I’m Not a Cooker ( and A Give-away!)

This is my friend LeAnn Rice. She’s an amazing woman, mom, servant leader, friend, and so much more. She’s one of the most beautiful people I know – inside and out! She loves like Jesus in every way. And she’s an incredible cooker!

Cookers are the kind of people who like to cook.

I’m not a cooker. But I grew up in a family of cookers. My mom is a cooker. My dad is a great cooker, and my brothers love to be in the kitchen cooking. My oldest brother is even a trained chef.

When I was growing up, there was no reason or room in the kitchen for me to cook. I did everyone a favor and stayed outside chasing boys and butterflies. Then one day I got married and discovered my husband’s love-language is food.

During our first week home from our honeymoon I tried to tap into my lineage of cookers and whip up a traditional meal I’d grown up eating. I was from New Orleans. Surely I could remember what went into red beans and rice: red beans, rice, sausage, and red wine, right?

I wish you could have been there to taste and smell my creation. However, you might have been carded if you had come for dinner that night. I’m pretty sure my newlywed husband got drunk just walking through the front door of our apartment. I think I poured the whole bottle of wine into my “I will just make it up as I go” red beans and rice.

Needless to say, when I asked JJ if he liked the special meal I cooked for him, he sheepishly told me I didn’t have to cook such fancy things and I wouldn’t need to try making this one again. Bless his Pennsylvania heart, he just wanted meatloaf and potatoes.

I’m still not much of a cooker, but I do love to cook for my peeps. Over the past 17 years, I’ve learned a few thing about cooking. First I learned that recipes are a good idea. And that trying to impress my family with fancy fixings is not. They just want their favorites. Simple is best, and homemade speaks volumes of love.

My friend LeAnn invited me to guest post on her website She Cooks. I didn’t have much to say so I simply shared my homemade chicken noodle soup recipe. It’s yummy, I promise. My son Joshua even wrote about it in a poem for his literature class last year. He said I could show it to you here:

Where I am From

I am from being outside.
I am from friends playing together.
I am from trampolines and wooden forts.
I am from imaginations combining together to create something marvelous.

I am from early Christmas mornings in front of the fire.
I am from Halloween in the back of a pickup.
I am from Easters at Grandmas.
I am from Uncle Bill’s lake on the 4th of July.

I am from red beans and rice while watching Moby Dick with a friend.
I am from eating huge piles of cheese fries from Outback with a former NFL player.
I am from crawfish and crab at Grandpa’s house after catching them.
I am from homemade chicken noodle soup that could be mistaken to be from heaven.

I am from mistakes and successes.
I am from fun times and sad times.
I am from wonderful memories.
I am from a wonderful life.

And it’s not even halfway done.

©2009, Joshua Swope.

Did you see how he mentioned his momma’s chicken noodle soup!? And used the word “heaven” in the same sentence. Now that’s progress for a non-cooker wanna be mom. Yes, he also mentioned red beans and rice. He grew up on Zataran’s, without the wine.

Well friend, I don’t know if you’re a cooker. I just know family and friends love when we cook for them. There’s just something about the smells and feelings that spread through the kitchen when memories are made around the table, across the counter or over the stove. It’s so special that sometimes our cookin’ even gets mentioned in poems written by boys about life and the things they love!

I can’t be much help in the cooking department, so that’s why I want you to meet my friend LeAnn. She’s got all kinds of encouragement and wonderful recipes that will make your mouth water! But before I send you off to her site, be sure to enter to win a copy of her fabulous e-book “Sharing Grace.”
It’s full of memory-making inspiration and wonderful recipes. Just click on the word “comments” below this post and tell me if you are a cooker or not, what your family likes to eat, or memories you’ve made over meals. And if you’ve ever gotten someone drunk or sick with your cookin’, ‘d love to hear all about that!

That’s all you’ve got to do to be entered to win, and be sure to include your email or I won’t be able to tell you. Also, last week’s winner of Jill Beran’s book “Letters from Leanne is Anonymous who posted at 11:54pm. Jill will be in touch to get your address.

Now tell me about the “cooker” in you and then be sure to hop over to LeAnn’s kitchen at SheCooks.org!

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Hey sweet Renee!

    I'm not a cooker. Cliff's mom made everything from scratch, so the first time I cooked for Cliff and made him a piping hot bowl of Dinty Moore canned beef stew, he was not thrilled!

    Slowly but surely, I've gotten better at cooking, but I don't really enjoy it that much. Probably because it requires cleaning, which is something else I'm not wild about! 😉

    My most famous recipes are my chicken and dumplin's and banana pudding. Maybe I'll post the recipe on my blog one of these days. I think they might give your soup a run for its money! Just sayin'!

    Much love to you, Lee

  2. Good morning, Renee! Thanks for sharing your recipe. Chicken Noodle Soup is one of my favorite things to make for my family; I'd like to give your recipe a try next time! Some of their other favorites are Chicken Divan and my Sausage, Peppers & Onions dish! So, I guess I am a bit of a cooker after all.

