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Useless in the Kitchen...!

(8 Posts)
NatzCNL Thu 14-Jul-11 22:14:53

I have tried and tried to enjoy cooking and learn new meals to cook to spice things up in the kitchen... but I just hate cooking! Please can somebody suggest a good way of enjoying making meals or suggest a cook book that can offer recepies for easy to make nutritious meals for our family?

I am a work from home mum, 30 weeks pregnant with DC3 and have two daughters aged 3 and 4. Meal times are my most hated times of the day. Not only do I have to decide what to cook/make, but I am usually the only one who is doing it (as DP works long and rather unsociable hours) and when I do go to the effort of making what I think is a nutritionally balanced and rather tasty dinner, my daughters both turn their noses up at it and refuse to eat (not all the time, but enough times for it to really drive me to dispair).

To add on top of that my eldest is quite small for her age and I am desperately trying to plump her up as her younger sister is very nearly as heavy as her. We have seen a dietician and they suggest putting cream in her food and extra cheese, which I am trying but it is now getting to the point where she is going off the food she used to like because it is tasting too sickly.

They both love fruit and would quite happily just have fruit all day every day, but obviously they need more than this. DD1 is not keen on potatoe or salad (but will eat cucumber), DD2 isn't keen on veg or salad (other than raw carrotts). Their ultimate favourite meal is chicken nuggets, DD1 with beans, DD2 with chips. I hate to give them this, but some times it is the only thing that keeps me sane. They have it about once a week. After that I can get them to eat Spaghetti bolognese with tonnes of veg secretly mixed in.

I hate cooking, more now than any other time in my life. And soon I will have a new baby to care for too. Feel like a total failure in the kitchen, wish I enjoyed making meals but I just dont. I have no imagination when it comes to meal tie and tend to just rotate the few dinners I know I can get the kids to eat, and it is just getting so boring. Can anyone offer any words of advice or tips on how to make food preparation interesting or fun? Or some recepies that go down well with fussy eaters? I would love for my kids to enjoy their food and food preparation too

NatzCNL Thu 14-Jul-11 22:17:23

And just to add - lunch is just as bad as dinner. Ususally a cheese or ham sandwich with olives and carrott sticks... almost every day!!!! sad

4merlyknownasSHD Fri 15-Jul-11 08:49:34

Try this. It is designed for students, so is quick and easy. Also it should be fairly cheap. This means that you are not going to spend lots of money trying things out. The real tip is to make sure that your store cupboard has things like lentils, spices, mustard, herbs etc. Once you have built up your confidence, then you can experiment.

NatzCNL Fri 15-Jul-11 09:10:51

Thank you! This site looks ideal. Am gonna sit down and copy some recepies off of there today smile

livvylouis Fri 15-Jul-11 12:26:27

I know your dc's are only little but try getting them involved at mealtimes, they will be more likely to eat it if they have helped prepare the meal. Maybe try getting a childrens cookbook so they can help choose the meals you make try this.

noblegiraffe Mon 18-Jul-11 21:00:46

I don't like cooking and hate complicated recipes but Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food has enticed even me to try cooking. It's loads of basic recipes for people who have never really cooked before so they're really straightforward. They've also got loads of veg in them and there are lunch recipes too.

NettoSuperstar Mon 18-Jul-11 21:04:03

I second Jamie's MOF.
I am a good cook, and I love cooking, but that's still my most favourite book, as it's quick, easy, popular food for weeknights that is easy to get hold of in a small town, and doesn't cost the earth.

I've made pretty much every recipe in it, and swear by the curries particularly.

Xiaoxiong Tue 19-Jul-11 09:56:52

If you have an iphone I would recommend downloading the "how to cook everything" app - it's cheaper than a cookbook and you can carry it around the supermarket with you. Each recipe has links through to kitchen techniques, like if it says "chop an onion" or "dice a pepper" you can link through to pictures and step by step instructions on how to do that. All the recipes work beautifully and are very simple, there's a search function and a way to save recipes to favourites. (If you are vegetarian there's another app by the same people called "how to cook everything vegetarian" which is equally useful.)

Otherwise, the cookbook I use most is Appetite by Nigel Slater - has a great chapter at the front about what things go with what, so you have the confidence to throw things together and not follow a recipe if you don't want to. Even better is that it doesn't tie you to a particular recipe so you end up buying something just for one meal - eg. instead of "pasta carbonara" it will give you a recipe for "a creamy calming pasta dish" with a basic recipe and a few variations so you slowly get the hang of what you can swap in and out of a recipe and what will taste good, so you eventually work up to being able to look in the fridge and come up with an idea for dinner, rather than sitting down with a cookbook and buying a bunch of things you use half of and never use the rest.

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