat Fri 07-Jan-11 22:52:56

I feel your pain. I think the family cookbooks are a great idea and could well re inspire you - I have Tana's and it is good, there is stuff in there I do regularly - like her chicken escalopes - not fancy or esp spicy but flavoursome and well thought through eg the breadcrumb mix has celery salt and cayenne in.

Another I can heartily recommend in this vein is Tom Norrington Davies' Just Like Mother Used to Make. It has all the classics in there, but taken up a level, not necessarily more complex but again well thought through and tested, and crucially, tasty.

karmakameleon Sat 08-Jan-11 09:14:39

I have a similar DH who is a bit wary of new things. I'm of the opinion that's he's a grown man and just has to deal with new things and slowly over time he has got used to it. I try to cook safe dishes most nights but every now and then, maybe once a week, try something different. That used to mean really simple changes once. For example when we met he would eat chicken curry but not lamb. The first time we had lamb curry he looked traumatised but now it's normal. Once a week is just enough to keep me interested in food and get bored.

Have you tried subcribing to one of the food magazines? They are usually full of simple family meals and because you are getting new ideas every month, it may help you stay inspired.

karmakameleon Sat 08-Jan-11 09:15:45

That should read not get bored obviously.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 08-Jan-11 09:29:33

I was going to suggest getting Good Food or something like that because they have lots of quick and easy recipes in.

I used to like the Sainsbury's mag, but it is less food and more lifestyle (ie. buy this shite for your living room from us) these days and I've really gone off it.

I have the same problem as you actually - not an unadventurous DH - but a toddler in a bit of a rut and us as a family eating the same things over and over because I have lost the joy of cooking.
Really need to get my act together, but DC2 is due in 11 weeks and I expect it will all go to pot again then!

dreamingofsun Sat 08-Jan-11 17:58:21

don't think it will make much difference whichever book you get, its your faimilies view to food thats the issue. ie that they can complain about what you cook and ask for something specific for them.

i accomodate a few exceptions, but basically they have to eat what they are given. otherwise its silly for the cook and they will be fussy eaters.

my guess is that your husbands mother did separate meals for everyone - mine's did - it took a few years training but he's now sorted - good luck

naturelover Sun 09-Jan-11 16:13:14

Thanks for the tips.
DH will eat anything I cook but if he doesn't like it he'll say so and let's face it, it's no pleasure cooking something that isn't enjoyed by others.

To add to the challenge, I am always trying to eat healthy food (I love veg, pulses, fish, grains) and DH would much prefer cottage pie, steak & chips, pork chops, mash, sausages etc every day of the week. Apart from anything, I don't want him to have a heart attack in 10 years time!

Quinoa, bulgur wheat, risotto etc are more or less banned as a result. He hates them.

I did buy Good Food this week and I have already got a few ideas.

Hopefully DS's dairy and egg allergies will subside soon so that we can at least eat those again - it will definitely make things easier.

purplepidjin Sun 09-Jan-11 16:26:12

How about:
Cottage pie with lentils, and mixed root veg mash on the top

Grilled marinated salmon with all the steak trimmings like mushrooms and tomatoes

Pork chops with dhal

Ooh, fruity morroccan tagine with couscous - plenty of meat for DH, lots of flavour for you.

DD will have to learn to eat grown up food at some point, why not try serving her up a portion and the three of you sitting down to eat together "now she's a big girl"??

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