  3. I used to be a cooker…and, sometimes, I still am.
    I love recipes – but I don't usually follow them (except for LeAnn's, as much as I can, even though I have to convert from American to British).
    I love giving friends food – especially breakfast – but don't care too much about making it too fancy (though it's nice to try something new for them, too).
    I'm not much of a cooker now that I am a blogger. Yet I have started, slowly slowly slowly, to blog my favourite recipes. The ones that really work. And they're online, so I can't lose them… The first recipe I recorded, at my daughter's request (she is a much better cook than I am) is Gougere – delicious savoury choux pastry.

  4. I am not a cooker. So, so not a cooker. Me and box mixes are close friends. 🙂 That's why I subscribe to LeAnn's new blog…because I need help! The few things I can cook, my sweet mother-in-law taught me how to make.

    Bless my sweet husband's heart. He went from a seriously good cooker to…well…I'm learning. 🙂

    I was so excited to see a recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup in my inbox. I haven't read her post yet…so I was even more excited to see here it is YOUR recipe! 🙂 A little touch of heaven and a splash of sweet Renee in my kitchen. ;)(And I LOVE your son's poem! What a treasure!)

    Love to you, sweet friend,
    K

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good Morning, I am a cooker! Can't wait to try your version of the chicken soup. I LOVE LeAnne and her 'She Cooks' site!!! Two of my families favorites are home fried chicken and chicken and dumplings! I would love to have LeAnnne's e-book. pattydinkins@hotmail.com

  6. No way am I a cooker! My mom is an awesome cook (my kids rave about her "mamaw's famous noodles"), my brother even cooks better than I do. I guess it's a good thing my husband loves me. 🙂 Thanks for all of the encouraging words and funny stories!!

  7. I have tried many of LeAnn's recipes and every one has been yummy, yummy, yummy!!!!

    I didn't start out with much promise in the kitchen. In the early years of our marriage (I was a young bride) I attempted fried chicken. I'm from NC and my husband's from Georgia so having fried chicken seemed to be a must. I gave it a shot! Well, my feeble attempt failed. It looked all brown and crispy on the outside, but much to my dismay when we tried to cut open the chicken we discovered it wasn't exactly all cooked on the inside – YUCK!!!! I must say I decided then and there that cooking fried chicken wasn't for me. And I still suggest heading to my Grandma's or Kentucky Fried when the hankering hits.

    I'm not much for creating my own dishes, but this girl can follow a recipe. So, I suppose my success in the kitchen can be attributed to attempting all those tried and true recipes over the years. My family has some definite favorites and will ask for them by request. Pretty good coming from a girl that initially couldn't fry a piece of chicken – don't you think?

    I enjoyed your cooking story and thanks for sharing your chicken noodle soup recipe – after all it comes highly recommended!!

  8. I've never considered my self a "cooker" but my family loves my cooking… I may like it more than I realize but it had become such a "job" over the years while raising kids that the fun faded after a while…I hope the fun returns…can a non-cooker become a "cooker" or can a former "cooker" be reinvigorated in her "cooker"-ness? We'll see 🙂

    Thanks for your thoughts!

  9. I am a cooker! I love recipe books. I get together with my cousin and other family members to go over them. Its fun finding new ones.
    Recently I have gotten into baking cakes, candies and pies. The family seems to REALLY enjoy this phase that I am in, though my hips do not!

  10. I WOULD LOVE TO MAKE LEEBIRD'S CHICKEN DUMPLIN'S AND BANANA PUDDING . ROGER NY BELOVED HUSBAND OF 47 YEARS THIS MONTH LOVES BOTH AND I CAN'T MAKE THEM. LEEBIRD PLEASE SHARE.

    I AM A COOKER FROM A LONG LINE OF COOKERS. MOTHER'S FAMILY WERE GREAT COOKERS. GREAT CLEANERS . I JUST INHERITED THE GREAT COOKERS . I HATE CLEANING.

    MY WORST RECENT DISTARES WAS JUST A WEEK ARE SO AGO. OUR CHURCH HAD A CHILI COOK OFF. AT THE SAME TIME WE HAD A FRIEND THAT HE HAD JUST HAD KNEE SURGERY SO I DECIDED TO SPEND THE DAY MAKING CHILI. THIS WAS ON A SATURDAY. SO EVERYTHING WENT FINE. I USE FRESH PICKED TOMATOES FOR MY CHILI WHEN I HAVE THEM . I MADE A HUGE BATCH. I HAD A LOT LEFT OVER SUNDAY . SO I WAS GOING TO TAKE BACK WEDNESDAY NIGHT TO CHURCH FOR OUR FELLOWHIP SUPPER. THANK GOD I AM A TASTER AND SO IS ROGER (NOT A COOKER BUT A TASTER ) . THE CHILI HAD SOURED . NEVER IN MY LIFE HAVE I HAD CHILI SOUR. WHAT I THINK HAPPENED WAS ONE OF THE FRESH TOMATOES MUST HAVE A BAD SPOT I DIDN'T SEE BEFORE I BLENDED. THANK GOD THAT WAS FOUND OUT HERE AT HOME.

