So, do you cook?

paintedpeggiesFebruary 15, 2014

Or do you like to?

Been drooling over some of the gorgeous kitchens on here and wondering how many of us cook.

It drives me nuts on House Hunters when they see a gorgeous kitchen and say oh, we will never use though.
Makes me feel bad for the kitchen!

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That's why on HH and HGTV in general, the layouts and functionality of the kitchens are iffy.

However, they get "their" granite, "their" island, "their" Palladian windows, "their" hard wood floors. Oh, oh. You got me started.

Yes, I cook once in a while. I live alone, so it's cooking in vats and freezing.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 6:56PM
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We cook all the time (as long as outdoor charcoal grilling counts). We cook dinner or grill at home about 6/7 nights per week.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 7:09PM
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Check out all the KAW posts. Lots of folks on here are big time cooks and canners . Tons of kitchens that get remarkably talented cooking done in them. Hopefully you will post too :) c

linked to one with the title that you should put in your Google Search ...don't use GW :( they stink...

Here is a link that might be useful: KAW Garden Web Kitchens

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 7:12PM
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With our new kitchen I cook from scratch all the time. One time on this forum I asked the question "what does cooking mean to you". I asked this because when people say they don't cook, I want to ask, do you eat? So I guess cooking means different things to different people.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 7:17PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I cook lots.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 7:40PM
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I cook from scratch every single day. My DH and I go out to eat or order in MAYBE 3 - 4 times per year. I love to cook, he loves to eat my cooking so it works out. Can't wait for my kitchen to be done so I can cook in a fresh, bright new space!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 7:48PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Tonight's meal is Israeli cous cous with almonds and currents, tabouli with olive oil from a local restaurant that imports it from his own olive grove, and lamb shank. Lat night, for a quick bite, it was sundried tomato soup with gruyere and roasted pear grilled cheese on homemade sourdough. Tomorrow will probably be chicken and dumplings in the crockpot as the weather looks good and I'm gonna spend all day outside.

So. Yeah, sometimes I cook.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 8:28PM
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Yup, we cook a lot. 3 meals a day, 7 days a week x a family of 9. So, tons of food. : ) (Had to do the math. That'd be 189 servings each week. Yikes!)

We have gotten a little lazy though, and don't make as much by scratch. Used to make bread, 5 loaves at a time, about twice a week. Now I'm buying more and baking less. Hopefully we'll eat more healthfully when the baking bug strikes again.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 8:28PM
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We cook all the time. We only eat/order out 2-4 times per month. DH loves to cook, he's good at it, and we eat a pretty healthy diet that way while saving a ton of money. In the 12 years we have lived here, we actually saved enough vs what an average family spends on eating out that it paid for the kitchen (and probably more, wish we had actually physically put it aside each week!).

Now, we don't have one of the jaw dropping kitchens here, but everything in it is better than it was before. Which makes it even better to cook in, so it's more enjoyable to cook and eat home.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 8:31PM
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"I live alone, so it's cooking in vats and freezing."

That's me too, only I'm married. :) Husband likes to make quicker meals more frequently though, like pancakes or spaghetti.

We eat about 99% plant based food, and it is interesting to note how it might make our needs of a kitchen differ from others. Like, I have to store a million small appliances and zero large roasting pans. I barely use the hood, because nothing really gets smoky up there, unless we screw up and drop something in the burner.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 8:40PM
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Yes, love to cook. All dinners are cooked from scratch and trying to bake more bread, make my own pasta etc. I recently put a second freezer in the laundry room to store quick meals for the week when I'm busy (I frequently spend 4-5 hours on a Sunday cooking up various things to freeze).

In summer, I'll grill at least 4-5 times a week.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 8:48PM
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I love to cook. Holidays and parties usually require at least three different markets and two full days of cooking. Last night I made BLT sandwiches. So there is a range of cooking on any given day.

Right now there is banana bread in the machine and I'm going to make lamb patties with dil and onion with lemon sauce and couscous along with roasted eggplant, red pepper salad. We like to have a snack of cheese, almonds or something along with a glass of wine and talk about our day while I cook.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 8:52PM
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I cook, bake, can, mix, freeze, grill, roast. I even culture yogurt and sourdough. My kitchen is the center of our home for food and entertainment...and it is going to get a facelift!! Can't wait.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 9:07PM
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I LOVE to cook, and it is SO much more enjoyable in this kitchen!

