Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce and Why Women are Former Cooks?

Hi everyone and please click on the title of this post to read more. I thought I would discuss a pretty prevalent topic today which is women who were pretty consistent and creative cooks before having children but who know tend to get discouraged , frustrated , etc. and find themselves cooking a lot less. Here is a recent comment from a blog reader:

“Hi Alma,
Take Back The Kitchen has really helped remind me how much I like to cook. I always
used to cook. When my friends and I were in our 20s, I was the first
one to start having groovy little dinner parties and I had a whole
repertoire of interesting dishes like Moroccan couscous with real
harissa and so forth. But when my daughter was born 9 years ago, I
just somehow stopped experimenting and made the same things over and
over again. Bor-ing! But now I’m remembering that it isn’t so much
work just to slosh some eggs and milk together in a piecrust with a
few interesting ingredients and then you have a delicious crusty,
savory quiche. So, thank you!”

I have had clients who had forgotten that they were confident cooks because they hadn’t done it for so long! Why is this??

Well, some of the reasons seem to be the following, according to some of the women with whom I have spoken:

“My husband is a really good cook but cooks only on the weekends. When I attempt to make something, he watches over my shoulder, critiques me, and it makes me annoyed and frustrated. Instead of persevering, I get discouraged and say “forget it, you do it!”

“I spend a lot of time making dinner, my kids don’t want to eat it, would rather eat cereal, so why should I waste my time?”

“I am too busy to cook. Back in the day, I had free time and cooking was a fun and creative outlet. Now it feels like a chore”

” My Mother-in-law is a fabulous cook . My husband always compare my food to hers and it makes me not want to cook for him. I don’t want to compete.”

Or my personal favorite:

“My husband loves to eat in fancy NY restaurants. When I make a dish, he tells me it doesn’t taste like such-and-such restaurant’s dish. So, I tell him to not eat it and shove it up his _ _ _!”

Do any of these sound like your personal reasons? If so, let’s try and think about what our incentive to cook is and that may help us muster up the energy and desire to keep trudging along to keep our families healthier, provide more family bonding with family meals and to save money by eating at home. See video below to get a true feel for what is happening to the women of today (and see the mystery guest…)

Are there any other reasons that we don’t cook as much anymore?? Please post a comment and share. It is very helpful for all of us to hear each other’s stories and support one another. (Also, I’m REALLY curious!!!!!!)

Here is a recipe that is not a quiche, but is easy enough to help us get back on the cooking track in a painless way. You can use the leftover heavy cream from the previous post’s pumpkin cream sauce. Enjoy!

Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce:

9 chicken legs or thighs with bone in (or out if you like it that way)

2/3 cup heavy cream
2 TBS honey
2 TBS grain or Dijon mustard
pinch of salt

In a large sized bowl, whisk all marinade ingredients until combined. Place cleaned chicken in bowl and try to get coating all over chicken. You can marinate overnight or immediately place chicken and marinade in a large oven proof dish that can withstand a high heat (I like to marinate everything overnight but not necessary). Roast chicken at 475 degrees for about an hour and serve with roasted potatoes or rice. Yum!


7 Responses

  1. OMG! The girls were adorable but how did you get Brian to do it?! HILARIOUS! That could be a new look for him… Especially with the smurf hair-do. You should have a drag dinner party– I think the guys would especially love it!

  2. Three cheers for the very supportive husband! And I don’t know how you can afford those actresses – they are so good! Thanks for the creativity boost!

  3. My particular comment has to do with how fastidious a cleaner upper one needs to be in order to cook in the kitchen. It seems I never clean the pots and pans just right.

    Also, I agree with the comment about making the effort to cook something new and exotic for someone who enjoys eating out at sophisticated restaurants, but if it’s not up to snuff, poo poos the food and says things like, “you don’t ever have to make this for me again.”

  4. I’ve gotta say, the hubby looked quite fabulous in his long, blue tresses! On a more practical note, I am going to use your menu strategy, not so much to address picky eaters (the original purpose you suggest it for) as for this exact problem – my own cooking rut. I figure there are 10-14 cooking opportunities per week (breakfast is pretty much cereal), if I think and plan in advance. Your weekly menu idea will help me do that. Thanks!

  5. It’s so easy to take short cuts and throw a frozen pizza in the oven. Life gets busy and we forget how good cooking makes us (me!) feel. Going that extra mile for our families doesn’t really have to be a mile at all. I’m lucky to have a husband who loves center stage in the kitchen–but seeing how calm it makes him, makes me want my role back!

  6. I had to watch it twice, and I couldn’t stop laughing! My Kid #3 said, “Mom, you’re so weird!”

    Very, very funny.

    My reason for not cooking, or not experimenting with cooking, when my children were little was primarily the lack of positive response.

    They were finicky, and I didn’t want to give them eating disorders by fussing over their food. I know first-hand what can happen when the dinner table is a battlefield, so I just gave in and cooked what they would eat. Healthy but BORING!

    Additionally, their father was never home before 11pm, so he always ate in NYC. I grew tired. The struggle with them, coupled with the boredom I felt eating “kid food” every night, landed me solidly in a state of APATHY.

    I reasoned that I was just “choosing my battles;” but, being honest with myself now, I realize I just plain “caved.”

    Little by little, however, I tried a few twists with the kids. One of my tricks was to take them to an ethnic restaurant, show them a great time with a great atmosphere so they wanted to taste the food, and then I would replicate the dishes at home. (Sort of…) In this way, they developed some pretty sophisticated palates, and now they eat everything! Now they are appreciative!

    Yet, the BIGGEST PAYOFF of all is this: now that they are old enough to cook themselves, they experiment and come up with some wonderful dishes! They’re not afraid to try new foods, and they enjoy creating.

    The food is not always gourmet, but the EXPERIENCE is always delicious.

  7. Loved reading this as I have been thinking about this too. I agree that positive experiences is a huge factor in continuing to cook. I also think insecure cooks need lots of encouragement from those of us who love to cook. Share your easy recipe. Invite a friend over to try a new recipe. Invite another family over for dinner so they can feel the difference in a home-cooked, sit-down family meal. Spread the word that cooking is fun!

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