    ROGER HAS BEEN FIGHTING THE STOMACH VIRUS SO GOOD HOME MADE CHICKEN SOUP WOULD BE GOOD FOR THE WEEK-END.
    GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS. THANK YOU FOR SHARING THE POEM . I REMEMBER WHEN OUR SON WAS 15 NOW HIS SONS ARE 15 & 16 . HOW BLESSED WE ARE. KAY

  11. Oh My! I am so very much a cooker! Of course, I like to cook when I have time, but on a rushed, harried night, cooking is not my favorite thing at all! A favorite of my family is my Speghetti sauce recipe. It took me a while to perfect it, and it can be heardy with sausage and meatballs, mushrooms, etc., or just a simple sauce with hamburger meat. I can't wait to try your chicken noodle soup recipe. It looks delicious. Gotta find those noodle nests, though. Thanks for all you do, and for listening to God.

  12. I just came back by to say I LOVE YOU! You use an already cooked rotisserie chicken! I can do that! Your soup sounds so doable for this non-cooker! 🙂
    Hugs,
    K

  13. I like to cook, but hate to bake. I am one who cannot make jello, but can make a thanksgiving dinner that has everyone diving in until they can't move.

    My first meal for my then "soon-to-be-husband" was banquet chicken and frozen french fries. Thankfully for him, I have improved some. However, I admit, I still like banquet chicken!

    Gaylene

  14. I am a cooker…from a long line of cookers. I still haven't mastered biscuits…someday if I keep trying.

  15. I consider myself a non cooker who has learned to cook and make her family their favorite foods. I love to bake and feel I am very good at it but when it comes to making a meal I sometimes struggle.

    dvolkman@bright.net

  16. Heather Y. says:

    I am definitely a cooker. My husband loves that fact (and he loves my special lasagna recipe). But I haven't always been a cooker. I had to learn. The first time I cooked for my hubby I burned the chicken and made really bland instant potatoes! Poor man was used to his momma's amazing cooking and probably was scared out of his mind to know I'd be cooking for him the rest of his life. Now, however, he says he likes my cooking better than his mom's. But…shhh! Don't tell her that. 😉

    I love the She Cooks blog and I'm happy to find YOUR blog today. Thanks for the chicken soup recipe!

    Heather

  17. I immediately laughed when I read your story of the red beans and rice. I, too, tried to create a magical meal in my first months of marriage 25 years ago. It was a cold and rainy Saturday, and I began cooking the best smelling, biggest pot of homemade vegetable soup! As it simmered all day, my husband and I could not WAIT until supper time to dig into a big bowl of soup and a hot piece of cornbread. Doubting my abilities, I taste-tested "one more time" before serving, and decided that it needed a little "something else". SO…….I poured a heaping amount of lemon pepper into the soup. NOT A GOOD IDEA! It ruined the entire pot! As sweet as my husband is, there was just no way to fake a smile. The overpowering effects of the lemon pepper were the only tastes to behold. For 25 years, Jay has loved telling that story….usually as he is enjoying a bowl of my soup cooked the right way……WITHOUT lemon pepper! 🙂

  18. I LOVE to cook. When my kids were home, it was just like you said – simple, homemade, lots of love, where we all sit down together and talk over a meal.

    HOWEVER, now that the kids are grown and gone, I do a lot of the fancier stuff – just to see if I can do it. One of our favorite kind of evenings is to invite several couples over, assign them specific ingregients to bring, and when they get to my kitchen, hand them the part of the recipe that they are making for the evening meal. Everything totally from scratch – no store-bought anything.

    We all have a great time in the kitchen, chatting, preparing, laughing at two grown men trying to truss a chicken, and all sorts of other fun stuff.

    Then while dinner cooks, we just talk or play a game – and VOILA – dinner is ready. And the conversation and good times and great food continue into the evening.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I am a cooker, I like to throw things together as I go sometimes and then other times I do follow the recipe. For most of the day to day stuff I like to do quick meals but still cooked, ya know? Then there are special occasions when I make things that require some time and they are -oh so worth it!
    As far as anyone getting drunk or sick from my cooking I will have to say, 'NO' however I remember when I was about 14 for St. Patricks day I wanted to make something green for dinner. My mom was making roast chicken for them meal so I decided to make the gravy and of course found the bottle of green food coloring and added several drops. It looked so gross but tasted fine to me. One problem-no one, I mean not even my brothers- would eat my gravy, my mom didn't even eat it. Hhmmppff! Well I never! LOL
    thanks for the blog…have a blessed day.
    Barbara R. crabar5859@clearwire.net

  20. Hi Renee, Looks like I'll be bookmarking your site to return to time and again. I love to cook for my family, friends, and church family!

    I'm currently "famous" among my peeps for my apple cranberry pumpkin butter (which will go out as Christmas gifts this year along with peach butter from the abundance from our one small tree).