If it hadn't been for GW, I may not have recognized this great kitchen dressed in it's formerly bad clothes!!

I cook about 14 meals a week.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 9:46PM
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I like to cook. I like my food better than most resturants, and I'm very conscious about where my food comes from. I spend a lot of money on groceries. Feeding 5. We do eat out a fair amount (especially during this kitchen renovation which is about killing me!), which is unfortunate, but kid schedules are just too much sometimes.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 9:49PM
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Yes, I cook. Thankfully my 15 yo son is interesting in learning to cook, so maybe in the future it won't be me doing all the cooking. ;-)

I know what you mean about huge, expensive kitchens in homes where no one cooks. What a waste!!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 9:53PM
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Do I cook? LOL all of our friends always want to know whats for dinner...
My Dad was the cook in our house back in the 50's and 60's ...yes, rare for those days, but we four kids thought it was normal. I have been the cook for over 30 years...sort of short order chef style, two to three or more meals a day, and enjoy every minute of it. It's quite satisfying to create something that people enjoy!
...and 1929 Spanish, would love to stop by and chat, eat, drink, swap recipes ;)

This post was edited by ctycdm on Sat, Feb 15, 14 at 22:44

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 10:24PM
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Ctycdm....are you in OC? CDM makes me think I know where you are. I grew up in Laguna, but now am in North OC.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 11:23PM
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I boil water. Now with the new kitchen rangetop, it boils faster. :)

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 11:24PM
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No. But I still want a cooler kitchen. Go figure.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 12:26AM
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It is all about the food you know. Made carnitas, green poblano rice, guacamole and cumin scented black beans today.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 12:46AM
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Post pics...words aren't nearly as convincing :)

Here is a link that might be useful: ...more in food album

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 1:26AM
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I admit it ... I don't like to cook. It was fun when I was younger. Trying new recipes. But after many years, the thrill has worn off. It can be a chore.

But it's pleasant having our new kitchen. And I enjoy cooking with my DH or entertaining guests. Making healthy meals.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 2:54AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Everyone in our family cooks. When the holidays come, the big discussion is what are we all going to cook while we're together. Last Christmas we tried making home made pasta which was fun. And Christmas morning our son's girlfriend brought her waffle iron over and we had waffles with cooked bananas and a spoonful of caramel sauce with whipped cream for breakfast. Scrumptious! That was a treat!

We eat out about a half a dozen times a year. We buy a lot of organic produce every week. Has to be years since we bought any packaged or canned foods. Except for spaghetti and tomato sauce. We have a second freezer and stock it with soups & chili in individual servings, spaghetti sauce, etc.

Our kitchen isn't fancy. It's only 12 x 10.5 and our counters are laminate, but it is well organized, bright and cheerful. We have the hardwood floors because the previous owner had stuck DIY stick on tiles over it and we discovered it when we renovated and they cleaned up nicely. I've refused to own a Kitchen Aid mixer, only because if I had one, I'd be baking all the time and weigh about 300 pounds. (g)

I'd love to hear what everyone is stocking their freezer with. :-)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 3:29AM
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I cook, and I enjoy it when I have time. DH doesn't. He can boil a hot dog or microwave some lasagna, but that's about it.

Tonight when he asked about dinner I said, I just want it to appear. I don't want to cook it, decide what we're having, go get it, go out to eat it, or call to have it delivered. Just make it appear. He actually looked up a restaraunt's menu online, ordered the food and went to pick it up. I think that's a first. I usually make the call, etc. Good job!

Back to cooking tomorrow.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 4:22AM
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I also cook. Learned pretty much on my own in my early teens by trial and error...I would cook for my grandfather and me - my grand-dad had MANY less than fantastic meals, but he never complained. And, I learned. Luckily! In those days, I wasn't able to use most spices (!!!) because he had digestive issues, and he also had a heart problem, so salt was out of the question as well.

I'm a mixture of cooking from scratch and using boxed things. I'm hoping to go more from scratch with the new kitchen and having space to work.

I cook, bake, and can - the canning part is relatively new bought on by an abundance of apples from our apple trees at our new house.

