How Often & What Do You Cook?

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by Dancebug, May 5, 2006.

  1. Dancebug

    Dancebug Well-Known Member

    This is directed to married female dancers, even though I don't mind hearing from singles or males.

    The breakfast, lunch, dinner threads prompted me to start this one. It seems to me that a lot of you do not eat very well. It is understandable. Having a full time job and trying to spend as much time as possible in practicing dance, I find it very challenging to find time to cook for me and my husband. If I were single, I would not mind eating out all the time. Actually that was what I did when I was single. Now that I am married, I feel a little guilty about not treating home-made meals to my husband at least occasionally. So I try to cook dinner from Mon through Thu. (My husband does dishes on those days.) We eat out Fri, Sat and Sun. But last weekend we did not have time to do groceries. Fortunately I stocked up the freezer with frozen meals for this kind of situation. So we have been eating Trader Joe's this week. My husaband is Ok doing this for a week, but I know he cannot do it for two weeks in a raw and neither can I.

    So how do you manage meals? How often do you cook and what do you cook for your family?
     
  2. SuzieQ

    SuzieQ New Member

    We are trying to cut down on our eating out also, mainly because of the expense=less money for dancing! We like to go out after dancing with friends and/or our daughter will entice us to eat out with her(free meal for her!)when she's in town, so if we can do less eating out just for everyday meals, that helps.
    We use a lot of chicken and hamburger helper, also the frozen skillet meals are not too bad if you don't have them too often! My husband usually gets home earlier than I do, so he often cooks, and we finally got a grill after several years without one, so that is helping. Frozen french fries, noodle mixes, frozen pizza,etc. Salad mixes--add some tomatoes and maybe some grilled chicken--
    I have done once-a-month cooking in the past--meals you cook up all at once and freeze. I would love to do that again, just need to find the time!
     
  3. alemana

    alemana New Member

    i'm going to reply because even though i'm not married, i do have cooking issues and am actually currently cooking for two - myself and a colleague at work, who is paying for the service.

    i'm providing lunch and dinner for 4-5 days a week for both of us. we are eating extremely healthy - absolutely nothing processed, no prepared food.

    my tactics are:

    1. i cook twice, roughly - once on sunday and once midweek.

    2. we are willing to eat most of the dishes at least twice.

    3. i have sort of a protein schedule that makes the whole thing easy. twice a week, chicken. once, fish. once, tofu (i can make a very mean firm tofu stir-fry.) sometimes i substitue lamb or beef.

    4. to that i make 3-4 vegetable side dishes, again in two batches. we like southern-style greens (collards or kale, cooked without meat but with chicken stock and vinegar to finish); blanched green beans dressed with lemon; roasted cauliflower; broccoli and broccoli rabe, usually in the stir-fry; and lots of steamed spinach (also great with lemon.)

    5. i also have prepackaged (but organic) baby greens all the time for salad, which we often eat as a lunch meal topped with canned tuna, cherry tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs (more protein) and assorted raw veg, like red pepper.
     
  4. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I love to cook, and I've found that, in general, the more I cook at home, the healthier I am. I make just about everything we eat from scratch, using organic ingredients as much as possible. I do this to avoid perservatives, pesticides, trans-fats, strange hormones, and all that kind of stuff. The only frozen foods I buy are bagged organic fruits for breakfast smoothies. I buy organic or at least free-range/grassfed meat as much as possible, sometimes "stockpiling" a bit by sealing it with my vaccume sealer and freezing it. I can defrost the meat really quickly by throwing the vaccume-sealed bag in a sink full of tepid water.

    When I cook I make enough for four or six servings, and we either freeze the leftovers or, more commonly, we just eat several meals of the same thing until whatever I made is gone. I like eating leftovers for breakfast -- I'm not that big a fan of traditional breakfast food. I'd much rather eat leftover lamb korma or chicken curry than scrambled eggs.

    I don't often buy soda or other such soft drinks, we drink water, sometimes a little juice, sometimes a little vodka or sake, and rejuvalac and kombucha (both great for the digestion) at home. Sometimes we have cow's milk around, but I've started making my own nut milks so that I can be sure they are organic and so I can control the amount of sweeteners and other additives.

    We don't have much in the way of quick snacky things around, rather I'll make flavored nuts or pumpkin or sunflower seeds and we'll have those for munching, or home-made granola, or leftovers. Leftovers are good for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks! I like making stews and curries and that sort of thing, which keep really well a few extra days in the fridge and also freeze wonderfully.

    I also like to make my own condiments when I can -- saurkraut, mustard, ketchup, salsa, apricot butter, sour cream, creme fraiche, and mayonnaise. I use really old recipies that involve a bit of lacto-fermentation. This adds friendly lacto-bacillius to the condiments which are very good for the digestive tract. The lacto-bacillius also help to preserve the condiment. And once again, by making my own, I can control the amount and type of sugar in it. Store-bought ketchup is incredibly over-sweet compared to what I make at home from organic tomato paste, spices, a bit of maple syrup (no high-fructose corn syrup), and a bit of whey (the clear liquid part of yogurt -- contains the lacto-bacillius that I need to innoculate the condiments). I also make salad dressings from scratch, mainly to ensure that the oil base is organic olive oil and not soybean oil or canola oil or any of that.

