Are you a Cook or a Baker?

dsc02418Besides being a knitter or crocheter, are you a Cook or a Baker? The definition for Cook is “one who cooks” (that’s so helpful.).  The definition for the process is: “1. To prepare, as food, by boiling, roasting, baking, broiling, etc.; to make suitable for eating, by the agency of fire or heat.” And Baker? “One who bakes.” And: “1. To prepare, as food, by cooking in a dry heat, either in an oven or under coals, or on heated stone or metal; as, to bake bread, meat, apples. Note: Baking is the term usually applied to that method of cooking which exhausts the moisture in food more than roasting or broiling; but the distinction of meaning between roasting and baking is not always observed.”  (Obviously Loopy’s dietary needs are simple – no cooking or baking necessary.)

I always thought of cooking as the daily meal kinds of things, and baking as the breads and dessert kinds of things. At any rate, I keep finding good recipes that I am ready to try, so I must be gearing up to get back into more regular meal preparations. Many of you know that we are experiencing the Empty Nest Syndrome for the first time this year, and one of the things that has suffered is the baking/cooking. (Hereafter known as B/C). It’s just hard to get excited about preparing meals for just the two of us, especially when we both get home around 6 pm. (That’s another reason why I am a fan of crockpots.) I have two blogs that I love, for recipes. The first is done by a gal who committed to crockpotting her family meals for an entire year last year. There are some great options on her site, and I’m trying her Buffalo Wing Soup next. I’ll let you know how it goes. The other blog I love for recipes is done by my friend Leigh Anne in Portland. She not only has great recipes, but she also has a gift for “staging” (unlike me) and every photo she takes to go with the recipe, makes you want to whip it right up. I’m thinking I need to try her Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie soon.  And while both sites have what I would consider “cooking” and “baking” recipes, I tend to go to the crockpot blog when I want meals and to Leigh Anne’s blog when I want desserts and sweets. 🙂  Check them out – I know you’ll find some great new recipes.

Here at Loopy Central, we are buried in 400 Sock Club boxes today (the great majority of them going out the door in a few minutes – thanks to all of you who paid so promptly!).  We decided that things were running “amok” – such a crazy day.  But then I looked “amok” up on dictionary.com (because apparently it’s a day for definitions) and this is what it said: “Noun: A psychic disturbance characterized by depression followed by a manic urge to murder.” Or you can spell it the other way: amuck and you get “in a frenzy to do violence or kill.”  So we’re no longer talking about things running amok/amuck.  Things are just fine here.  Busy, crazy, but fine. Really.

Sheri whothinksB/Cwouldn’tbesobadifitdidn’tinvolvegroceryshoppingfirst

65 comments

  1. I’m much more of a baker than a cook! For whatever reason, things I bake tend to turn out well — when I cook (meats in particular), I always over-cook things! 🙁

    Thanks for all the hard work you & the elves are doing to get the club packages out. I got my shipment notification this morning and I CANNOT WAIT! 🙂 Can’t see what surprises are in store for us this year!

  2. I looked up amok in the shorter OED, because I love that word but definitely am not referring to homicidal rages when I use it; (really, who knew?)..lo and behold, the last definition is “rush wildly and heedlessly”, so now you can put this fabulous word back into your vocabulary! I mean, not that you want to be running amok often even if it is the “good” definition…

  3. I’m looking forward to my sock club kit and may have to bake something to celebrate its arrival! Although, I do have a stash of Girl Scout cookies that I could open instead!

  4. I’m a cook, my husband is the baker and it works out well! I can totally relate to the “Empty Nest Syndrome” stage. I like cooking for a crowd, cooking for two is hard!
    Can’t wait for my sock kit! It’s TAKS week at school and I need a pleasant diversion!

    Thank you, Sheri and Loopy Elves!

  5. I am a baker and my husband is a cook, although both of us can do both, those are our preferences. That is also why we both need to lose weight!

  6. Totally with you on the grocery shopping I hate going, it seems to take forever then 2 seconds for my sons to eat it. It’s my least favorite chore.

  7. Yes. (Baker and cook.) I think my preference is for baking — when it’s done, it’s done. Plus I love to knead bread dough.