    My funniest kitchen oops was when our gas oven didn't light and the turkey dinner sat there in a chilly blob. We had company coming – yikes! We hauled the whole kit and kaboodle to my husband's former roommates home (we were newlyweds), and baked the entire thing over there, and invited those guys to come too since it would have been cruel to let them smell but not taste.
    Thank you for sharing your recipe.
    Katie

  21. Well Renee, I am not a cooker either. In fact, my family makes fun of me at get-togethers because I am not a cooker. Don't get me wrong, I can cook when the mood strikes me, but working full-time and running my kids to activities, volunteering and going to school have all left me pretty exhausted most of the time, so I opt for quick recipes I know my family loves. Every now and then I get adventuresome and have a great time. But I do wish I was more of "a cooker"

    ConnieH

  22. I like to bake and I can be a cooker, it's just not my favorite thing. I first started cooking in the kitchen at church camp when I was in high school. Two 15-year-old girls making breakfast for 40-70 staff and kids. Our first oatmeal was try was NOT a success. We had trouble with the measurements in that large quanity. (The oatmeal came from the governtment in 5 lb bags.) We could have used it for mortar. When we scooped it out into the serving bowls. it kept the shape of the scoop. I've heard if you check where the old camp dump used to be, you can still find remnants of it…40 years later! 🙂

  23. I'm a cooker, but I do have a funny story from the first few days of being married. (also 17 years ago!!) I was teaching school and my husband worked for a local grocery store so cooking was done quickly in the evenings. (My mom was a working mom, and I'm greatful she taught me how to cook up meals with what you have in a hurry!) So one day, I tried to make something like chicken divan with rice. I had some dill dressing in the fridge and thought it sounded good as part of the sauce. ICKY!!! It was the most awful and yet still remains the most memorable meal I ever served my dear husband. Needless to say, I learned to follow a recipe after that. And now, 17 years later, I enjoy experimenting with flavors and thankfully haven't had such a "memorable" meal since! My children are terrific eaters, for which I'm greatful, and always complement my cooking! (I have 3 boys…so I think that filling their tummies with food is just part of their design, but the complements are sure nice!)
    Thanks for a great giveaway! Always interested in learning new things in cooking! God bless!

  24. I am probably an average cooker. There are a few recipes I have been able to do fairly well, but my husband is a much better cook! I sometimes enjoy cooking, but it does kind of get old day after day. I have been trying to interest my children (15 and 11) in cooking, but haven’t had much luck yet.
    I loved your son’s poem! That kind of thing is very much a treasure to a mom’s heart!
    I have been following LeAnn’s She Cooks from the beginning; though I have only tried one recipe so far (it didn’t turn out very well, because I didn’t follow the recipe well enough). I will be trying this chicken noodle soup recipe soon!

  25. I am a cooker and a baker – it is something I love to do for my family when I have time. I enjoy trying new recipes (some are keepers and some go directly into the trash). I have many happy memories of special family ocassions and the traditional dishes that went along with them. I am trying to carry on the tradition as I raise my kids. Would love to win LeAnne's ebook too!

  26. valerie peterson says:

    I'm a cooker and I'd love a change to win the book! I follow She Cooks & it was fun to be re-directed to your blog today. Your chicken soup recipe looks yummy, it truly is a comfort food for the ones we love.

  27. Well, funny story, everyone thought I would starve my hubby to death when we first got married. No one thought I could cook. Boy did I surprise them all!!!
    Renee – want a DELICOUS recipe for meatloaf, we just recently tried one off of allrecipes.com – and it has been passed around all of our preschool moms' now make this one.

    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Brown-Sugar-Meatloaf/Detail.aspx

    I would love to try to win the ebook! Thanks for sharing and giving! Blessings!

  28. I was not a cooker, but learned to cook well enough to feed myself and my peeps. My first attempt was to make hot dogs, and even that was a stretch for me!! Now I really enjoy comfort food, and will be making your recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup often. Your son's poem is great, he's got his momma's talent for words!

  29. I love to cook and make up new receipes all the time. I see it as an actual stress reliever. My mom's side of the family are mostly all cooks.

    I grew up on a farm so most of what I cook includes some sort of meat and potatoes but as I get older I am moving towards a little bit of everything especially pasta dishes.

    When I make the journey back home there is one thing my family begs me for, even my 3 year old niece, and that is my enchiladas. My goal is someday to make a cookbook with all of my madeup receipes.

    Have a blessed day!!

  30. I'm also not a cooker. My mom, her mom and my sister are…but me, not so much. I wanna be though. I have so many memories, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas time, that involve family favorite meals. I also have found memories from growing up that included the steadiness of sitting down at the table with my family at 5:00 every single day for a meal shared together.

    I'm grown up now and my daughter has an eating disorder so food and family has taken on a different look and feel to it. However, I would still love to be able to fix lovely meals, no matter how simple, that bring health and joy to my family.

