For many people, cooking is a relaxing and rewarding activity. It can also save you a lot of money compared to going to a restaurant. However, cooking every day can become a bit monotonous over time, and it’s easy to fall into a rut. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make cooking something to look forward to again. Here are 10 ideas.
1) Themed days.
We’re all familiar with Taco Tuesday, but have you considered making it part of your weekly cooking time? Themed cooking nights give your week some structure and make it easier to plan ahead. Plus, it’s fun for you and your family to have something to look forward to. You can also spice up your themes; maybe a Turkey Taco Tuesday would be a big hit? Go ahead and be creative. Meatless Monday can be a great option, as can Wing Wednesday or Fettuccine Friday.
2) Food from around the world.
When developing cooking tools, people often limit themselves to a relatively small set of skills. If you grew up in a home where classic meat and potato dishes were the mainstays, you may stick with similar dishes most of the time. Luckily, we live in a time when it’s easier than ever to try new dishes thanks to online recipes and free videos. Are you a fan of spicy food? Adding a few Indian dishes to your repertoire will make cooking that much more fun. Don’t just stick to popular foreign dishes, but be surprised by what you find when you do a little exploring.
3) Organize recipes on Pinterest.
All social media platforms can be very helpful for finding new recipes and cooking ideas. However, one platform definitely reigns supreme: Pinterest. While browsing Pinterest, you may find ideas, but make sure you pin the ones that catch your eye. More than any other social media platform, Pinterest offers robust tools for organizing your interests so you can easily browse and search through them when you need some inspiration. Learn how these tools work so you can get the most out of the platform.
4) Declutter your gadgets.
Kitchen gadgets come and go. While some of them will likely take up valuable space in your kitchen, too many gadgets taking up precious space can leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Take some time to take a full inventory of your kitchen appliances and see if there are any you can do away with. For example, have you jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon but never used it? If so, you can make your kitchen more inviting and fun by giving away a few appliances.
5) Sort out your spice rack.
Did you try a recipe years ago and buy a few spices specifically for it? Have you used any of those spices since? Look through your spice rack and take inventory of the spices you are likely to use again in the future. Unused spices not only take up space but also make it harder to find what you’re looking for. Even if your spices don’t take up much space, they are still a visual hindrance. A little tidying up can go a long way in making your kitchen a more pleasant environment.
6) Digitize your recipes.
Pinterest is a wonderful resource for finding dishes and inspiration from others, but it can also help you in your own kitchen. Use a smartphone camera or scanner and take inventory of the recipes you want to keep from your magazines and cookbooks and save them to Pinterest where they can be easily found on either your computer or smart device. Free up space by recycling or, better yet, donating your old magazines and cookbooks. While it’s nice to keep a few favorite books, the space saved will help streamline your cooking and recipe searching.
7) Make meal planning a family affair.
Even if you’re the top chef in your household, you can still get everyone else involved in the process. Take time to plan meals as a family to get everyone interested. Find out what your family’s favorite dishes are and try to incorporate them into the menu on a regular basis. You may even succeed in getting a sous chef or two involved.
8) Form cooking and clean-up teams.
Meal preparation is often best when it’s a family affair, and everyone in your family has certain skills that can make cooking and cleaning up a little more fun. Are any of your kids interested in learning how to cook certain dishes? Include it on the cooking team. Is your spouse less adept at using a skillet but excellent at putting away the dishwasher? If so, he might make a good captain for the clean-up crew. If you cook and clean together, it can be a quick process and even fun.
9) Create a food bar.
A great way to get people interested in cooking and preparing meals is to set up food bars on occasion. Taco Tuesday? Set out the ingredients and let everyone make their perfect tacos. This method is also great for DIY pizzas, and nachos offer a surprising number of customization options. Burgers are great for a food bar, but make sure you put the toppings on after the burgers come off the grill. Food bars create a fun and festive atmosphere and can take the work out of cooking and even cleaning up.
10) Try a food package delivery service.
Cooking meals takes a lot of time, but it’s easy to forget how much time you spend meal planning and sorting ingredients. Grocery package delivery services like HelloFresh simplify the cooking process while saving you money over takeout meals. Plus, they can help you add new dishes to your repertoire. You deserve to treat yourself, so check out grocery delivery options.
Need some encouragement to love your cooking again? Take part in my latest challenge….
They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, but if you dread your kitchen and think cooking is a necessary evil, let me give you some encouragement. I’ve created a 5-day challenge that’s all about organizing your kitchen and learning how to have fun cooking again. If you participate in the challenge, you’ll receive daily emails from me and have access to a private Facebook group where we can swap notes, share recipes, and cheer each other on to victory! I can’t wait to see you there!
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