We do eat out a fair bit as well, but even during the reno, I've been managing to cook a little because we moved our range down into the unfinished basement (it will be there as a place for me to can since my cooktop in the new kitchen is going to be induction)...I have to say this set up has been the most challenging set up to cook in so far - range has nothing next to it - no countertop, nothing to rest anything on, water is coming from the laundry tub, all of my new appliances and sink are sitting down there along with boxes of the contents from the old kitchen. Microwave is upstairs along with the fridge. It's been a true adventure every time I've been cooking during reno!

Oh, and we finally got our new oven installed yesterday in the kitchen! The guys working on the kitchen couldn't understand why I was pushing for them to get the oven in...he's like, "You're not going to be baking cookies or anything for a while, right?" Which, no, I'm not just yet...but I've been using my range downstairs quite a bit and it would be much easier not to have to transport hot things from down in the basement, through the construction zone, and to our living room turned dining area. So, dinner today will be some stuffed peppers that I made and froze prior to the kitchen being torn out...reheated in the new oven.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 8:46AM
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Yes, both my husband and I are from scratch cooks and bakers. Very seldom does a processed item end up on our table. We don't have a lot of the "must haves" (pot fillers, warming drawers,etc.) that the new kitchen obsessed seem to need. Ours is a basic functioning kitchen that suits the way we cook and bake (pot rack next to the stove so we can just reach up and get our most used pots and pans, 3 crocks of utensils on the counter so we don't have to go searching in drawers). One thing we do have to cut down on is gadgets. We have 3 drawers full. I use to work in a cooking store. I was the go to gal when customers needed to know if a gadget worked as it stated it would. So our kitchen drawers need to be purged of many gadgets that don't make the cut. LOL. But yep, we love to cook and spend a lot of time in the kitchen. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 9:09AM
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robo (z6a)

My husband cooks and enjoys cooking. To me it's a chore the same as cleaning up or ironing, so I usually do the cleaning up and he does cooking, shopping, meal planning, etc. I'm super social, right now our kitchen is dark and isolated and only fits one at a time. I'm hoping with the new kitchen I'll hang out with him more and help prep at least, even if he does the final cooking part.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 9:27AM
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NancyLouise - we need you to start a thread on here that tells us about the gadgets that are worthwhile and the ones that are "not so much"!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 9:29AM
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Yes, I cook. This new kitchen we have has been the culmination of years of saying wistfully, "In my dream kitchen, I will have..." I cook from scratch most days, I bake when I have the time (which has been not that often in the past 3 years because of graduate school), and we always celebrate the holidays at our house since I'm the cook of the family and have the house that will accommodate the most people of all my siblings' houses. In my former life, I had a cooking blog. So yes, I cook.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 9:34AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I was just going to post that too andrea. :-)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 9:37AM
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I wish we did... the current excuse is that there is no kitchen aside from a range that's plugged in temporarily. We're both young and the wife grew up an only child in a household that didn't cook (they went out, lots and lots of the time). I started to learn, mainly because it was good for a date night but of course no kitchen = no cooking unless it pops in the oven or goes in the microwave.

Perhaps once we're done rebuilding it. That's the plan anyway :(

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 9:46AM
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andrea, prairie a couple gadgets that quickly come to mind that you shouldn't waste your money on is the Slapchop and the onion chopper. The slapchop's blades are so thin when you pound on the top the blades bend so they do not work after the first use. For the onion chopper, I like the concept, but it needs to be made of a more durable plastic. The part where the top hooks onto the base(where the veggies fall into) breaks. Plastic isn't strong enough to withstand the force of constant "slamming" . Ceramic knives also were returned frequently. The tips were breaking off . I like ceramic knives. they are great for chopping veggies for stir fry. But most of mine are tip less. They also stain, which when I was first researching them, was left to believe that they didn't. Plastic pineapple corers with a short knob. People complained that it was just to hard to turn and that the plastic corer part would crack. Ravioli cutter/stamps with the decorative edges. They didn't seal the dough as stated. Filling would come out when boiling in water. The "infomercial green pan" . Don't waste your money on that brand. Local chef did a side by side comparison to a quality green pan on TV. Cheapy imitation pan didn't even live up to it's own claims. Eggs stuck, hard to clean,etc. That's all for now. Sorry paintedpeggie didn't mean to hijack your thread. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 10:33AM
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I cook, but I don't really enjoy it. The things I like to eat don't require much skill to put together ... salads, steamed vegetables, fruit, smoothies, etc. I do enjoy the prep part of preparing vegetables and fruit. I don't eat meat (or chicken, fish, etc.) and I HATE cooking it, though I do because DH is not a vegetarian. I would love to have a "meat free" kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 11:35AM
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@1929Spanish, yep you got the town right, 62 years here to be exact ;)
...and I'm so known for posting photos of my cooking on my FB page, that I've been dubbed the "cookin'carpenter" ...which in hindsight, would have been a fun user name to have used for GW!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 11:48AM
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I cook regularly. But when people ask me if I like cooking, I always reply that I like eating. Cooking is just a means to an end for me, that being something delicious to eat!