    I'm 47…is it too late for me?
    Danette

  31. Shawnia Holler says:

    I am a COOKER! I love to try new recipes. Some of our favorite's are fried rice, burritos-tacos( anything with tortillas). On cold days we LOVE homemade soups, zucchini soup is our FAVORITE! It is one my grandma made when I was young.When we are busy with sports we do alot of Crock-Pot recipes. We can't forget about one of our top favorites- Grilled food is AMAZING! My son loves that the best. When we grill we all go in the back-yard and play catch with the football and play horseshoes =) I really enjoy teaching my children how to cook. I let them pick somethng out of a cook book or one of their favorites and we will make it. Our favorite recipes would be the ones that came from My Grandmother. I would love to win your book because- My family and I love to make new meals. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I hope you enjoyed mine. May God bless you in all you do. With Love and Prayers. Shawnia.Phil.4:13

  32. I am a cooker and a cookbook lover! :0)

  33. Jessica D says:

    HI Renee!!
    I love reading your stories, such an inspiration!
    I am a cooker, but I'm even more a baker. I love cooking/baking and making food for friends and family. My lastest "hit" is I have been making homemade bread and everyone loves it. I've even had requests to make bread for others! Then my oven broke! Lol.. Makes it a bit more difficult! My husbands favorite meals are Chicken and rice with Artichoke Cream Sauce and Chicken Enchiladas, and I've recently discovered I make quite good Asain cusine. I wasn't expecting that, but gave it a go and it worked! Lol 🙂
    God Bless,
    Jessica

  34. Anonymous says:

    I am a sometimes cooker. I have a photo album from my first year of marriage. My husband loves to show anyone the photo of the burnt chocolate chip cookies I made for him in that first year. I now have foolproof tools to help me make wonderful cookies – particularly the cooking stone I now use. mheard11@frontier.com

  35. Jamie Harvey says:

    The chicken noodle soup sounds awesome! And the poem was wonderful. Thanks for sharing both.

    Yes, I would consider myself a cooker. I grew up in a family of cookers too, and we love to spend our time just cooking and discussing life. However, even though I'm not a poor cook I tried to make a pork chop dinner for my new husband within the first week of us being married and I burned them completely. He was nice but still honest that it wasn't my best meal and perhaps I would do better the next time I cooked pork chops. Well I didn't, and I've decided to leave the pork chop cooking to him. Which he happens to be a great cook and a great man that God has truly blessed me with.

    Thanks so much for this post. Food and meals can be so comforting. I know that cooking with my mama and eating dinner together are some of my favorite memories from my childhood.

  36. Well, I misunderstoo and left a comment for the giveaway on FB…didn't mind giving my email address..it is pretty public knoweldge for the most part. I am not a cooker…have kept a husband happy for 41 years…and he has only refused to eat anything I've fixed and that was when we first got married, I think. Anyway, my mother was a cooker and a great cook….this book sounds great…Mary Lou at dlowran1(at)comcast(dot)net

  37. I am a cooker and would love to win the ebook.
    mommashoe7@gmail.com

  38. I AM a cooker and I'm addicted to my crock pot 🙂 I love to hear everyone oooh and aaah as they come in the door from school or work to delicious smells that were easy to put together and healthy for us all. My favorite time of day is dinner time, with all of us around the table as a family. With 4 children and busy schedules sometimes it isn't every night, but I try to make it happen as often as possible! (now that football and soccer are finished it is much better!)

    One of my favorite things is to prepare a meal WITH my children (ages 6 to 11). It is easy time for chatting and also teaching a valuable life skill. Often the kids not interested in helping will sit at the high counter and hang out with us anyway. I love it!

    Blessings to you 🙂
    Thank you, Renee for your contributions to P31. Often the daily devos are my lifeline.

    Kim

  39. Anonymous says:

    I am not much of a cooker. I grew up with a professionlly trained mother who cooked and baked like the pro she was– but only the meat and potatoes kind of meals (we're from PA too), oh, but the deserts! Mom can no longer cook anything, and the most I do these days is also Dinty Moore and bisquits. Fall and Winter do bring out my desire to learn new recipes…. lots of pot lucks at church! Susan Tomlinson

  40. I wish I was a cooker. Years ago when I was not working outside our home I was a cooker. Or at least I say I was. But now my family is happy with pizza!!! I do cook but I wouldn't say Mon-Fri that I enjoy it. Now on days where we have no where to be I would like to think that I transfigure into a cooker. But then I was informed by my 15yr old that homemade country gravy is not technically homemade if it comes in a pack and you just add water!

  41. I am most definitely a cooker… I'll try any recipe once. I love this Chicken Noodle soup recipe. Gonna have to do that one. The best part of it for me is using the store bought rotisserie chicken. For mom's who work, that is heaven-sent!! 🙂

    My kids love my spaghetti, and the usual chili, casseroles, etc. But, their favorite thing for me to make above all is potato latkes. They love to hear the food processor going and see me get out the taters and onions. They know those fried potato cakes are coming!!

    I'm an avid recipe collector, so keep them coming!!

  42. RENEE!!! You said the sweetest things about me. I was all choked up and teary… then I started reading the comments. Now I'm rolling on the floor laughing. I just love a little emotional roller coaster when I'm already hormonal! Hah 🙂

    Love you and your awesome peeps! They are so much fun!