  8. Both a cooker and a baker. There are only two of us too, so I want quick during the week and consider more labor-intensive options for the weekend. We also insist on only four servings so that lunch is always provided the next day, but there aren’t any more left overs than that.

    Wiktionary is my favorite online dictionary as there’s no advertising to slog through (though I guess that sounds like advertising, phooey ). Who knew “amok” was so violent?

  9. Glad to hear no amoking is happening at Loopy Central. I have to admit that I prefer to bake (I also think desserts for baking). I do enjoy cooking when I can think of something good to prepare. I always seem to get stuck in ruts when it comes to cooking. I absolutely hate grocery shopping.

  10. I love to both cook and bake.

    My Mom and my Grandmother both taught me well. Back in the day when my Grandmother could see to cook and bake, holiday tables were filled with enough food for 75 people or more and there were only about 20 of us there. She made sure to make everyones favorite desserts and dishes. Not only did you have a tray of brownies, but there would be ones with walnuts, ones with M&M’s and ones with peanut butter cups – we got to calling them boy and girl brownies (you figure that one out!) – many different cakes and pies and all the main dishes that you could think of.

    So now that it’s my turn to cook at some events, I call my grandmother and ask how I do things and she gladly and willingly helps out, but I’ll never stop missing her cooking.

  11. I don’t do much B/Cing at my house because I’m to busy K/Ping. I don’t mind the grocery shopping or the cooking–cleaning up and washing dishes is another thing. Since I’m single, I either eat out or eat Stouffer’s with a salad or rarely break out the Foreman grill. I can’t wait to see my Sock Club kit.

  12. A friend – a crocheter to my knitter – and I had the cook/bake discussion last year about this time. I strongly prefer to bake, while my hubby strongly prefers to cook, so… I get out of his way unless he wants lasanga or brownies!

  13. I totally agree about the grocery shopping. If I could walk into a kitchen magically full of every ingredient ever necessary for every recipe (and it was free!), I would enjoy the whole process so much more! I enjoy baking (and eating) but not cooking so much. Especially cooking that involves meat. I’m not vegetarian, but close, and uncooked meat just turns me off.
    Thank goodness you’re not running amok!

  14. I’ve always been a cook – I can cook anything and even come up w/ my own dishes. Aside from chocolate chip cookies, a family recipe for lemon tarts, and my specialty – cheesecakes, I’ve never really been a baker. In fact, cheesecake always feels more like cooking than baking to me, because I can modify the ingredients by adding flavors or making it gluten-free (within reason) and still have a pretty consistent result. Baking usually has to be more precise to get the right chemical reactions. But I’ve recently started branching out into cakes (filling & decorating seems fun to me), and I make a killer yeast flatbread that I’m playing around with. But I really have to be in the mood to bake, whereas most of the time I can just throw a meal together.

  15. I tend to think of myself as more of a baker, my husband is the cook. I agree with Elisa that baking tends to be more precise and I think that’s why I feel more comfortable with it (my latent OCD coming out).

  16. My Husband and I are living with my folks temporarily (building our own house) so my mom and I share the cooking/ baking chores however she is much more a “cook” and I am more the “baker”. My dad and husband both say we are spoiling them, they can both cook/bake as well but with us 2 they dont have to…as much.
    As for grocery shopping……..I dont like shopping and that includes for groceries 🙂

  17. We’ve never had children so there has always only been the two of us. We both love to cook and bake and each have our “specialties”. My husband’s family is a “cake” family and my family is a “pie” family, so he is really better at cake baking. Also, he does all the outdoor cooking.

    We both work, too, so our routine usually calls for more involved cooking on the weekends, i.e. grilling, smoking, making enchiladas or a large pot of spaghetti sauce or pinto beans. Then we divide up what was made and package it either in plastic bowls or in vacuum-sealed bags. We are on our second Food Saver vacuum sealer. It is wonderful. I can drop a thawed bag of smoked brisket into a saucepan of boiling water and ten minutes later we have hot brisket for sandwiches on a work night. We package it so there is enough for a meal and one lunch the next day. Even crockpot leftovers can be saved.

