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I’m not eating that.

Written By: Jenn - Mar• 05•11

I’m not eating that.

Unless you’ve achieved Iron Chef status in your home’s kitchen (or live alone), you hear that more often than you’d like. (Here’s where you say “Yeah Jenn, you’re so right …and totally not alone in this which would mean you’re clearly a lousy cook!”)

I’m not a bad cook, but I don’t enjoy it either. I’m also no fabulous Baba like ShaMoo, who dives in and makes elaborate Ukrainian feasts that melt in your mouth (and still gets complaints from sons Frank&Frank, but never foodie-daughter Little Bit). I’m just a regular Irish-blooded mom who is at her wit’s end with regards to feeding her flock.

Here’s why.

I can’t face the idea of making the same dishes week after week. I just can’t! My family would probably be thrilled if I did though, at least for a while. They like what they like. The hubby is the biggest fuss-budget I’ve ever met. It took me the first ten years of our marriage to even get him to eat onions, for pete’s sake! Another few years to get him to even try pork tenderloin too, which he now loves. Pork chops? Forget it. Steak? Not on his watch. Roast beef? Only if it’s both a. cooked to a done-ness that makes it almost unrecognizable, and b. smothered in gravy. Are you feeling my pain yet?

Perish the thought of even trying something new. The look on his face is simply not worth it.

Case in point; I bought halibut steaks a few weeks back, and put a gorgeous crust of bleu cheese butter (exactly how it sounds – mix ’em together) and crushed hazel nuts on it, and baked it to perfection. Sorry, I just drooled even thinking about it. Basmati rice and (I think) asparagus served along side. Oh wow, was it good. Well, *I* thought it was good.

The Teen heard we were having fish, and promptly made herself ramen noodles and disappeared into her cave room.

Wee One whined the entire meal, and had to be force hand fed, after the coating had been carefully scraped off and removed from her plate.

Hubby said nothing, kept his head down, and carefully scraped it away himself and ate in silence.

Now, Hubby loves fish (except salmon, which he’s not fond of). However, it has to be cooked in the blandest possible way or in a way that he invents, or he won’t eat it. There’s only one way that I’ve created in all this time that he has agreed that he likes and will happily eat, and that is poached in a shallow baking dish with salsa and cheddar cheese (or another equally boring, standard fare cheese) over top. I have cholesterol problems. I need to eat more fish! But breaded and fried? No thanks. Once in a while is fine, but geez. Let’s have some variety and excitement here, ok?

So you’re probably asking what we do eat, that isn’t complained about. There is very little that we eat that someone doesn’t have something to say about. I have trouble with pasta – it makes me feel terrible after eating it. Tired, bloated, blech. I suspect I have a sensitivity to gluten, or maybe even wheat overall. It’s not severe, but it’s noticeable. I try to avoid eating it if I have anything at all to do that night, although I will eat it to keep the peace and the three of them happy on nights when I’m a homebody.

We eat a lot of chicken. Hubby loves a chicken breast, bone-in, skin-on. Coated (naturally) and baked. The Teen won’t eat it unless it’s had the work taken out of it (meaning boneless, skinless). Wee One is ok with either, since I generally cut a nice chunk from a breast and she doesn’t have to do much except cut it into bites. I’m fine with either.

I love a good steak, but don’t buy them because Hubby won’t eat it (apparently he objects to the texture) and the kids don’t care either way so why bother with the expensive cuts of meat? However, nothing beats a gorgeous filet mignon cooked to perfection, and I look forward to ordering one when we’re out for a nice dinner. My father often buys a large beef tenderloin and cuts his own… yum. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to be invited over for one! OH happy DAY!

We eat a lot of pork tenderloin, too. I had a recipe posted a while back that is still one of our favourite ways to prepare it, although baked and BBQ-ed is equally great. Incidentally, J-B makes the best pork tenderloin I’ve ever had, bar-none. Don’t tell Hubby I said that though… he thinks his is the best.

When Hubby works late, the girls and I can be a bit more creative. He won’t eat shrimp, so sometimes we’ll have a shrimp dinner with some lovely rice and mixed veggies. Or a shrimp stir fry with asian veggies, which we absolutely love. Water chestnuts are Wee One’s favourite vegetable, even before broccoli, which she loves. Oh, and if we’re feeling extremely decadent? We’ll have an artery-clogging dinner of escargot in garlic butter over mushroom caps… divine.