    Of course there are exceptions. We're having a little dinner party this weekend and I bought tortilla chips so we could have it with (home made) guacamole, and I'm also baking a cake.

    About the only thing I don't make from scratch is bread, but we don't buy that much bread (or pasta) anyway and when we do buy bread it's from sprouted organic grains. I try to avoid anything that's too "white" -- white flour (actually, wheat in general), white sugar (but today was an exception for the dinner party cake), white potatoes, white rice, pasta.

    I usually do most of my cooking on the weekend, making double recipies of things so that there will be food around for the week. Toward the end of the week, we'll go out for dinner (last night we went for sushi). I love to cook, and I find it very relaxing to putter around the kitchen trying new things. My husband always jokes about the "mad scientist experiments" that I've got going: things lacto-fermenting in jars, stuff drying in the dehydrator, organic brown rice pilafs cooking themselves in the rice cooker, yogurt cheese being made on the counter, and so on.

    I've just come through a period of experimentation with raw food veganism. I have tried to go vegan three times in my life, and all three times it's been a negative experience for me. I think three tries is enough. It just doesn't work for me, although this last time I learned a lot about making interesting and healthy things that I eat in my usual ominvorous lifestyle, like nut milks and home-made granola.

    Both my parents are very good cooks, and they passed their skills and love of cooking on to me. My mother taught me the basics of cooking when I was very young -- I was probably seven or eight the first time I made a roast beef!

    I'm trying to think what my favorite things to cook are, and I'd have to say that in general it is Southeast Asian foods. Aside from being delicious with big, bold flavors, they keep very well as leftovers, and they don't involve much wheat or dairy.

    I could go on forever about cooking. My three biggest hobbies are dancing, traveling, and cooking!
     
  5. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Well, I'm back in my single phase lol, and I must say that I love to cook! When I worked at the college though I would only eat two meals, but I always cooked my lunch at home and brought it with me though. I couldn't afford to eat out like everyone else. The only time I would eat out is when we had breaks and the students were gone and I could leave the school.

    Now however, I do eat three meals a day. I find that I have to in order to keep up with things. I have to eat breakfast in order to keep awake and to feel good for my 8:00 class. By the time that class is done with, I'm hungry for lunch again as to which I'll cook at home. Then at night when I get to go dancing, I'll make sure and eat right away when I come home. I find that I get really hungry after I dance lol! I don't know about you all, but I also find that as soon as I started dancing, my appetite has picked up at least for me! ;)
     
  6. alemana

    alemana New Member

    my cooking - once my main passion in life - has been largely sacrificed, time-wise, to dancing. it's very sad. i miss it.
     
  7. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    I'm newly single after nearly 30 years of marriage and I only gained control of a kitchen a little over a year ago. So I had to outfit and stock that kitchen from scratch (I was able to take my favorite peeling knife, my cereal bowls, a few soup bowls, and my coffee cup and that's it). Plus, since I had had no hand in meal planning, that's a significant hole in my education that I've been trying to fill.

    One big problem for my education is that I'm out almost every evening with dance classes and events (it's been my social life and my therapy over the past few years), so when I get home I have just a little bit of time to prepare my lunch for the next day and flash a frozen meal (ie, microwave it) -- for that it's mainly frozen meals from Trader Joe's, though sometimes I'll cook up some pasta. But a few nights a week I don't even have time for that and Mondays I go straight from work and don't get home until after 10, so I grab a burrito from Del Taco and eat literally on the run.

    I did get a few recipes from my in-laws and one or two Saturdays out of the month I have the time for a cooking project. The spaghetti sauce, my father-in-law's specialty, turned out OK and was a welcome relief from the store-bought sauce. The calabacita con carne de puerco (zucchini with pork) still needs a bit of work; for one thing, I had trouble scheduling a time that I could try to make it, causing two sets of zucchinis to spoil. That underlines one of the problems with fresh ingredients: you have to cook on a regular basis or only buy them just before you use them or else they'll spoil. For example, I want to prepare some homemade soup, but I won't have time free until next weekend so I'll buy the vegetables then.

    One thing that I have been able to practice over the years has been baking and my desserts and breads are well received -- well, not so much the shoo fly pie and apple pandowdy. When he heard of my divorce and that I'd be moving in closer to them, my brother-in-law's first thought was that some of my baking would come their way ... and it has.

    I have a lot to learn still, mainly building up a repertoire of "30-minute meal" recipes. In the meantime, here's my web page with a few of the recipes that I have been able to do, including the spaghetti sauce:
    http://members.aol.com/dwise1/recipes/index.html

    They're all made-from-scratch recipes, except for the "no-bake cheesecake" which appears to be an old Jello recipe, but still very well received.
     