Made pasta carbonara last night with caramelized onions, with a side of wok'd shitake mushrooms with a splash of red wine. Yum yum! Tonight I'm thinking a miso glazed black cod over soba noodles in ponzu sauce.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 11:50AM
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Great hijack, great list of gadgets!

Funny, my dad did all the cooking too and I never knew Moms cooked until I Started going to friends houses. He was the best cook and I really miss his food.

DH grew up with eating from cans and I NEVER ate from a can so way total opposites. I prefer home cooked food and enjoy making it.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 12:14PM
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Oh, yes. I love to cook, and can't wait for a kitchen re-do so I can spread out and really go crazy. I cook breakfast and dinner for our family of 4, and make lunches to-go. Love to cook for dinner parties, friends, etc. but am somewhat hampered by a bad layout and lack of space at the moment ⦠Thus most entertaining-cooking is relegated to summer months for grilling and cooking outdoors.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 12:24PM
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Sometimes I like to cook. Sometimes it's a chore. I do cook 2-3 times a day. Everything I do, and whether I enjoy it or not, is based on my mood!

Since the kids came, I cook a lot more and from scratch. I even bought an expensive mixer so that I can make bread for my kids (I don't eat it often because I LOVE it) and allow my 10 yr old to use it for the sweets she'd like to make.

I love tasty food but don't like to eat out a lot, so I attempt to make it.

All of this activity has certainly helped me figure out how I'd like to change the configuration of my kitchen but I'm afraid that by the time we have the money I won't be cooking nearly as much!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 2:01PM
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hollysprings: I'm currently in love with Israeli couscous, esp. in an Ina Garten salad that also has tuna. I'm gonna make some today and eat it all myself.

I can cook. I learned a long time ago from my mom, starting with baking. I used to love to cook. In college I was the one who cooked when we all ate together. I'm not sure at what point the thrill went out of it, probably menu-making and the relentless hunger returning. You finish feeding people and they came back a little while later, hungry all over again.

Still, when my husband was alive, it was gratifying to please him with good things to eat.

Now, I can eat cookie dough for dinner and no one gives me a lecture. :) Seriously, I'd rather have someone to share a meal with. I confess to having Trader Joe cook for me once or twice a week. I like making things that yield leftovers. If I'm smart I'll freeze most of it for later, rather than eating the same thing for a week and going, I never want to eat that ever again.

What I really wish I had was a Middle Eastern chef who would prepare all my meals for me.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 3:37PM
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I ran a cooking school for 9 years. Not as much as then but still quite a bit. We eat everything and are lucky to live in an area where there is an organic and agrarian movement in full swing. Summers are a delight and the farmer's markets are truly inspirational. Also lovely is locally grown poultry and meat, super fresh fish and vineyards.

Do miss the convenience of living in NYC and having cooked food delivered in. But one of the major chef training schools is nearby so there are always good little places the graduates tend to open in the area.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 5:53PM
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Ok, someone has to explain KAW to me, please!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 7:53PM
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Paintedpeggies - it means Kitchen At Work. :)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 7:58PM
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After reading all of these posts, gosh I feel guilty. I have a beautiful kitchen, thanks to all of the advice that I found here. Its true- my kitchen is soo nice, and I hate to dirty it up. It's a terrible, guilty feeling that I have. It is totally wrong. Especially after I get my house cleaned professionally, I feel even more guilty dirty-ing it up.

I do cook. I cooked the last two nights. However, during the school week, it is hard. When I come home, I am just too tired. One day I will figure it out. For right now, I just love having my nice kitchen, and wishing that I had more energy to use it. One day, I will use it 5-7 days a week. For right now, I use it 3-4 days a week.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 8:56PM
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MrsHanson - I cook at the weekends and freezer meals for those days, or have pizza dough in the fridge (also typically made on Sunday) sat waiting to be made quickly.