    We also prepare foods for my inlaws this way to supplement their “meals for the elderly” during the week.

  18. I’m definitely a baker first, cook second. Before I took up knitting, baking a pan of brownies or cookies, or elaborating decorating a cake was my therapy. (knitting is definitely less fattening!)

    For special meals, I plan backwards from dessert. But I do like to plan big family meals (or special intimate ones) when I have the time. The day-to-day, post-work, what’s for supper stuff is kind of tedious unless I’ve taken the time to plan something earlier. Because of where I live (the hinterlands), I can’t be very spontaneous and have to plan ahead for ingredients. So that can take some of the fun out of it.

    Crockpots are great, but they do require planning too!

    Can’t wait to get my sock club box!

  19. I’m so excited for my sock kit to arrive! Thank you so much for always being so incredibly quick in getting our orders out! You guys are absolutely amazing!

    I used to be a baker. As a teenager, it wasn’t unusual for me to come home from school and start baking. It was something I really enjoyed and my family definitely enjoyed the fruits of my labor. Who doesn’t love freshly baked bread?

    Now, with six kids, I do much more cooking than baking. There just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day for baking anymore. By the time “What am I going to make for dinner?” enters my mind, I have about thirty minutes before the kids start talking revolution!

    I LOVE the crock pot blog. I’ve gotten MANY recipes from that site! You absolutely MUST try the crock pot yogurt she has on her site. So much more affordable and better tasting than store bought yogurt!

  20. I’ve historically been MUCH more a baker, but the last couple years I really don’t bake so much. I used to probably bake something once or twice a week – now it’s maybe that often in a month. I live alone so I understand the issues with large recipes (cooking or baking!) and a small household. I do find that I have many willing guinea pigs at work if I get the urge to make a cake on the weekend – I can have it for dessert Sunday, save another slice or two, and then bring the rest to work and the eager horders will devour it.

    On the cooking front, I still prefer “regular” size recipes, but then I will eat it for 2 or 3 meals (3 tops) and then freeze the rest so that I have a nice selection of “tv dinners” in the freezers – defrost, heat, add salad. Actually, I guess I do a lot of meals now that are just salad and an entree. I also *cook* to recipes more often instead of just buying stuff at the store. I do keep a decent supply of baking supplies but one sign I bake less frequently is that the eggs often expire (I don’t use eggs for anything other than baking).

  21. I LOVED to do both back when I loved at home with my parents and had access to a fully stocked pantry, funded by someone other than me… It’s harder now, with my husband and me, between varying schedules and rent/school loans/cars/gas/blahblahblah, to always feel like putting the money and effort into cooking good meals or baking yummy treats.

  22. I’m a cook, not a baker. For me the distinction is that I do the kind of cooking where I throw in some ingredients, smell it for a while and then say “I think it needs mushrooms and cumin.” This kind of cooking rarely involves measuring.

    Baking, I think, is chemistry. You can’t mess with it much without it going bad. I don’t care for baking. Oddly, my scattered 18-year-old ADD daughter loves to bake and is very good at it. Of course, the recipe gives her the needed structure.

    And my sock club package just shipped, yay! But I’m having so much fun with my new Kindle that I’m not quite as frantic for it to get here as I normally would be.

  23. I’m a both. I make a lot of sweets, but I also am the primary cook. I understand what you mean about it being hard to cook for just two people (we don’t have kids yet). Even with a crockpot I feel uncomfortable making dinner with it, because most recipes I’ve read are for 4-8 hours and I am getting home closer to 12 hours after I leave.

    I tend to read Smitten Kitchen when I want a cooking fix. I am slowly making my way through her archive, and I recently made a quick saute of zucchini and almonds and tossed it with some pasta. It was a quick dinner that took about 20 minutes from heating oil to eating. Not bad for a weeknight or a quick lunch!

  24. I’m not a big fan of cooking overall though when someone decides the menu I’m much more likely. I LOVE to bake though and will use any excuse to make something new and chocolate if there is an event to take it. I don’t dare have many sweets in the house or I’ll eat a whole cake or batch of cookies in a day.