  8. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    SuzieQ how long would it take you when you used to cook a month's worth of meals at a time?
     
  9. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I've done all sorts of things...Right now I'm sharing cooking duties with my housemate, who has a kid or two...so almost married life in a way..I guess...

    Anyway...I try to do most of my cooking on my weekends...For instance, I'll make a big batch of burger patty mixture from scratch. 4 maybe 8 pounds or more. Then whenever anyone wants cutlets for dinner they take soem out, make the patty and fry. I like crock pot dishes such as lamb neck bones the other day..as well. Big batches whenever I cook. As well as that I have a chees/egg ommlette every day and often steel cut oat porridge. That's my share of the cooking...
     
  10. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    That makes a huge difference. I learned the basics of cooking from hanging out with my stay-at-home Mom in the kitchen the whole time I was growing up. It's amazing the things you pick up.

    I cook almost every day. Mostly things that will be edible within forty-five minutes of my arrival -- quick meals or crockpot meals during the week. I save the big projects for the weekend.
     
  11. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    Well, I don't like to cook. It's a sore point in our marriage, btw. In 12 years of marriage I have figured out a few simple combinations I can easily produce, but my husband got bored with them by now and always nags me to try new recipies and explore. I can put together a really nice special occasion menu, but this skill does not extend into everyday cooking for some unknown to me reason.
     
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    It used to be a sore point for me and the ex, as well. I enjoy cooking and cook almost every day. But there was something about being expected to cook that made me enjoy it less. It's illogical and hard to explain, but there you have it. *shrug*
     
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    my husband fantacizes that I will cook everyday...usually though it is only twice a week....(he conceals his disappointment well but I KNOW its there)I love to cook...it just never seems to work out...weekends are my favoite time to cook a bunch of stuff then eat trhough it during the week...but I havent even done that in a long long while
     
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    funny.. he's probably one of the few who gets sex more often than a homecooked meal and would prefer to have it the other way around...oh well
     
  15. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    It used to be a sore point for me too (minus the husband, since I've never been married lol). But then I realized how much cheaper it was to cook, and I started entering things into cooking contests (at school etc.), and I would end up winning lol! Now, I love making up my own recipes and surprising people! Because once you learn the basics like how to do the math portions correctly etc., then everything else just sort of happens when you least expect it to! ;)
     
  16. cl5814

    cl5814 New Member

    For the once in a while that i do cook, i cook for an army, almost literally. Had family (2 adults/2 kiddies) over for lunch and we had food for maybe 12 people. I enjoy cooking if i have people over for lunch or dinner. I just need to scale down a bit. I enjoy trying new recipes, the fancy stuff. Sometimes some recipes looks better than what it tastes; especially cakes you buy in store.
    I bought some silicone baking pans, and boy do they work well. When done, you can even fold them away in drawer, no waste of space.
     
  17. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    Something I never thought would happen did indeed happen to us last year. My husband lost his job (after 15 years) and I had to work more (he's going back to school *again*). Now he cooks most nights. He RARELY cooked before (he can cook a mean lobster). I'm really enjoying it. He's experimenting with different things. It's such a relief to not have to cook much anymore.
     
  18. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Cooking...cooking...hmm...that involves stuff in the kitchen, right?

    I hate cooking. Avoid it at all costs. DH and I almost never cook, except for maybe an egg or something (German puff pancake) on weekends. I LITERALLY have to dust our stove.

    When I stop to think about it, I'm not sure what we eat. I buy breakfast, I think he has cereal. Lunch is...sandwich with deli turkey or something, almost always a grapefruit for me...don't know about him. Dinner...ah, salad? PB&J? Chips? Quesadilla--but only if DH makes it, I can't make them turn out right. Nothing, usually. We eat out too much-2 or 3 times a week (less than our high poing of about 5 times/week, pre job-loss).

    I love to bake, but now that I've started dancing I figure I've got better things to do than make sweet stuff that I'll just end up eating (double recipe of real pound cake, with strawberries...)

    The only time I cook is if we have company over for dinner, and then my meal is standardized. Glazed baby carrots, roasted asparagus with browned butter & balsamic sauce, risotto, and either herb-roasted chicken or herb-roasted pork loin. We almost never have people over, though.

    When we first got married, though, I was working full time and he wasn't. That was the best--I had a house husband, and damn good one at that. I'd come home and the apartment would be clean, laundry done, and dinner ready. Wow...I kind of miss that. Except there wouldn't have been any money for dance lessons.
     
  19. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    lol! You sound just like my twin sister. I don't think she'd know how to turn on her stove is it weren't for the fact that she drinks tea. :lol:
     
  20. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I know that my husband hasn't turned the stove on, except maybe to make tea, since last September.

    He's more of a microwave kind of guy...he's all about reheating leftovers and zapping frozen burritos.
     

Share This Page