Saturday, May 10, 2014

Weekly Whine: Worst Cooks

I’ve been watching TV show lately called worst cooks in America. It’s a really good show and it’s pretty funny. I mean, what funnier than watching people who screw up macaroni and cheese?

The premise of the show is that they take a bunch of really awful cooks and teach them how to cook professionally. It’s fun to watch and I do learn things from it, but considering all of these people mostly just want to learn to cook for themselves and their children, why do they need to learn how to make pizza dough from scratch or pull their own Asian noodles? It’s not practical.

Plus it makes me feel like a really bad cook because I can’t do those things.

Honestly, I feel like they should have more shows that don’t involve cooking things from scratch. Because really, who has time to cook anything from scratch? Just because I sometimes (often) buy chopped vegetables, does that make me one of the worst cooks in America?


  1. I am experimenting with twice baked potatoes right now. C loves them and we are trying to perfect a simple recipe that we both like. I'm happy, but she is not there yet. I like to do something simple and quick like sauteed spinach with it - C prefers her spinach raw. Jack isn't into any of that. When we do it it's his raman and raw carrot night.

  2. Totally agree. Nothing is wrong with my fajita bowls of grilled chicken that I marinated and chopped in one batch on Sunday for the week with pre-cut onions/peppers from the store. Toss those with fajita seasoning mix, open a can of black beans, and I've got a healthy, protein-packed, veggie-loaded meal everyone will eat (okay so the sodium sucks from the seasoning but whatevs...). Besides, someone at the store has a job to cut those veggies and I pay 2-3x the cost, so someone gets a job and contributes to their family income because I'm "lazy".

    Reminds me of What Not to Wear. While some of those people's outfits were absolutely atrocious, is it really necessary to swing the pendulum the other way and wear outfits that cost, on average, $500-750 apiece? And I don't know about you but after a week of work I'm certainly not going to get up on the weekend and don full-face makeup, a blazer, designer jeans, and heels just to go grocery shopping. A nice white t-shirt and jeans will suffice, imo

  3. honestly, yes. Buy fresh/organic and chop on your own, you'll do your kid a favor.

    1. Is the favor that I'll be spending more time in the kitchen chopping vegetables instead of playing with them?

    2. The idea that you must be a gourmet cook who uses only the freshest organic ingredients, or you are doing your family's health a grave disservice, has probably had a larger negative impact on the American diet than all the fast food chains combined.

    3. At the end of the day, its on you, you have to decide whats best for your kids.

    4. If you learn proper knife skills, chopping vegetables won't take long at all. Then you can teach it to your kids and spend time together that way. (maybe not now but when they're old enough) Go on youtube and search for Kat Flinn's knife skills video.

    5. Why worry about what other people think? If you find you have more time to spend with your kids because you take some shortcuts (not judging; I do it too) and it sufficiently takes care of your family then who cares?

      "My mom fed me organic, home-chopped vegetables and it impacted my life profoundly" said no adult ever when reflecting on their childhood.

  4. My Mother was the one person I was going to nominate for this show. It took my Dad over 30 years to compliment her chicken. I had a yellow Lab. I brought homemade hamburgers for us to cook over my parents house. My Mom made hers. I gave the dog the ones I made. My Mom had 1/2 one left over and my sister put it on the floor for him. He sniffed it and walked away.

    If you think that's funny, I learned to cook roasts by the age of 13 because I wanted to survive.

    You are right on some of that stuff. They need to teach basic skills.

    If you can't make pizza dough from scratch don't sweat it. Just be able to make stuff like baked chicken, simple burgers, basic cookies, some sides like REAL mashed potatoes, carrots, asparagus, broccoli, peans, peas, corn. Applesauce (ok I make mine from scratch) is pretty easy to do a few variations. A pie. Simple cake.

    Cooking/baking is a lot like doctoring. You can learn at class & school, but internship & residency are your own real teachers.

    I make practically everything from scratch. Ice cream, bread, etc. I don't expect everyone to be my level, but it would be nice if a woman's idea of cooking doesn't mean nuking frozen dinners in the microwave.

    PS Getting professional utensils and learning how to use them, cut/chop, and a few other things, would probably be worth it. :)

  5. i know not the point... but pizza dough is actually really easy. (Link Below) On Sundays, my husband takes our daughter to the nearby farmers market so I can study (I'm now a Step 1 mess pre-MS3) When she goes down for her nap when they get back, we have the most amazing homemade pizza with the fresh herbs/produce from the market. It makes me feel like super wife :) (PS- add a bit more flour and let the dough rest about 5 more minutes)

  6. Ellyn Satter's "Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family" was and is my favorite cooking resource. It is my go-to baby shower gift. Menu planning, easy recipes with preparation tips, solid nutrition and kid feeding advice from an expert in child feeding. In one of her books she says that some of the best cooks she knows decide what veggies to serve by opening the freezer door. And don't forget, unless you have a garden or shop at a CSA or farmer's market, frozen veggies are often fresher than what you buy in the supermarket.

    For some reason, whenever I've mastered a particular recipe or cooking technique I go through what I call a hubris phase where I can't make that thing for love or money. Like cheese sauce: after a few successes I had to struggle through months of complete flops when I made homemade mac and cheese.

  7. You want easy-peasy recipes that look/taste like they took forever? Try a show (and maybe a cookbook, I don't know) called "Semi-Homemade". I forget the host's name, but she's this blonde chick that can make canned anything look and taste like you started from scratch.