    Glad I got my order in and out this week before the sock club amok began!

  25. I’m a much better baker than cook — there is a family heritage of good pie makers — but I find that it really challenging to cook for just me. Feeding two people seems easy compared to the challenge of making balanced meals for one not very big eater without having so many left-overs that I get sick of the food and won’t finish it.

    I’m about to bake some banana bread now — funny thing is that I’m now a better cook than my parents although I still need to learn how to get the perfect pie crust every time from my mom.

  26. Thanks for the two blogs–terrific. I am a crock pot fan too because I am a baker but not a very happy cook. I can spend the day making and decorating cookies, but I really hate to think about the meat, vegtable, salad thing day after day. Luckily my husband and I both love soup and I have several receipes that freeze well. I make them in industrial quantities, then freeze. It is really nice to thaw and heat in the microwave–about a 10 minute meal and of course, some of the frozen items at Trader Joes are a godsend.

  27. Neither a cook nor a baker me!

    I used to like to cook, but having 2 kids who are fussy eaters and won’t eat leftovers, have limited our menu and DH has taken over most of the cooking chores. I am a big fan of crockpots, soups & stews on the weekends when we usually have a few more people around to feed and I want to spend quality time with family. In the summer it’s grilled meat, veggies, salad and fresh fruit. Quick and easy!

    Looking forward to getting my first ever sock club package – 400 WOW!

  28. I am truly a baker. I even grind my own grain for bread. I love to bake shaped breads and rolls. I do love to cook too, but not as much as I love to bake.

  29. I’m totally in love with my crock pot! I got an awesome new (to me) book for Christmas called “Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker” that’s definitely worth a look. I’m completely floored by everything you can make in a crockpot. My favorite is roasted garlic!

    I used to be more of a Baker because I loved the chemistry behind it (still do) and because I hated prep work for regular cooking. I’ve stepped up my knife/prep skills so cooking isn’t quite so tedious now and I have lots of fun creating and modifying recipes. As Bonnie said above, not so much freedom with baking. Some (you can add nuts or fruit or whatever), but not as much.

    Am I the only odd ball that enjoys grocery shopping? I’m entirely happy wandering around the store, getting inspiration from everything that’s there.

  30. I am both a cook and a baker but a baker first. Tragically I am not among one of the 400 sock club members- I am however looking forward to the special losers club- when is that again?

  31. I love baking and cooking! I love all that goes into both, except the cleaning up part! (Guess thats why God blessed me with 4 kids; they get to help clean up!) And I am SO excited for my 1st TLE sock club package!

  32. I can bake and I can cook, but I rarely do either. I live alone and rarely feel like cooking/baking. I could be knitting during that time. When I do cook, I cook a lot and then freeze the leftovers.

    I am very simple tastes, so I’m fine with eating nearly the same thing every day (PB&J, grilled cheese, baked chicken, etc.).

  33. Since I cook for one, I rarely bake and find I take a rather minimalist approach to cooking – what are the fewest steps needed to get to the ready-to-eat stage?

    The shopping chore, I don’t mind so much. Washing up afterwards…now there’s a chore I don’t like at all.

    I’m really glad to see Loopy includes lots of different food colors in his diet. That’s got to how he stays so fit for all his summer adventures!

  34. I’m a baker first but don’t do it often nowadays. When I do I usually make bread rather than treats, though I love the treats. I’m a reasonable cook which I do regularly as I need to eat and don’t like prepackaged or fast food. So I’m a baker who doesn’t bake and don’t really consider myself a cook but I cook most days 🙂 I think the distinction is I like baking much more and love baked goods. I’m too much of a carb girl for my own good.

    One website to add to your list when you want to bake is http://www.kingarthurflour.com. Plus their blog: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog

    Great recipes.

  35. I love both cooking and baking, but I’m a better baker! Both my mom and grandmother were fantastic bakers, and my dad is a great cook- they were great resources as I was growing up and learning. I love the process of picking a recipe, selecting ingredients, adding personal touches…it’s soothing 🙂

    It works out really well, though, because my fiance is a TERRIBLE cook, so I *allow* him to clean up after I make dinner!

