11 of the Biggest Cooking Pet Peeves of All Time

by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on October 30, 2014

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I have a love-hate relationship with cooking.  I have come to enjoy it much of the time, but I experience these little annoyances that are a constant.  Here are my top 10 pet peeves:

1. Missing that “key” ingredient: I begin to make muffins and I go to get some eggs and, surprise, I don’t have any. Nothing bothers me more than starting to cook something I realize I can’t finish.  That is, unless my neighbor has it.

2. Just bought it, can’t find it: I’m searching the fridge high and low for an item I just bought at the store.  “It’s gotta be here, I just bought it!” My anger and frustration rise when I look on the counter realizing I already pulled it out.

3. That perfect recipe isn’t so great: I find a recipe that has my name written all over it.  This happened recently with a white bean soup.  I made a huge batch of it in the slow cooker and it just didn’t turn out.  I usually can eat anything but not this dish.  This comes with the territory but it still isn’t fun when it happens.

4. Overshooting spices: Come on little guy, just a little.  You can do it.

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5. Dropped food that runs away: I can’t stand when food drops and it’s nowhere to be found.  What happens to it?  Does it run off with the missing pairs of socks? I usually send my husband to look for it.  He absolutely loves when I do this (and finds other interesting stuff like missing toys).

6. Fresh produce goes bad the next day:  I picked out some produce at the Farmer’s Market and pull it out for a meal to find that it’s already gone bad.  What? Unlike grocery stores, I can’t take it back!

7. Make food and realize its past the “Use By” date: I recently made chocolate chip cookies to bring to a barbecue.  I chose a bag of white chocolate chips because it had been there a while.  The kids helped and were excited to try them.  I checked the empty white chocolate package and see it has a 2013 date on it.


My husband tells his friend who insisted we bring them and that it would have to be 10 years past that date for him not to eat them.  I’ll admit it, they were still good.

8. Come back from the store realizing you didn’t get something: I know I need a non-perishable item I frequently use like olive oil, oatmeal, spice or broth.  I end up running to the store for other things and each time I get home I realize I forgot this all important missing item.

9. Think you have all this time but dinner comes out late: I’ll be helping the kids with homework thinking I have all this time for the easy dinner I have planned.  But then hubby comes home, there’s wine involved and I’m stressing to get dinner together.  The only bright side is the kids eat a ton of raw carrots while waiting.

10. Complaining feeders: For the most part, my family is respectful of the food I serve even when it’s not their favorite.  But every once in awhile Big A complains.  And recently she did it on a day I had zero tolerance.  She started panicking because the pumpkin pancakes didn’t smell or look to her liking.  I completely lost it and later apologized.

I’m big on teaching kids appropriate table manners.  They don’t have to like everything I make, but no complaining please!

11. Dishes: Let’s face it, just doing dishes is an annoyance.  But what really gets to me is when I put dirty dishes in the dishwasher forgetting the ones in there are clean.

Thanks for letting me vent.  I feel better.  What are your biggest cooking pet-peeves?


As I’m writing this, I’m on a flight from Atlanta to San Diego.  I spent two nights and three days at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE). Just in case you don’t know, this is the annual meeting for dietitian and nutrition professionals.

The first night I connected with other nutrition bloggers at the Weber Shandwick reception for the nutrition blogger network.  Afterward, a group of us went out to eat.  It was so nice to connect with other like minded professionals, sharing and swapping ideas.


This was an exciting and nerve wracking conference because it was my first year as a speaker!  Jill Castle and I presented Solid Start: Best Practices for Introducing Complementary Food to Infants on Sunday morning.  We highlighted the latest evidence for optimal nutrition for infants including pros and cons of trends such as baby led weaning.  This is a picture before the presentation with our moderator Lynn Brann.


The session was a success and we got lots of positive feedback.  Then we headed to our booth at the product marketplace to showcase and sell our book Fearless Feeding and educational handouts for dietitians in private practice.  Here’s a picture of us with students at Columbia who use our book as their textbook!


The next day was my time to go to a couple of sessions and check out the exhibits.  I found some interesting products I plan to follow up on and potentially review.  Here are the ones I was the most excited about:

Up 4 Probiotics for Kids: I recently started giving my kids probiotics but the one I’ve been using is a powder.  Little D doesn’t like it unless I put it in his smoothie or cereal.  Big A will drink it with some juice but she makes it clear that it’s a major sacrifice.  So when I saw this vanilla chewable probiotic I got excited.  It also contains vitamin D so you get two with one.  But now that I visit the site, I don’t see any research on their product, which is important for me with a probiotic.  I’ll keep digging and let you know.


Jones All Natural Sausages: I stopped by this booth and was impressed with the taste and quality of their sausages.  The guy manning the booth said they don’t contain nitrates, natural or synthetic, and they are relatively low in sodium. But now that I go to the website I don’t see an ingredient line to double check (trust, but verify, right?).  I will check these out the next time I go to the store.


Bare snacks: These fruit chips look like an interesting alternative to traditional snacks, an ongoing theme in the exhibit hall.  They are crunchy, baked apples, either plain or flavored (cinnamon, Chile lime etc).  They just added coconut chips too.  I brought home some samples to try out on the kids. Find out more at their website.


Cook Simple Products: I stuck at this booth quite a while, checking out their products, also called “meal starters.”  Basically they contain the spice and ingredient mixes used for quick and healthy cooking.  For example, they tell you what ingredients to add to it, like a can of diced tomatoes, ground meat, eggs etc. and the exact directions for cooking (see this example).  They are not too high in sodium and contain wholesome ingredients.  Some of the meals I want to try are White Bean Santa Fe Chili, New Orleans Jambalaya and Alaskan Salmon Patty.  See all the Cook Simple Products here.


Nourish Snacks: How can I not try products created by a registered dietitian (Joy Bauer from the Today Show)?   These are snacks that are made from whole food ingredients.  They can also be personalized and mailed to your home.  Find out more on the site.


It went by quickly and before I knew it, I was being picked up at the airport by my three favorite people.  I was in such a hurry before I left, I forgot to buy more food to keep them eating balanced.  I’m not even going to ask what they ate.  Because what happens at home (when mommy is gone), stays there.


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