    Hugs,
    LeAnn

  43. Hello Renee. I love to cook. To me it's relaxing if you can imagine cooking for 6-10 kids on any given moment but it is because I can pour the love out of my heart right into their food. They think I'm doing it for them but I'm the one who gets the greatest blessings out of making great things for them to eat. And I do mean great. In fact I make the best macaroni and cheese with hotdogs this side of the Mississippi! 🙂

    kdchristian44@gmail.com

  44. I love your story about the red beans and rice! I am a cooker, but didn't start out that way. I've morphed into one over the past couple of years. We love spaghetti in our house! 🙂

  45. I like to think of myself as a cooker. I love recipes and could never do very much of a pinch of this or a whatever another one of those measurements would be. I like cups and teaspoons and such.

    In a high school French class we had a French potluck, and I brought peaches flambe with full intent to flambe it at school to the mouth-watering delight of my classmates. (That's how I pictured it anyways.)

    The school would not let me flambe my dessert even though I told them how much alcohol was in there due to fire codes or whatever. I was willing to light it up outside, but I was not able to convince them.

    My friends did enjoy the dessert even though it did have all that alcohol that would have burned off. It was high school, and alcohol was a good thing then.

    I should try that dessert again. I always wanted to see the flames shoot out and then to taste the real flavor and the crepes and the peaches.

  46. Anonymous says:

    I am not a cooker. But, I am a cooker wanna-be. I dream of being a good cook. But, with LeAnn and your good recipes, I can get crackin with no excuses. I would so love to give my husband and son some good surprises from our kitchen and show my love in such a warm way. Thanks for the good chicken soup recipe to get started, and I love LeAnn's website.

    Donna

  47. I am not a bad cook. Although my son told me last week that he likes restaurant food better than my food. I love to cook and I try really hard to make great things for my family. Meals are a big deal to us, not just a means to an end. It is a social relaxing time that I look forward to each day!

  48. I am stuck somewhere in the middle. I so badly crave to be a cooker! I toss things together and they come out okay but my family is bored with my plain ol' suppers. With money being tight for everyone we know and my husband having to work a few hours away, I decided to prepare all of his and our meals for a week all in one evening. This saves us both time and really helps stretch our budget. So once a week after work I spend 4-6 hours in the kitchen making enough food to last all of our family a week and pack up half of it for him to take in his ice chest. I love that even though I can't be there for him each morning, he still gets a warm home cooked meal or two every day. It is my way of smiling and saying I love and appreciate you even when you are not at home.

    As far as repeat request, they love my mashed potatoes, meatloaf, chicken fried stead, chicken salad, pasta salad, and lasagna.

  49. I am a cooker and there have been many times that we haven't liked what I cooked, but I don't think that I have made anyone sick – yet! lol

  50. Mrs Hancock says:

    I am a cooker. There is nothing more satisfying for me than creating memories and sharing love through food. Sometimes that love is through a creative spaghetti squash and sometimes with sweet baked goods. Sometimes it's slow-cooked in the crock pot and other times it's flash cooked int he microwave. Always with a secret ingredient. Always made with love.

  51. I'm a cooker and I love to please my family cooking a dish that they really enjoy.

    My mom and grandmother were more of the good ole southern wives in the kitchen. They made things from scratch with a little of this and just a bit more of that until it "felt right". I really was concerned that I might never become the wife who could fix such meals for her family.

    My husband really helped to get my own personal cooking adventures off to a "spicy" start when he purchased me a 36 bottle spice rack. I had no idea how to use all of those spices, and so began my recipe hunt and the hobby of collecting great cookbooks.

    Thus, some 28 years later I've perfected many of my families favorites including homemade spaghetti sauce and lasagna or homemade vegetable soup (using many now familiar spices in each dish).

    Through the years I've also developed of few of my own "scratch" dishes that I know just feel or look right in my hands. But, it still pleases me the most when I make a dish, (whether from a great recipe or a box) and I get that smile from the family that tells me I made one of their favorites.

    Thanks for your ministry! It is absolutely a blessing!!

    Bridget

  52. I love cooking. I HATE cleaning up after it!! LOL

    It is so much fun to take all the indvidual ingredeants that aren't much and put them together in such a way that they become something wonderful. Then to see everyone enjoy the meal you have made just makes it that much more satisfying!

    I recently found LeAnn's blog and LOVE it. I've got several of her recipies on the menu for the next couple weeks.

  53. I am most certainly NOT a cooker. I cook because I don't want my children to starve. When I met my husband of almost five years, my seven year old daughter and I (single mom) "survived" (if you can call it that) on Ramen Noodles & take out. Pitiful. After a few crash course lessons in cooking the essentials, I developed a small handful of low-maintenance, on the table in thirty minutes dishes which I love to share with my friends. I've always wanted to love to cook, but coming up with three meals a day, and having them not be the SAME three meals a day makes my head hurt. Too much prep time and cooking terms that I don't understand, also make my head hurt.

    I love reading your blog, and anxiously check for a new post to read, every day. 🙂

  54. Anonymous says:

    I consider myself a cooker. Don't cook as much as I use too, since the kids are out on there own. I like to think of spaghetti with homemade sauce that has cooked a couple of hours as my speciality.