  36. I truly dislike to cook or bake. I do simple, easy meals. And I’m convinced I was born to have servants. So far it hasn’t worked out that way.

    However, my grown son is visiting and he must have inherited that baking/cooking gene I’m missing. He’s whipped up some fantastic dishes and has treated me to some fabulous brunches the last two Sundays. Mom is getting spoiled : )

  37. I really hate grocery shopping. I think I am a cook, however I tend to offer to make desserts for functions. My mom was an excellent baker and cook, but I think my younger brother got that gene. And I love my crockpot too.

  38. Both. But it’s just DH and me, no kids, and our kitchen is so tiny (How tiny is it? It’s so small the mice are hunchbacks! RIMSHOT!) so I have pretty much given up bread-baking until we can move into a place with a real kitchen.

    But will I want to put down the Smooshy and actually bake when we do – that’s the question.

    I told DH about the 400 sock boxes – he was very impressed. (And he has my wishlist bookmarked!)

  39. I’m in complete agreement with your final statement. I loathe the grocery store, and the time it sucks out of my schedule. I also hate deciding what to make. If someone would just tell me what they want me to make, it would be that much easier. Of course, asking them at 6:05pm doesn’t help much at times either! 🙂

  40. I’m neither a cook nor a baker. I’m more of a water boiler 🙂 I do cook on occasion, and sometimes enjoy it, but if I was left to feed a family, they would starve.

    DH, on the other hand is a fairly good cook, and an excellent baker. We haven’t bought a loaf of bread in over a year. He makes all our sandwich bread and lovely lovely artisan breads. And pizza crusts, mmmm yummy yummy pizzas. I will never order takeout pizza again.

  41. I enjoy cooking and love it when my family is happy with my efforts. My stepkids always compliment me, especially when it’s waffle morning. I spend much more time cooking than baking but I love both. I love a good pot of chili as much as I love warm gooey chocolate chip cookies.

  42. I was a baker until our metabolism slowed (we got older) and we started putting on the pounds. Then I became a cook! So now I’m always looking for new recipes to try. And I agree, it is hard to cook for two and not have so many leftover you have to eat them for a week! Then you never want to fix it again because it makes so much. (I now save those recipes for when we have company)

  43. I like to cook and bake – although am not always in the mood to do either when they are necessary – like in the evening when husband and son are hungry and I would rather keep knitting instead of getting dinner ready! And I, too, would rather not have to grocery shop (fortunately husband does most of that!). But the part I hate most is the dishes afterward! If I had someone to clean up after me, I would probably cook and bake more!

    No major cooking tonight, as the Junior High Band has a concert – we usually do hotdogs or something similarly easy on those nights.

  44. Sounds to me like Loopy has the right idea. No cooking required….. 🙂 Cooking for 1 is worse than 2 so I rarely do it at all.

  45. Well, my first choice would be to knit, of course! But since we do have to cook and bake to feed the family I would say I like both equally! Right now I cook for four – 2 adults and 2 little ones. Both of my little ones are boys however, so I’m sure I’ll have to start cooking for 6 or more soon – especially in the teenage years – oy!!!!! Can you say major crockpot cooking 🙂 – one pot for them, and one for us.

    I do wish that I didn’t have to do the grocery shopping first. I’ve heard of stores that you can order online and then go to a drive through and pick it up. I wish we’d get that where I live! Wouldn’t that be the greatest?!! Right now I go to a store that won’t let you take the carts outside, so if you have a lot they load it on a conveyor belt and you drive up and they put the groceries in your car – I LOVE IT! Now, if only they’d follow me home and load the groceries into my house and onto the shelves – oh well, can’t have it all 🙂

  46. I like Valerie’s idea of an automatically re-stocked kitchen. I don’t really mind the store, but I “get inspired” and buy stuff I don’t need or ever use! I would love to be a crockpot user, but I am gone to work too many hours-everything is just mush when I get home.

    I think I would call myself a baker. Cooking bogs me down if there are too many ingredients before it hits the pan. I think I can do the baking thing because of the chemistry. I think it’s just way cool!

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