Chatterbox #83 – We’re cooking up a storm

Everybody eats! That’s probably why we have so many expressions related to cooking and food. This episode is about filling our bellies with square meals and going back for seconds. Harp and Maura love to eat, but before you can eat, someone has to prepare the food! In this episode, the hosts share their own styles of cooking and talk about some of their best recipes. Listening to this one will make you hungry!


Expressions included in the learning materialscooking

  • To cook up a storm
  • To be filling
  • A square meal
  • The four food groups
  • A happy camper
  • To have seconds
  • Leftovers
  • Home ec
  • To break something up
  • A cooking machine
  • You’re making me blush
  • To make something from scratch
  • To grab a bite

Sample transcript

Harp: Yes. And today we’re bringing you a Chatterbox episode, and that’s basically where we chat. We talk about current events, some cultural topics. Sometimes we interview people.

Maura: Right. So today we’re going to talk about preparing food. First we’re gonna talk about some expressions that can be used to talk about preparing food and also eating food. Because, come on, that’s the best part, isn’t it?

Harp: Exactly. That’s why you cook; so you can eat. And then we’re gonna talk about learning to cook and how people learn to cook and how we learned to cook. Maura: Good. And then we’re also going to talk about our own cooking habits. And talk about some of our favourite things to cook.

Harp: That’s right. So let’s get started with some expressions related to cooking.

Maura: So, sometimes when I’m really busy during the week, Harp, I don’t have much time to prepare a really good meal. But other times, especially when it starts getting cold outside, like in the fall or winter, I can spend a couple hours cooking up a storm.

Harp: Ha! Cooking up a storm. This is definitely something I do, as well. So this expression, to cook up a storm, means when you cook a large quantity of food at one time.

Maura: And I love doing this, because then you maybe have food for the rest of the week or you can take this food to be your lunch, so it’s kinda fun to buy a whole bunch of ingredients, turn on some music, and cook up a storm.

Harp: Yes, exactly. I often do this if there’s a party or if I have people coming over for dinner. I cook up a storm and then there’s a lot of food for us to enjoy.

Maura: Mmhmm. Now, as I was saying, sometimes during the week I’m really busy and I don’t have time to cook a really good meal and sometimes I don’t probably eat as well as I should.

Harp: That’s definitely true for me. Sometimes I’m just kind of lazy or sometimes I just don’t have enough time to cook a good square meal.

Maura: Right. A square meal. Sounds really funny, like the meal should be in the shape of a square, but that’s not what it means.

Harp: No. A good square meal is a good, healthy, filling meal.

Maura: Right. A kind of meal, like you said, that is healthy and makes you feel really full and satisfied after you eat it.

Harp: Exactly. I think of some home cooking, either some chilli maybe or a nice chicken dish, something filling and healthy.

Maura: And I think a square meal would also include food from the four food groups. So you maybe would have a little bit of meat and then you would have some fruit and vegetable, and dairy.


Culips English learning podcast is for people who want to have fun while learning natural, everyday English, focusing on idioms, expressions, and slang. Every week we have a new, free audio episode available on our site and through our website, iTunes and Stitcher. In all our episodes, we always speak English as it’s actually used in day-to-day life, and we give you plenty of explanations of new or interesting terms along the way. Learn to speak English like a native speaker by listening to natural conversation.

Podcast/Learning Materials: Culips English Podcast, Image: Double Translate