    One time several years ago, my father was visiting when I fixed spaghetti. A fly was bothering all of us. When all of a sudden the fly landed in my husbands sauce and died. My dad moved his plate away and said he wasn't sure he wanted to eat his spaghetti now or not. We had a big laugh over it.

  55. I was a cooker when raising my daughters. I'm not as much a cooker now that they are married with families of their own and I am on my own.

  56. Anonymous says:

    My hubby cooked for the first few months of our marriage as my only specialty in the kitchen was hotdogs:) Even toasted cheese sandwiches were/are a challenge. They brown perfectly on one side .. and then I'll get distracted 🙁 Our two sons knew that when the smoke detector went off, lunch was ready !
    Love your blogs, Renee!

    Sharon
    pstelfer@tcc.on.ca

  57. I am a cooker, baker and tryer of new recipes. It has taken a long time to get here but I really enjoy it now. Thanks for a great post on a Friday!

  58. I am a wanna be cooker! I can feed my family. Thats about it. I follow She Cooks too and love, love, love LeAnn. Have made some of her recipes and they are fantastic. Would love to have her book! Thanks for the chance to win.
    Kim

  59. Hi Renee
    Thanks for sharing your red beans and rice story:)
    I love to cook and bake…..
    My family esp my husband enjoys my cooking.. (the kids at 6, 5 and 4 like some things and not others)
    But the faves here are: my lasagna, poppyseed chicken , my creamy cooker chicken (crockpot)…etc…. my hubby likes anything in the crockpot….
    But when it comes to baking.. I love to bake but mixes are my best friend and I add to them to make them semi homeade:)

    Would love try some of LeAnns recipes.. introduce us all to new things.

    Chrissy

  60. What perfect timing to read your blog for the first time! Definitely NOT a cooker!! While I was making dinner tonight (of which the main dish was Kraft macaroni & cheese) I made a mental note that I really need to work on this whole cooking thing! I'm excited to explore LeAnn's website and look forward to making your chicken noodle soup…won't my husband be surprised!!

  61. i am a cooker and like making from scratch meals for my family. just last week i was showing my 6 year old how to make biscuits from scratch ~ she did not want to make round ones and pulled out the heart and star shaped cookie cutters.

    i would love a new cook book for more inspiration!

  62. suzi.wollman says:

    When my kids were young, we had "open house" Thanksgiving, which usually meant we fed the college kids from church. One day I was trying to be efficient and popped five homemade pies in the oven. Well, I managed to set the entire oven on fire, but fortunately, I lived 1 block from a firestation. The firemen came a-runnin' and laughed until they cried. I was humiliated, but bravely took them an apple pie later that day. (I didn't tell them it was one of the "fire house" pies, because strangely enough, none of the pies were ruined!)

  63. I love to cook and my family all had their favorites, from meatloaf and mashed potatoes to lemon chicken pasta. The amount of cooking I do has diminished over the years as my kids have grown up and left home but they still as for their favorites when they're here, which is why I'm working on putting our family recipes together in books for them for Christmas. I've also found that I can minister to others in our church by making meals for those who are sick or taking care of loved ones. I'm blessed to be able to still share my love of cooking with others.
    texasmagz@yahoo.com

  64. I am a cooker and have 4 children and a husband who love to eat. The kids remember holidays and birthdays not by the gift but by the special dessert Mommy makes. For Easter we have the Pound cake in the cross mold(muscle cake as my 6 now 8 yr old called it), for Christmas we have Jesus' birthday cake a jewish apple cake for breakfast for Daddy's birthday we have Mommy's special carrot cake and the list goes on so I feel honored and blessed, they like my cookin' – most of the time! I am making a pot of chicken noodle soup this weekend so we will be thinking of you! blessings
    karen g.
    kareng24u@msn.com

  65. I am a cooker, or used to be before all the kids left the nest! My sister, my daughter and I even published a cookbook called "Two Sisters Plus One" with all the family favorite recipes. To the best of my knowledge, no one has gotten sick from any of the recipes!! Love the story Renee!

  66. Hi Renee,

    Although I enjoy cooking I'm not the "chef" in my house. I have learned I need to use a recipe. My husband says I am great at the quick weeknight meal (aka open a box, through in a few extra ingredients and wha-la you've got dinner). My husband in the real cook in our house. He makes amazing dinners without recipes. I love eating the dinners he cooks.

    I love to try new recipes. I have tried several of LeAnn's from her blog. They have all been wonderful. I can't to see what she has in her ebook. And I can't wait to try your Chicken Noodle Soup.

    Have a blessed weekend,
    Mary

  67. Not a cooker—but you should've guessed that since we are such "kindred spirits." Like you I've learned to adapt for my family. They LOVE my cooking and I have no idea why. It's simple recipes I discover everywhere and ingredients I've heard of and know where to find in the grocery store. 😉
    Thanks for giving a shout out for my giveaway too!

  68. I am a cooker and baker because it was a necessity when I grew up. I grew up on a farm, so I grew up thinking that each mother had the role of cooking.

