Sunday, October 11, 2009

I Want to Help You, Help Me

This isn't news for those of you who know me, but I can't cook.

Seriously, I know NOTHING.

I need to learn.

I want to learn.

From all of you.

Yes that's right. I'm looking to the blogosphere for help.

Keeping in mind that I know nothing, please give me some guidance. I'm seeking some simple recipes for family dinner. Crock pot recipes would be great. ANY recipes would be great.

Can you help out a hapless, culinary challenged mother of two ridiculoulsly picky kids? See, that's one of my problems. My laziness with learning how to cook has forged a dependance on mcdonalds, corn dogs and mac and cheese. Trying to get them to eat anything else is a recipe for disaster (ironically the only recipe I have mastered).

I dream of the day that we can sit at the dinner table and eat some sort of a casserole without my kids sobbing and vomitting all over the table (they can barf at the drop of a hat).

You all have helped me with book choices, dealing with potty training and night terrors and now I come to you again asking for your boundless wisdom.

In return for your wisdom, I will share my experiences (trust me Im confident that the stories will abound); I will even include pictures of the more frightening cases.


I need your help.

I need your recipes!


shana said...

um, yeah . . . I don't cook either. thankfully though, kirby is amazingly gifted in the kitchen.
way to go wanting to learn. i lack that same desire!
have a great week,

Billy and Laurel said...

Hmmm...I will think about what advice I can give you. The picky kids part is hard! I will get back to you as soon as I think of something marvelous.

Kay H. said...

I don't have kids...but I know a lot of them. And I have a recipe that every kid I know who's eaten it, as well as the parents of said kids--has loved. AND--get this--it's loaded with vegetables. AND--requires no special technical cooking skills. Creamy Garden Burritos. I'll be sending it via FB.

Good luck!


Bits from Bonnie said...

Bonnie (Mama Bacigalupi) to the rescue!!! There is a great website that has recipes for the week that are quick and easy. Go to,,c1g1d0pf,00.html and you can amaze your family with good homemade dinners. Or you could hide the take out boxes in the oven after displaying the food nicely on your best china!

michael said...

My first two eat most things, but Josh can be pretty picky. I fond with casseroles and soups, it helps if he is in on the making so he knows exactly what is in it. A dinner of potatoes, chicken, peas, carrots and corn looks completely different separated on his plate than it does all in a crock pot or chicken pot pie. If he knows there is nothing in there he doesn't like, it goes a long ways. Also, they are kind of spendy, but you might want to try a Vita-mix blender. You can make all kinds of smoothies and shakes. I made Josh an orange-pineapple smoothie, and he didn't have any idea that I threw in a carrot and a cabbage leaf.

michael said...

Oops, that was Michelle, not Michael

Brazenlilly said...

I've got a couple recipes for ya. I'll try to facebook them to you in the next few days. Although, Carson is super picky also, and he doesn't always eat even the best I have to offer, so no promises!

Anonymous said...

I have pretty much forgotten all I knew about cooking, so I keep it simple. One dish we really like is chicken breast, baked with a can of chicken broth and veggies (whatever the kids like) along with your choice of noodles. Add a little season salt, if you like.
Love, Lucille

StephanieJ said...

Have you ever seen the cookbook "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld? I don't own it myself, but, I have a friend who does and when Isaac has eaten at their house he has GOBBLED up the food she has made. It's all about hiding vegetable stuff in the food they already like. In the book Jessica makes all her own vegetable purees to put into the dishes - but, my friend Kari just uses containers of baby food. More expensive over the long run, yes, but - super quick and easy and her kids and my Isaac have never known that there was squash in their Mac and Cheese and sweet potatoes in pasta, etc.

Mom of 5 said...

I know this may not be my place to say as I am just a visitor to your blog but you need to nip the Picky Kid thing in the bud.
It will be the best thing you ever did for your kids, especially as they become teenagers and adults.
The reason kids get picky is because all that fast food has nothing but refined food, sugar and carbs and then real food...i.e. healthy food doesn't. So it's not that they are really picky it is just that their body craves carbs and when it gets something healthy instead their body says "No" thanks. This will lead to coronary problems, diabetes, they get older and is much the reason why 66% of Americans are obese and unhealthy.

The way to get NON picky kids is to offer a healthy - even semi-healthy dinner each night and don't waver. You are not running a restaurant. If they do not want it - ask them to try it - if they still don't want it make them a small sandwich and no treats and make them wait till breakfast. Believe me it can be hard at first but it works.
Eventually their body will not crave all the carbs and refined crap. They can have it in moderation later. Once a week to fast food or whatever.
Go on some cooking sites like or buy a magazine like "Semi-Homemade" by Sandra Lee (you will find this in the grocery story). Her recipes are awesome because they are healthy, easy and not everything comes from scratch - I think they rock.
Good luck. Be a MOM (mom on a mission) to get your kids healthy so they will not be picky as they get older. Have you ever met a picky teen or adult - So annoying...seriously.
Good luck :D

Mom of 5 who visits your blog!

