Is it possible that I need a cooking rest day? Is there such thing as kitchen burnout or cooking breakdown? No, that’s stupid, but I’m sure most of us can relate to needing a little mental break from endless chopping, frying, oven timing, and, the most fun part of all, the cleaning. I am always forced to clean as I go due to lack of space, which I prefer anyway I think, but cleaning can be really overwhelming, especially when making big meals.
Friday afternoon was spent making 3 desserts for our Saturday seder. This was just a warm up before making dinner that night so on Friday I cooked about 3 hours straight. I wound up with a double batch of chocolate dipped macaroons, gooey fudge brownie pie, and a double batch of chewy chocolate chip cookies. Admittedly the double batches were just overkill, and I got caught in that holiday food trap of “we won’t have enough!” which always leads to lots of leftover goodies.
On Saturday I ran 10 miles in the morning, did some gentle yoga, and slowly geared up for another cooking marathon. The thing with cooking is that once I start I don’t stop, to the point where I’m making things that are just unnecessary. Like the from-scratch chicken salad I decided to make for lunch for my kids. They loved it though and it seemed to make sense at the time, but I was making things harder for myself than they needed to be!
Later on my parents and sister came over and I worked on a gluten-free raisin farfel (matzoh) kugel. I’ve made this recipe for years but nowadays I sub in organic coconut sugar and gluten free matzoh and there’s no difference in taste, the coconut sugar might even make it better, if that’s possible?
The rest of what I cooked is pretty much the same stuff I cook any night of the week over here, just double the amount, which in my small kitchen feels like a big deal.
I have a recipe on here for garlicky chicken thighs, which is great, but since I’ve been avoiding garlic I make something really similar but without the garlic and I think it’s just as good.
I heat my large cast iron skillet to medium/med-hi heat and melt about 1/4 cup of butter, ghee or lard in the skillet (for butter be careful about not burning.) I season the bottom of the pan with sea salt and one side of the boneless skinless thighs with sea salt and pepper. One the skillet is hot I cook the chicken on each side for about 10 minutes to get a nice browned crispy exterior. Then I turn off the heat and sprinkle on some fresh herbs, sage and thyme are a favorite combo for us but any fresh herbs will be great.
I also made crispy roasted japanese sweet potatoes and red potatoes, another combo I make really often because Drew loves the sweet potato fries and my girls love the roasted red potatoes. Luckily I found a way to cook them at the same time and they both come out great.
I preheat the oven to 425 degrees and cut the potatoes into desired shapes (I peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into fry-shape.) I toss everything in melted coconut oil to completely coat (two separate bowls), and season everything with sea salt. Then I also toss the red potatoes with fresh chives.
On two huge baking sheets lined with parchment paper (a must!) I spread out the potatoes so they’re in a single layer with room to breathe (they need space to get crispy) and bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, turning as many as I can at the 25 minute point. Really simple ingredients and a must-try! My sister was really curious about the sweet potato fries since she sees them on the blog all the time, and it was love at first taste for her 🙂
Because I’ve been feeling a little FODMAP deprived lately I decided to go to hell with myself and have roasted brussels sprouts and broccoli and it was way worth it. I roasted them in olive oil and sea salt in the same 425 oven for about 15 minutes and they were perfect 🙂
So actually I’m not complaining about the cooking burnout, a day of mostly leftovers should get me revved up again for the week. I started off my Sunday with just that and it was as good as the day before, although I’m hoping my stomach doesn’t get made about all these veggies. They were cooked really well and that usually helps.
I heated leftover chicken thighs with broccoli and brussels and then threw a couple of eggs on top (plus those chives, love them!) I also let me kids have leftover chocolate chip cookies for breakfast with fruit.
Drew of course rebelled and demanded scrambled eggs. Kids often operate in mysterious ways so I was not at all surprised.
And now I’m gearing up to do an Easter egg hunt and take Emily for her 1.5 mile run today, all fun things! And then planning a few activities for the week since all 3 kids are home for the break, so I’ll need to get a bit creative to keep everyone away from constant TV and iPad.
Did you cook a lot this weekend? Best thing you made?
Are your kids off from school? How do you fill the time?
Do you feel burnt out if you don’t get a break from cooking?