I do love to cook though (it's not a chore for me) so I think that makes it a bit easier to motivate myself to cook when I've been up since 4 and am cooking after a long hard day.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 9:24PM
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I love to cook and cook dinners from scratch most nights. I actually find it restful to cook after coming home from work. My renovated kitchen makes it so much easier though I don't know exactly why. The arrangement is the same as before, ingredients are located in the same places. Maybe it's just the improved look that makes it more fun to cook in there.

Seems to me that, whether or not you cook a lot, the kitchen is the main gathering place in the house. You still eat your meals there, enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee on weekend mornings. So of course it should look beautiful! And then when you have a chance to do some cooking, you have the perfect place to do it.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 9:36PM
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Define cook. Lol.

I make about seven to ten meals a week that involve the application of heat to food. Some of that is just boiling water for pasta and heating up store bought sauce, some of it is more real cooking along the lines of biscuits from scratch and scrambled eggs or hamburgers with sweet potato fries. I also bake some. And every now and then I cook something kind of fancy.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 10:23PM
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Seems to me that, whether or not you cook a lot, the kitchen is the main gathering place in the house. You still eat your meals there, enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee on weekend mornings. So of course it should look beautiful! And then when you have a chance to do some cooking, you have the perfect place to do it.

Exactly! Thanks for putting this so well. Even though neither of us really loves cooking, we do (have to!) cook some, and the kitchen (even in our house) is pretty much the center of activity.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 5:44AM
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I love to cook. When I'm stressed, or sometimes just when I'm bored, I'll go on a full out cooking spree and make several labor intensive things to put into the freezer.
One of my "new mom" gifts to my D-i-L was to spend 2 days cooking at their house and putting foil baking trays into the freezer of lasagna, stuffed shells, meatloaf, golumpki's, enchilada's, some containers of soups and some of sauce.
I cook some pretty great meals in my galley kitchen on my boat, but I'm so looking forward to our new house with a real kitchen, full size stove and working oven again! OH, and a refrigerator where I can open the door and see what's in it, and not have to go diving into it from the top, like on the boat.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 7:10AM
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I"m with MrsHanson. Can't say cooking is a huge passion or creative outlet, although I enjoy trying out recipes sometimes, but full days at work + a husband who likes to eat at 6 pm *sharp* mean there's not a lot of time or energy to do creative cooking projects M-F. I'll usually devote Sunday to cooking anything that takes lots of time, gear or planning so that we've got food to reheat. Someday, someday I will retire and cooking is on the list of Things I Will Do.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 7:49AM
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Yes I cook because I have to. DH and DS2 appreciate being fed. The joy is nearly gone-- probably due to new diet restrictions and 30 yr in a poorly functioning kitchen have taken its toll. No longer is getting down on my knees to get the pan on the bottom shelf at the back no big deal, etc. End of whine. ;) There, I feel better. Thank you. The sun will come out tomorrow.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 9:26AM
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Yes, I absolutely cook. There are only two of us in the house and we have very different full-time work schedules as well as different dietary needs. (I am a vegetarian and he is a meat-a-tarian if you know what I mean.) As a result, I cook meals mostly for myself. I do a lot of cooking batches and eating leftovers, and I do a lot of non-cooking/cold-prep for lunch. Sometimes we cook at the same time, but may only share a portion of the same meal. We do eat out a few nights every week, and he eats out while at work (not me usually). My poor un-remodeled kitchen gets quite a bit of use and I can't wait until we're ready to remodel it.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 1:52PM
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Define cook. Lol.

Love that line! I do almost exactly what crl does, without the "sometimes something kind of fancy". I just don't enjoy it. For me, if it can't be made from start to table in 20 minutes, it doesn't get made at all.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 2:16PM
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As much as I wish I didn't have to cook, sometimes I tire of Trader Joe or burgers. So, last night I made Chicken Marbella, along with al dente asparagus. Instead of two chickens, I used four thighs and guesstimated a lesser amount of marinade/sauce. OMG, so divine and so easy.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 3:10PM
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A friend of mine has the huge beautiful kitchen some people here are feeling sorry for. The caterers she hires for regular entertaining really appreciate it :D

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 5:58PM
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