“So do you cook every night?” my sister in law asked. She sees everything I cook as I share a photo album of everything I cook on IPhoto endearingly titled, “Chef Annie.”
“Just about,” I replied, as this is true. I cook “just about” every night. Sometimes we’ll go out to eat or stick a pizza in the oven, but I enjoy cooking and it’s much more cost-effective than eating out regularly.
I’ve always been passionate about food, whether it’s cooking, eating, or selling it. However, when I got home from the hospital with my daughter, my anxiety was so debilitating I could hardly find the energy to eat, let alone COOK anything. I was depressed, but saddened even further at the thought that I might never be able to cook again. I wasn’t functioning properly at that time, but I slowly came back to myself after I established a daily routine. I always had a job, but the stay-at-home mom position was not something I knew how to do. I felt like an alien in my own home. Every day I started by making the bed, having breakfast and feeding my daughter, going for a walk. I filled my day with small, easy to tackle tasks and activities to keep my mind and body busy. It took at least 12 weeks after my daughter came home before I began functioning again and feeling better. One day I focused my thoughts on cooking dinner. I made goulash just because we had the ingredients lying around and I saw a recipe on Facebook. It didn’t seem like too much work and I thought it’d be the right way to jump back into cooking. The rest is history – and I’m cooking now more than ever.
“How do you find TIME to cook??” I’ve been asked before on a comment on one of my food pictures on Facebook by another busy mom. Everyone’s life is different, but my schedule allows me the opportunity to carve out some time to put dinner together. For instance, I know that around 3-4 in the afternoon my husband will come home in a couple hours and we’ll all be ready to eat. Then it’s bath time for my daughter and she’s off to bed! Therefore, I usually get an early start. What people don’t see in pictures is that my daughter is usually at my heels in the kitchen, playing with toys, in her high chair having a snack, or at her picnic table by the kitchen island where she enjoys snacking, coloring, or emptying cabinets. Cooking is also something that calms my anxiety, lifts my spirits, and overall makes me happy. I think I just make cooking a priority as I enjoy these feelings. I understand that not everyone gets the same feelings I do about this!
Even though I enjoy cooking, I don’t necessarily enjoy “reinventing the wheel,” or cooking up an epic feast every evening. I love shortcuts, my slow-cooker, and restaurants. I believe that most of what I cook requires minimal effort. Browse the “Food and Cooking” section of my blog to read about my shortcuts, collect recipes, or just check out what I’m cooking. And should you decide to get in the kitchen and make something, I hope it tastes good!