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Self-proclaimed “crap housewife” Jess Rowe reveals she won’t be found in the kitchen

Goddess? Yes! Housewife? No…
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Jessica Rowe giggles when asked if she’s made any of the recipes in her new cookbook Everyday Not-So-Crap Family Meals.

“I mean, if it were up to me to write the recipes, there wouldn’t be a cookbook,” the 52-year-old tells Woman’s Day. “There’d be a spag bol, baked beans on toast, spaghetti on toast, and tacos.”

The self-professed “crap housewife” credits the “amazing” Australian Women’s Weekly team, who she’s collaborated with, for coming up with the recipes.

Australian’s Woman’s Weekly helped Jess create her new cookbook!

(Image: Peter Brew-Bevan)

“They’ve made them foolproof – but I worked with them to make sure it’s filled with everyday recipes,” she assures us.

“There are jars in there, there are packets, there’s a cake that you just buy from the shop and decorate it yourself. They’re full of shortcuts because that’s what I love and what I’d actually cook!”


The TV star makes note of the elaborate MasterChef-style cookbooks that are saturating the market, acknowledging that while they may be great for the coffee table, they’re “impossible” for the average home cook to recreate.

“I mean, who lives like that? Not me. We’re all busier than ever and I don’t want to spend any time in the kitchen, full stop!” she laughs, before adding that she can never rely on her husband, Nine News presenter Peter Overton, 56, to help.

“Oh my god, I wish he could cook! And Petey, he’s pretty perfect in every other way, but he’s not a cook either – so it always lands with me.”

Instead, Jess says she’s either been helped by her daughters Allegra, 15, and Giselle, 13, or her “beautiful bestie” Denise Drysdale, who schooled her on how to make the perfect roast.

“That recipe actually made it into the book and I’ve dedicated it to Neesy, she inspires me so much.”

“You are enough.”

(Image: Peter Brew-Bevan)


Jess’ journey to embracing her mediocre kitchen skills hasn’t happened overnight.

She admits she used to get her younger sister Harriet, who ironically was a trained chef, to cook meals for Peter and pretend it was her cooking.

“When I first became a mum, I put a lot of pressure on myself – a lot of women do. We think we have to have it together all the time and that’s not real life. And for me, going through postnatal depression and realising I wasn’t perfect and that I needed to ask for help – and there was no shame in that – it gave me permission to actually exhale a bit,” she says, adding that husband Peter has always been by her side, supporting her through her mental health battles.

Having a strong mother, Penelope, who has famously battled bipolar disorder, also helped.

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“What was wonderful is that once mum was diagnosed, she spoke to us about it,” she says. “It was never hidden because she never was.

“But I know for me, it was just so freeing to actually take the pressure off and to say, ‘You are enough.’ And I am a huge believer in sharing that. I would never, ever want anyone to feel as alone as I did during that time.”

And some might say she’s been successful in achieving that.Jess now dedicates her time to inspiring people through her multiple media channels, which include her blog and wildly successful podcast The Jess Rowe Big Talk Show, all of which encompass one clear message – “You do you.”

Life is too short to worry!

(Image: Peter Brew-Bevan)

“In no way am I all the way there yet, I’m still a work in progress, but I feel there’s no need to pretend now. Life’s too short,” she says.

“I’m just embracing my sense of fun and whether that’s through my podcast or being in the kitchen wearing a taco hat, I hope it gives other women permission to take the pressure off themselves.”

So, is she cooking her own meals for Peter now? “Umm, no,” she laughs, adding, “Petey is usually happy with a pasta, but for a romantic meal? Maybe we’ll get takeaway!”

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