Mom of 5 said...

P.S. Not many kids like casseroles when they are young because in general kids do not like their food mixed.

Anonymous said...

Laurel's sister Noelle here.(I love your blog). I understand where you are coming from. I was never that into cooking and my son was becoming a very picky eater in the process. I decided it needed to change but I discovered a good cook is not born overnight and not created by cookbooks alone (many disasters!). This may sound like a comercial but I started watching Food Network and got addicted to Alton Brown. He taught me everything about cooking and made me laugh in the process. I don't watch anymore but now I am comfortable in digging whatever I find out of my cupboard and turning it into dinner. My son is still a little on the picky side but since he is 15 he eats whatever I make because he is always starving!
Oh and just a note, take Laurel up on whatever she suggests, I have always been impressed by her cooking skills
Good Luck

hbmommy said...

I should preface this by saying that 50% of the time we sit down to eat, Keith looks like he's being waterboarded. I have ever liked cooking, nor been very good at hit. But...I married an Italian who loves to eat (obvious by looking at him), so I have had to learn fast.
I have tried to master one dish for each meat: pork, chicken, beef, and fish.
Rachel Ray's cookbooks are great and easy. I also swear by The Slow Cooker's awesome and especially now that the weather is getting cooler I use it all the time.
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I love Rachael Ray's 30 minute meals. Some of the recipes are strange (eggplant steaks), but most of them are really yummy! They are also super easy. Just a bunch of chopping veges, throwing it all in a pot and adding a box of chicken stock. Her website has lots of great ideas .

Monique Bare

michael said...

Michelle here again......I second Mom of 5. Don't try to be a short order cook. If you cater to them, it will become a control issue. And you probably don't have time to be a short order cook anyways.

I try not to make things I know my kids truly don't like, or if I do I may try to modify slightly so they do like it. My oldest doesn't like meatloaf. When I make meatloaf, I make individual serving sizes, so for my oldest I just do hamburger in his, nothing else. My daughter loves fresh carrots, but the boys like them steamed so when I steam carrots I leave out a few raw ones for my daughter. No big deal, I don't make them eat if they don't want to, but they always know that the next opportunity to eat will be the next meal.

No kid will starve themselves to death. Just maybe very, very ill. JK

Anonymous said...

I really recommend looking on They focus on making meals the whole family likes and provide special sections for kids meals that are delicious and nutricious. Plus the recipes are generally very simple for those challenged in the kitchen :)

World of Wright said...

Easiest dinner ever...
in a crock pot put
4 to 5 frozen chicken breasts
1 can of corn drained
1 can of black beans drained
1 small can of olives drained
1 jar of salsa
cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low
after it's done cooking stir in a block of cream cheese.
The chicken stuff will be all shreaded and great to put on a tortilla or straight out of a bowl.

Lucky for me Stephen has a crush on Rachel Ray so he gets creative in the kitchen.

afgblondie said...

Oh, my dear friend...I too am overcoming my kitchen aversion & cooking disabilities. I truly empathize with you. Look at your fb mail & I will get you some really easy resources & a few recipes in the next few days. Please know my thoughts are with you and your family as you endeavor to overome this monumental challenge.

Anonymous said...

Buy a cookbook such as "The Joy of Cooking". It has everything in it from boiling water to how to cook a hard boiled egg to anything you'd ever want to know. Just start with the basics and work your way into it. You won't necessarily LOVE to cook, but you could do some things together with Hope and have a good time with it.
Jane Van Ryn

The Unlikely Pastor's Wife said...

My daughter does not like ONE vegetable. NOT ONE! And she doesn't like spagettti sauce (who doesn't like spagetti sauce?) so if that doesn't tell you how picky she is...I don't know what will.

I was that picky, then I grew up and my taste buds developed and now I like most foods. and I'm healthy and pretty normal.

I'm also a not very good cook. when I find something everyone likes...I make it over and over until everyone hates it! HA.

But I just bought a Vita-Mixer. Yep I bit the bullet and did it. and this is why.
Riley has eaten a serving of vegetables every day and she doesn't even know it. Every smoothie I make I throw in a veggie and she can't taste it. I also made hot soup and she actually liked it. (it had stuff in it I know she doesn't normally like).
So my advice? Buy a vita-mixer and eat your way to happy whole food kids ;-)
(PS my smoothies are better than Jamba juices now :-)...and healthier)

Anonymous said...

my kids love breakfast for dinner...we do scrambled eggs, waffles, hashbrowns, sausage, bacon, etc... The feel like somehow we're rebelling!