Monday, January 30, 2012

Chronicle 4: The Cooking Challenge

Anyone who knows me will be quick to tell you that I can’t cook worth a lick (Literally…one lick is all it takes). My cooking repertoire includes meatloaf, spaghetti, aaaand a few pasta dishes that I call “fancy” because the recipe calls for fresh herbs. Canned veggies, boxed potatoes, and microwavable sides are staples in our household. It is for this reason that I have challenged myself to cook outside the box (I swear, these puns…they just come to me!).

                                I did not cook this beautiful meatloaf. 

This will be an ongoing challenge with updates and lots of pictures. I plan to commission my husband and perhaps a few daring friends or family members (now taking volunteers!). Perhaps it’s time to invest in some flame retardant gear, or at the very least, a fire extinguisher. I have a history of setting things on fire. Like popcorn. That I may or may not have tried to cook for 30 minutes instead of 3. Ahem. Moving on.

                                                  Burnt Popcorn. verbranntes-popcorn-2

My issue with cooking stems from these three things:

1. I always buy fresh food, only to have it spoil as I choose to make the more appealing grocery snags such as frozen pizza and bean burritos.
2. I am confused by meal planning. Ok, that’s a lie. I am lazy about meal planning.
3. Doing the dishes sucks. And when you make fresh food you use tons of dishes. And then hubby and I argue for a week about whose turn it is to do them. By then we have grown a whole new type of food.

Now that I have all of you hot mamas backing me up, I just know I can do it! I have been pinning all sorts of fascinating recipes on Pinterest, and it is about time I suck it up and try them out. Is anyone else frightened by cooking? It has to be one of those irrational fears like being scared of Triscuits or the number 13. Cantacookatallaphobia (That’s the Italian version).

                                Fear of cooking: Mageirocophobia. 

Here’s the challenge: I will cook one healthy and fresh meal a week. Most of the items must be locally grown, sold, and fresh. I already try to make the items I buy organic, so this is a given. I will post photos and recipes along with meal anecdotes. Because there are sure to be anecdotes.

Here’s my challenge to you, hot mamas. Check out my Pinterest board “What’s for dinner?” and find a recipe you would like me to try. Post it in the comments, and if it fits my challenge criteria, I will try it out! It would be so lovely if you tried it out, too! That way we can compare our experiences.

Looking forward to flexing my flabby cooking muscles!

The Hot Mama

Please check out my Hot Mama Pinterest boards at !


  1. Jen I love reading your blog! Being a new mommy myself it is comforting to know that other moms are sharing my struggles. Postpartum hair loss has had me near tears each time I shower for weeks now. As for your adventure into the kitchen I am sure that you and Gray are going to have a blast. Vinny has been cooking with me since he was old enough to sit in his bumbo seat in the kitchen. All of the sounds and movements keep him entertained. A love of food and cooking starts early and one day your daughter in law will be thanking you for raising a man that knows his way around a kitchen. I can't wait to read how things turn out! Good luck Mama!

  2. Sarah, thanks for reading & offering cooking encouragement. Baby G will most definitely be along for the ride, and will hopefully be participating in many more endeavors. Hope all is well with you, mama! Xoxo, Hot Mama

  3. The Crock Pot is your friends! It's quick and easy to throw a bunch of ingredients in and let it simmer all day, turning into chili or stew or bbq chicken or what have you...
    Homemade pizza is also surprisingly easy with the pizza dough yeast packets!

  4. I received a wonderful crockpot when I got married, and have only used it once! Sounds like a great way to ease into cooking. Any particular recipes I should try? xoxo

  5. Kimmie2/09/2012

    Here are a few recipes for my fav hot mama! They each have only 3 ingredients and you just toss them all in the crock pot! xoxo

    1. Thanks, Kimmie! I can't wait to try them both. WIll keep you "posted" about how they turn out :)


Leave a supportive comment for your fellow hot mamas & me! xo


Follow The Hot Mama by Email