Resolutionize Your Kitchen and Cooking: How to End the Cooking Blues

How to Kick the Cooking Blues

Cooking blues.  Cooking slump.  “I don’t want to cook” syndrome.  Whatever you call it, we all want to hang up our apron at times.  It can last for a couple of days or weeks or even longer.  It’s that feeling of not knowing what to make, not wanting to go into the kitchen to fix it, not even wanting to try making a grocery list.

But when you’re the one responsible to cook for your family day in and day out, you can’t give in to the cooking blues.  Here are several ways to bust out of the slump.  These are not steps to take, but a list of ideas to try.  Some of them are conflicting ideas, but the goal is to do something – anything – to break out of the rut.

There’s just one rule:  Don’t give in and eat out.

Eating out won’t spur you to start cooking and it will wreak havoc on your budget.

Don’t cook

Give yourself a break.  Have a yo-yo dinner (you’re on your own).  Or pancakes.  Or cereal.  Or ramen noodles.  There have been a few times that I did this several nights in a row.   Two or three dinners of cereal or instant soup won’t really hurt anyone, but it will spur you to start cooking again.

Do cook

Put aside the feelings of not wanting to, and just get into the kitchen and start.  Usually, once I get started it’s not so bad and soon we have dinner on the table.  Think of it this way – in an hour or so the whole dinner thing will be over.  Family will be fed, dishes done.  Grab an idea from 25 Meals in 20 Minutes or Less to keep it super quick.

Ask your family for their favorites

Sometimes it’s nice to not have to think of what to make.  And if I know the dinner is going to make my family happy, I’m more willing to cook it.

Don’t ask your family.  Make what you want

It’s okay to fix something that you really like, even if the other members of your family aren’t crazy about it.  You’re the cook and one of the people who will be eating dinner, so you deserve to have your favorites every once in a while.  Besides, it’s good to introduce the kids to new foods occasionally.

Have a theme meal

Italian, Mexican, all red foods, all green, heart shaped…  Anything fun, silly or different.

Plan a freezer cooking weekend

Having a well-stocked freezer can rescue you when the cooking blues strikes again.  I’m planning a freezer cooking series (due to popular demand in our Facebook community).  Until then, you can check out the “frozen food” category for lots of tips, freezable recipes and even a menu or two designed to stock your freezer.

Those are a few of the ideas that work to drag me out of the cooking blues.  What works for you?

 


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Comments

  1. I just did a big cooking weekend to stock up my freezer. Didn’t get everything I wanted done but did get lots stocked away for the busy days and to have cooked up meat to make week night dinners quicker, especially when I need the hubby to help with dinner before I get home from work.

  2. These are all great ideas and I love the yo yo dinners!
    Another idea that works really well is a meal exchange! My problem with “stocking my freezer” is I hate to plan different meals and then spend the time making those different meals. So over whelming for me. However a meal exchange is right up my alley.
    get some friends together once a month and everyone brings 4-6 meal (each person bring a different meal) and then you exchange and bring 4-6 different meals home to put in your freezer! I did a blog post about meal exchanges!
    http://pamperedmommy.wordpress.com/2011/01/15/how-to-do-a-meal-exchange/

  3. I feel like I go through cooking slumps quite a bit – usually at the end of a particular season, but lately I’ve gone into them more frequently. I get tired of the same meals even though they are the ones my family enjoys. tacos, sloppy joes, lasagna, mac-n-cheese…sigh

    These are great ideas and its nice to see that someone who enjoys cooking and comes up with so many different recipes and menu plans also goes through these slumps too.

  4. I like your advice! you kept it simple, but very powerful!

  5. As always excellent points!

    I keep boxed mac and cheese on hand for the times I just can not pull dinner together. And no one goes hungry… imagine that.

    Yo-yo dinners- that is cute. Growing up one of my friends’ mom’s called it “fend for yourself night”- which generally meant a sandwhich. :)

  6. Those are great tips Tiffany. I love to do feezer cooking weekends, and have a few options in the freezer at all times. That really helps on those days when you are just too busy, or do not feel like cooking.

  7. These are all great ideas. I have to say, your spice holder is brilliant! I’m always digging around in my cupboard searching for my spices. I’m all over this idea!

  8. I just recently got married and we moved into our appartment. I love to cook, even though I am pretty new at it. Its tough though, because my husband doesn’t like certain things (like cheese, so there goes half my recipies) so that puts a damper on things. Id have about 40 or so things to make, but bc of reasons like that alone its down to 15 recipies. That and I’m picky myself, but I know how to get around that. THen there are days where I have been standing for 8+ hours and running around all day so I just don’t want to stand there and cook. This has been hitting me lately. So I just get the freezer dinners. I hate it, sometimes, but its a good way to get dinner on the table and keeps me active in it so it gets me back into that cooking groove.

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