    Meatballs, hamburgers (that the hubby grills:)), homemade pizza and spaghetti seem to be the favorite meals. I especially enjoy a ceasar salad that is always a hit at get-togethers. The dressing is so simple. I even impressed an aunt with it and told her it was not in ANY cookbook she has!!
    I like to cook from scratch, but have been using some mixes more…

  69. I love to cook. I wish I had more time to cook more meals from scratch. My kids love spaghetti, chili, lasagne and their family favorite is a recipe I got from mom, meatballs and rice. That's what each family member wants for their birthday dinner. Thank you for the chance to win this prize.
    God bless!

    koinonia572001@yahoo.com

  70. Renee,

    I'm not a cooker either, but I am always trying to become more comfortable in the kitchen.

    Thankfully, I have lots of "cooker" friends who have helped me through the years!! Planning seems to be my shortfall………..not having what I need when I need it.

    I am having a give-away this week, too, for a new book from Moody Publishers!! Putting God Back in the Holidays! I wanted to let everyone know!

    http://www.tammynischan.blogspot.com

    Love you, Renee. Have a great week!

  71. Anonymous says:

    Your story sounds a lot like mines. There was no room for me in my grandmothers kitchen. However, as I got older I had the opportunity to call her and ask her questions. When she would say "a pinch of this" and a "pinch of that" I would be like well "grannie what exactly to you mean by a pinch". She would say "Oh girl" I learned though that jumping right in there and praying and going for it really helps. With a lot of prayer I have cooked some really good dishes. My meatloaf, if I say so myself is very good!! And moist! I get a lot of request for it. Haven't put any one in the hospital yet!!!

  72. Your chicken noodle soup recipe is going on my menu plan for next week. It looks absolutely yummy!

    My parents were pastors & missionaries, so I grew up cooking a lot of things from scratch. I didn't realize at the time that this was a way that my mom was saving money.

    I like to cook & try new recipes all the time. But since we have started homeschooling, my favorite recipes are ones that I can put in the crock pot & have it do all of the work!

  73. I am definitely a "cooker!" Nothing makes me happier than feeding my family and friends. I can sit and read cookbooks like novels! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I can't wait to make it for my family!

  74. Okay I'm making chicken noodle soup tonight. My husband informed me it's not a meal so I'm grilling him a chicken breast also 🙂 I hope to convert him. I'll let you know. I'm serving it with cornbread and lots of raw veggies. Super excited!!

  75. I am a cooker and my roots are also in Louisiana, which explains why I spice everything up.
    And I just took a coconut pie out of the oven.

  76. The poem your boy wrote is so good!

  77. Hello Renee!

    I enjoy cooking and I love to bake. My husband however, is definitely the chef of the house. In fact, he even has a culinary arts degree (although he has chosen to only use it at home! –NOT that I'm complaining!) When we first moved in together, he worked until late in the evening (9 or 10) so I got to cook more and more, and at this point I was still set out to impress him! We had been in a long distance relationship for 10 months (him in Colorado and me in Kansas) so when I moved to CO and in with him, I decided I was going to make up for lost time! I was still looking for a job and such, he was working til late, so I had nothing more to really do than impress him with food! My family recipes were a bit different than his, but he was always such a trooper to try them, most of the time to find out that I loved them! He would take off Valentines Day every year to cook the day away for a 5 course meal for me that evening – yes I'm a lucky lady! Always things that I would be "wow"ed by, which always seemed to be the case. Once he stopped working the late hours, we shared more of the cooking responsibilities for and the more he cooked the more intimidated I was. I had always felt like I was supposed to be the "cook" of the home, wasn't that how it is in ALL homes? I was soon a bit worried that I was less of a "woman of the house" because my husband was a better cook than I. After a few months of me feeling this way, I learned that there wasn't anything 'wrong' with me like I thought, and I should take advantage of his talents because it was fine that he was a chef, because I loved to bake which he has never felt like was his strong point. So, we both share our strong points in the kitchen and help each other here and there, it is now a beautiful thing!

    I can't think of a time where I made anyone sick – thank goodness, but I can think of a time I was so embarrassed! When my husband graduated with his bachelors degree, we had all of our families over, and a few friends. He LOVES my pie that has peaches and raspberries, with homemade graham cracker crust and topping. He had been talking about it all day with everyone and he was so thrilled I was making it. Well, with the distraction of so many people in my home I some how messed up the pie crust so it didn't exactly hold, and to top it off, I left it in the oven just a little too long. It ended up being served looking like it was a cobbler, which wasn't the end of the world, but my pie had so much expectations -at least in my head it did- so I was so disappointed it wasn't up to the standards!

    I love trying new recipes all of kinds and would love the eBook!

  78. I like to cook, I just dont have alot of time with working full-time. As a guy friend told me once, anybody can cook if you can read a receipe. So I like to collect receipes and try them on my husband when I have time, but I really enjoy it at the holidays when we have alot of family. I enjoy making new things.

  79. i used to be a cooker. loved it! loved working with food and sharing a meal friends and family could enjoy! for a few years i was really enjoying it. now things are pretty tight, don't have my own place and it's just not the same. finding if i eat at all it's a good day. would love to get back to sharing good food with good people again!

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