Reader Reviews & Comments
The Cookie ChRUNicles says
I definitely get burned out from cooking! This weekend was no exception – I was exhausted Saturday after running 13 miles, taking my son to baseball right after and then coming home to cook for hours. It was almost better not to sit down because once I did, I couldn’t move lol.
Busy Saturday! The kids activities thrown in the mix make everything more exhausting!
Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine says
Luckily I didn’t have to do any cooking this weekend! We went out to dinner on Saturday and just made pizza last night. I didn’t even do food prep yesterday, which is the first time in months!
I do love having a lot of leftovers from meals like that-definitely a plus! Everything looks great. I would imagine being exhausted from all that cooking!
A cooking break is a good thing if you can swing it, the leftovers make it possible for maybe a day which is nice 🙂
I like the taste of coconut sugar better than brown sugar or white sugar so, yes, it is possible!
Surprisingly really good!
Tina Muir says
WOW! You really did do a lot of cooking, I am not surprised you are tired! Easter egg hunts…can I come over for it? You have to wait for me though! Best thing I made this weekend? Mini egg cookies! YUM!
Mini egg cookies sound so good! I went overboard on the candy with my kids though, as I did with the cooking. Luckily Adam happily eats half of their candy and it’ll be gone soon 🙂
Skinny Fitalicious says
That is a lot of cooking! I do the same craziness. Sometimes I’m making a ton of food then I realize it’s just me. I get a let overzealous! Looking forward to cooking break while in Germany.
Germany will be a nice break from everything for you, very exciting!
First off, a tip of the hat for the cooking! I definitely can get burnt out from cooking too much, but usually it is because I am feeling uninspired. Or maybe I am uninspired because I am feeling burnt out? And making too much? Hey, that’s what freezers are for! At least for desserts…
I tend to feel uninspired when I’m starting to get burnt out, not unlike with running! And I did freeze some of my extra desserts, that’s always a nice surprise since inevitably I’ll forget they’re in there 🙂
What I see is a lot of hard work and love put into a family holiday so everyone could enjoy together. For me the best part was always watching everyone sitting around the table eating, talking and enjoying the fruits of my hard labor. That’s when you know it was all worth it. Impressive, delicious looking food and looks like everyone had a great time. You made it all come together and wonderful memories are created this way. My family is grown and with their significant others we went out for a wonderful holiday dinner. It was all the authentic stuff and I kept strictly to what I love and works for me. Best part was leaving the mess and walking away. I earned it after a lot of years of doing what you did. But oh it is sooooooo very rewarding.
I can’t wait until my kids can ACTUALLY clean up the mess! Sounds like a great family weekend 🙂 It was definitely all worth it. I love having these holiday memories 🙂
Wow! I’m tired from just reading that…but it all sounds amazing! I didn’t cook much but the best thing I made was honey-rosemary salmon and turmeric roasted cauliflower.
Honey rosemary salmon sounds awesome, I’ve be really into salmon lately. Yum!
Amanda @ .running with spoons. says
I definitely get hit with a pretty big dose of burnout if I’m in the kitchen for too long… especially if I’m experimenting with a recipe and it’s not coming out the way I want it to. And I’m totally with you on needing to clean as I go… Too much mess and clutter stress me out and I can’t focus properly.
Experimenting with recipes is tough work! Especially if it’s not coming out right, I get really frustrated and need to step back. And if I don’t clean as I go I just get worked up even more!
Gretchen | Gretchruns says
Woah, you cooked a ton! I would feel burnt out too! I’ve always loved cooking and even thought that I would be a chef when I grew up (still have that dream!) so I’ve never been tired of cooking. I could see how it would happen though. I made some great cookies for Easter dinner yesterday (I’m always the dessert girl). They were lemon cookies with a raspberry glaze. They turned out really well! Hope you had a great weekend 🙂
Being the dessert girl is a good thing 🙂 Those cookies sound awesome! Cooking without pressure is pretty much always fun but when I know I have to feed a lot of people, just the sheer quantity makes it tiring.
I can’t stand cooking. It’s just not my thing. After school on weekdays it feels like I’m standing in the kitchen for hours prepping, cooking, cleaning up, and making lunches and then bedtime snacks. AHHH!