I would love to be more adventurous, but you see my problem. There’s only so many times I can eat pork tenderloin, broccoli, and potatoes. Or chicken breast, potatoes, and broccoli. Broccoli is really good for you, but come ON. Potatoes are not in my best interest, either.

Friends, I need your help. I need your recipes. Give me your tried and true family favourite recipes please, and save me!!


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  1. Becky says:

    Wow, good luck! I, too, have a picky husband. I also don’t enjoy cooking….

    We typically eat some kind of chicken, roast, pasta (have you tried rinsing it?), occasional steaks….all the time.

    And now, I have to watch sodium, which is in everything!

    Maybe you could check out Mary’s blog at She’s AMAZING!!!!

    • Jenn says:

      Hi Becky! Yeah, I always rinse it, but it doesn’t help. I just know when not to eat it, and work accordingly. I really LIKE pasta, but it doesn’t appear to like me :)

  2. quilly says:

    This is so odd to me. Both Amoeba and I were raised to eat what was put in front of us — and say thank you — or go hungry. Even on the nights I cook something we don’t particularly care for, we eat it. Always Amoeba says thank you, even on those occasions when he adds, “-but it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if we never saw this again.”

    • Jenn says:

      Hubby will eat what I put in front of him, but he’s not great at hiding his feelings. It’s the kids who mutter and complain out loud. If hubby looks only at his plate and works doggedly at eating it, I know it’s not something I’ll be serving again. That, and I have to stop myself from reaching across the table and slapping him. That dejected look makes me crazy!

  3. Broot says:

    Are we clones? I have the same trouble with my hubby. I find lots of wonderful recipes that I cannot make without major substitutions, which of course, means it’s not the same recipe anymore!!

    With your chicken, try flattening it, putting some pizza sauce, shredded mozza and some thin ham on it, then rolling it up and baking it. My crew will eat that.

    I’ve had some success with recipes at and I recommend having a look. Only trouble is you might need a bit of translation for some of it. (Let me know!)

    (Hey, will they try potato gnocchi?)

    • Jenn says:

      We do seem to parallel each other a lot, don’t we! Too funny :) Why must you be so far away? Come back to Canada! We’d benefit from being neighbors, you and I.

      That’s very close to Chicken Kiev, I think – only with the kiev you slice into the chicken and stuff it instead. Which I absolutely love… but I forgot to mention hubby won’t eat HAM either. We stuff with broccoli and cheese for him. I’ll check out that website – thanks!

  4. Betty says:
    That´s my cooking site for meals and baking stuff.
    I have a picky husband too, but at least he eats all kinds of meat. He doesn´t like fish though. :)
    This website has very down to earth, simple recipes that your husband (and the family) will enjoy.
    What I make a lot are casseroles. YOu didn´t mention those, so I´m not sure if you like them, but they are good for most people. And you can prepare them in advance.

    • Jenn says:

      I’ll check it out, Betty – thanks! :) You’ve posted some fabulous recipes on your blog, but I’m ashamed to say I haven’t tried any of them yet. I will… I will!

  5. Doodle Cakes says:

    I guess I won’t be inviting you anytime soon to eat Pork Tail stew…LOL Which is SOOO yummy it’s not even funny!

    I guess I can count myself lucky that my kids will eat fish, squid, sushi, and pretty much anything I put in front of them. But I still get complaints when I just throw pasta in the boiling pot with the “Ah.. JUST that!?” Sorry kids..Mom can’t be an all around cook 24/7..Here..have a cupcake! ;)

    • Jenn says:

      Pork tail stew? Really?? Um… I’d try it, but sounds truly… uh… anyway. Sushi is my favourite food of all, but Hubby’s not partial to it. Kids like it though. I wouldn’t even chance calamari here – save that for myself at restaurants!

  6. Melissa B. says:

    First off, the new look is fab! Secondly, I love to cook, but do feel I’m often in a rut. The thing I like is when someone near and dear requests something. I can handle that! :)

  7. jazzbumpa says:

    Cook what you like for you, and let the rest of them have toast with peanut butter.