My kitchen DOES NOT rule: by a woman who hates cooking

sarahs meatballs

There is one downside to having children — they need to be fed and fed often for the next, let’s see, EIGHTEEN YEARS at least. *sob*

For many women, this isn’t a problem. However, I’m convinced I’m not a lone wolf in my wolf pack saying I *hate* cooking. Loathe it.


I don’t know. My mother is a good cook and raised us on solid dinners of beef stroganoff and apricot chicken and tuna mornay and steak and vegetables. Typical family meals of the 1980s. My sister is a gourmet-ingredient kitchen-loving whizz. My sister-in-law even more so. My mother-in-law is a walking CWA recipe book. My husband is a far superior cook to me (and by ‘far superior’ I mean he doesn’t burn chops and set off the smoke alarms). #proud

I’m hardly at a loss for mentors or inspiration but quite frankly, there are so many other things I’d rather be doing than thinking about food and preparing meals, and it’s dinners that are really the rub for me.

Breakfast – fine. Lunch – can do. Packet cake mixes – absolutely. Dinner – blurgh!

When I’m asked the dreaded question “what’s for dinner?” at any time before 4pm, this is what is likely to happen:


My kitchen does not rule.

Pete and Manu would run screaming from my table, I’m sure of it.

When presented with dinner (normally meat and vegies), my four-year-old daughter will slowly sink her head onto the table and whine as my 16-month-old daughter promptly throws her dish to the floor and points to a banana. Today, my husband requested I don’t attempt experimental recipes on our family when I suggested a “mince-y, tomato-y, shallot-y thing for dinner” — which is big coming from him because he’s a human insinkerator who will eat anything and everything. (And never puts on weight, which is super annoying. I’m pretty sure he’s got worms.)

Do I blame them? No, not really. After all, check out what I made last week: meatballs that looked like eyeballs. They’re not terrifying at all for two young girls, are they?

Yes, I know I should have done them in the oven.


(I tell you what, I was —————- this close, THIS CLOSE —————- to chucking them in the bin and cracking open the box of biscuits.)

This is where you come in, dear parents. When I cook, I want the easy way out and I make no apologies. I want short-cuts (mmm, bacon) and quick tips. I want to get in and out of the kitchen as quickly as possible.

Can you please help me out with your burn-proof, failsafe, remotely tasty recipes? 

PS. And if not for me…



About the Author
Ngaire Stirling
Owner and Founder of Brisbane Kids, Ngaire grew up in Brisbane and lives with her husband, 3 kids and too many animals. She has marketing and teaching qualifications focused on the early year of schooling. She loves long summer days, bright starry nights and working on Brisbane Kids.

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6 responses to “My kitchen DOES NOT rule: by a woman who hates cooking”

  1. Pat says:

    Sorry I’m with you, I HATE cooking also, always trying to find a new appliance to make things easier, but never succeeding

  2. Anonymous says:

    Homemade chicken nuggets? Chicken tenderloin, egg and dip it in breadcrumbs.. then put it the oven. Melted cheese on rice, chicken schnitzel, like what I said with the nuggets but use chicken breast instead, and put salsa and cheese on top.

    A few ideas. 🙂

    But please try not to worry. They aren’t going to be fussy eaters as adults! The more you worry about it, the more problems and stress it’ll cause in your home. Just try to relax, and have faith that things will be ok. Give your baby the banana, it’s not like it isn’t healthy. Every now and then don’t feel guilty about pulling out the good ol pie and chips. 🙂


  3. Anita says:

    I am following these comments, because I am exactly the same. The thought of having to prepare dinner for the kids fills me with dread.

  4. Loulou says:

    Masterfood Honey Mustard Chicken packet sauce thingy (not the jar YUK)!! Cut up chicken, cut up onion, cut up beans. Boil water for rice. Cook chicken and onion while rice is cooking. Add beans to chicken, then add the packet sauce with cream as instructed. Vala YUM. Kids love, visitors love. EASY. OR buy meat (sausages, steak, pre-made chicken kebabs, chops – that’s at least 4 days for the week) for hubby to cook on BBQ and you throw a salad together from a packet – dinner done!!! EASY

  5. Liz says:

    taco salad – grill up some chicken, then mix in a bowl of smashed up corn chips, cut lettuce, cheese, tomatos(diced can for super quick) some taco sauce or salsa and mix up. My kids and hubs love it. Throw pasta sauce, penne noodles and grilled burger in the oven topped with cheese

  6. Emily says:

    My kids prefer to have weetbix for dinner than risk something I’ve created! Sometimes that’s just what they have because it is healthy and at least I know they’ll eat the lot!

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