We are having the same weekday nights, that’s for sure! I don’t leave the kitchen counter from 5pm-8 it seems, doing exactly what you’re saying!
your weekend cooking looks lovely! you never seem uninspired to me and always have so many great ideas. plus you know what you like and that’s half the battle. i’m so happy, i baked all weekend!!! basically i resolved to bake my emotions away because moving/packing is traumatizing lol. and it worked! i made ‘vegan’ brownies two ways, and a batch of ‘vegan’ chia-oatmeal walnut bars. i say ‘vegan’ because i didn’t use dairy because i wanted to see if i could achieve a moist result with chia eggs. it worked! i did use a lot of oil though… but all the goods were good and i’m happy. overall this was a very nice easter weekend – packing, cooking/baking, and even great family time. i love how my mom puts out the Christmas cocktail napkins for our Easter dinner. and her cocktail napkins say, “tis the season for vodka!”…. good ole mom 😀
Thank you! I have always known what I like and that’s always helped me in the cooking dept. My cooking is very selfish!
Glad you had a great weekend of baking! Chia eggs sound so interesting, when you put recipes up I’ll be trying some! And it sounds like you’re mom knows exactly what she’s doing to get in the holiday spirit 🙂
Maddie @ Dixie Runs says
I think the cleaning it what leads to the cooking burnout… cleaning muffin pans/cookie sheets/frying pans or anything that requires soaking just drives me crazy!!
Yes! That’s a huge part of it for sure, and my sink is only so big!
soooooooooooooo burnt out from cooking !!! i sorta dont really like to cook that much but due to celiac cook almost all my own food. i just get so tired of the time suck of planning, shopping, cooking, and cleaning. it just never ends. i also fall into making to much for holidays and overkilling things. the best things i made…hmmmm. lemon meringue cheesecake was super awesome. i ate a slab at my moms, brought some home, and picked on it while playing games on my phone actively saying my belly hurts and still shoveling in more ! seriously what is wrong with me ????? and the ends of it got thrown in the trash and im sorta sitting here at work wishing i hadnt done that but at the same time happy i did ! cuz it would be GONE as soon as i walked through the door tonight. i also made beet salad that im finishing leftovers for lunch right now and it was really good too ! not cheesecake good but still good : )
With celiac it makes sense that you cook most of your food to stay healthy. Lemon meringue cheesecake sounds amazing! Is it your own recipe? I’d love to make that!
Strength and Sunshine says
I wish I had cooking burn-out….but my lack of cooking is just making me sadder by the day! Only a few more weeks!
You’ll have a great time cooking at home soon enough! I’m sure you have lots of great recipes planned 🙂
We always do too much too… I think it’s half the fun though! At least you don’t have to cook for a while after. 🙂
Love the brussels with the eggs! Gotta try that soon.
True, it really can be a lot of fun! And no one can complain about having delicious leftovers 🙂
That’s a lot of food, but it all looks delicious!!!
Thanks! It’s completely gone at this point, we all enjoyed it!
Amy Barker (@AmyBarkerPhoto) says
I wish I liked to cook. That’s hubby’s area of expertise. I like to eat lol
I ran 10 miles on Saturday also!
We homeschool, so our kids are always here 😉
A hubby who cooks is a great thing! And very cool that you homeschool 🙂
Happy Fit Mama (@happyfitmama) says
Ironically, I was not in the cooking mood at all this weekend. Instead we went out for Easter brunch and now I have zero leftovers. You can send some my way! 😉
Haha! For a nice brunch out it’s worth it!
Arman @ thebigmansworld says
Absolute MACHINE! I’m impressed with how much you got done AND fit in 10 miles (not even going to do the conversion there).
My friend is doing low fodmap and is obsessed with broccoli so she legit burns it to a crisp lol- She says she can get her fix that way.
The 10 miles was the least tiring thing about Saturday! I’ve found out that I can handle very well cooked broccoli and brussels for one meals, however going to town on my leftovers wasn’t the brightest idea. Live and learn 🙂
I hosted my first Easter for the family and let’s just say – the weekend of prepping and cooking exhausted me! All well worth it because it was fabulous if I do say so myself but ugh the mental prep of timing it all to make it to the table at the same time! I made a strawberry/banana baked challah french toast that everyone devoured!