The other day my friend was complaining that she just went grocery shopping but didn’t want to cook dinner and asked me how I have the energy/desire to cook every night. Ok, A.) I don’t have the energy or desire to cook every night (trust me after being on me feet all day cooking at the store it was the last thing I wanted to do) but I HATE to let food go to waste, I can’t stand spending money on food only to throw it out. B.) I would choose a home cooked meal a million times over going out to dinner. C.) Going out to dinner or getting takeout gets expensive real quick. D.) The meal isn’t always worth it, unless you are always dining at 5 star restaurant. E.) you can be in control of your portions and have seconds or thirds if you want! F.) you know exactly what is going into your meal.
SOOO anyway, I started giving my friend tips on making her cooking experience more enjoyable and decided I should blog about it because it is definitely a topic of conversation that comes up a lot around me.
1.) Meal Plan: Every Sunday I sit down at the computer browse pinterest and set out a list of the meals we are going to have for the week. At the bottom of my list I write Monday-Saturday and next to each day I write what we will be having, if we are having leftovers one night I will write it, if Jeff or myself is away I will write it if we have plans for one of the nights I will write it in. Meal planning helps because now you know what you are going to have every night and you can psych yourself up for making the meal.
2.) Have go to meals: Having go to meals that I am good at makes cooking much more enjoyable because I feel like I can get it together in a flash and less time was taken out of my evening to prepare our dinner.
3.) Try new meals: trying out new to you meals also makes cooking more enjoyable, you have the opportunity to challenge yourself and hopefully come out with a delicious meal. But if not at least you tried it and got out of your comfort zone.
4.) Cook together: Pick a meal that you and your significant other or friend can do together. Open a bottle of wine or crack open a beer and enjoy each others company without being distracted by TVs or your phones.
5.) Listen to music: This is my ALL TIME FAVORITE way to cook, so therapeutic! I love to put on a good playlist and just zone out while I am cooking. My go to play list these days is the Stress Free on Spotify also I will occasionally listen to some Jazz which is totally relaxing!
6.) Watch trashy TV: In our old place we used to be able to see the TV from the kitchen so I would put on some Real Housewives or Rich Kids of Beverly Hills and totally forget I was cooking I would get so wrapped up in their “drama” and how ridiculous it was!
7.) Meal Prep: Taking time on the weekend when you have more time to prep things for the week will make cooking more enjoyable. I make a lot of casserole type dishes because we get a few meals out of them but casseroles are also great because you can out it all together in your dish and bake it later in the week. It is also helpful to peel and cut all the veggies your are going to use during the week, one less thing you have to worry about later in the week.
8.) Invite a friend over or catch up with a friend over the phone: Having someone to chat with makes the whole process more enjoyable. You can easily forget you are cooking and catch up with your friend and before you know it your meal is ready.
9.) Make things that will give you leftovers: My absolute favorite it when I make dishes that will give me at least one night of leftovers, making that meal makes cooking a millions times more enjoyable because I already know I have the night off from cooking the next night.
10.) Make your crockpot your BFF: Crockpots are hands down the best way to make cooking more enjoyable because you set it and forget it! Sure you have to do the prep but most crockpot meals require minimal prep work on your part and the best thing is after a long day of work all you have to do when you get home is put your meal onto your plate.
What are some ways you make cooking more enjoyable?