We’re all pretty busy in our lives, and of all the things to give up, it seems like cooking is the easiest one. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are many benefits to cooking meals at home. You can save a lot of money, for starters, and you’ll be giving your health a boost if you’re making meals with fresh ingredients rather than relying on takeaways.
And there’s something else, too: cooking is fun! Though you might eventually scoff at the idea of spending time in the kitchen, it won’t be long before you’re actually looking forward to cooking up a storm. Below, we take a look at a few tips that’ll have you a whiz with pots and pans in no time.
Work On Your Kitchen
If you’ve got an uninspiring kitchen, you’re not going to have much an incentive to get cooking. Even people who usually love preparing dinners give up if they have to work in cramped, dimly lit cooking spaces. So take a look at this area in your home. Is it really ready to handle your new hobby?
If it’s not, then look at sorting it out. Taking your kitchen from drab to fab can be as simple as cleaning away clutter, adding a new surface area, and making sure it’s well-lit. Once you like being in the kitchen, everything will be much easier.
Get the Right Tools
You’re only as good as the tools you use, or so they say. While you might think ‘a knife is a knife,’ this isn’t true. People have the idea that they can get away with any old kitchen equipment, but it’s not true – the better your equipment is, the easier everything becomes. Aside from cutting boards and knives, you can also look at adding more advanced tools, such as a blender, which will make it possible to make more sophisticated recipes.
Don’t See It As a Chore
If you’ve got a block on getting in the kitchen, you might want to take a look at what makes you think this way. If you’re viewing preparing meals as a chore, then you’re going to resent every minute you spend doing it.
So change your thinking. Instead of seeing it as something you have to do, see it as something that you want to do. It’s a chance for you to show off your creativity, and take pride in the meals you make. Don’t pass that opportunity up!
Start With Simple Recipes
The other mistake people make is that they try to make meals that are far beyond their capabilities too early on in their cooking career. If you’re making your foray into meal making by preparing a large Sunday lunch for all the family…then you’re going to hate it.
Start with small, simple recipes. These don’t have to be boring; some delicious meals can be made in fifteen minutes or so. In the process, you’ll get used to using kitchen tools and being in the kitchen. You’ll have scaled the first hurdle.
The Beauty of Leftovers
If you never cook, then you’ll spend a lot of money on eating out. Those costs will disappear once you get in the kitchen. And you’ll also save on another big expense, too: lunch! Make a big pot of food, and you can take the leftovers with you for lunch.
Use the Best Ingredients
If you make a meal and think “hmm, it’s OK, but not great,” then don’t give up. Chances are, it has nothing to do with your cooking skills, and you’ve probably followed the recipe exactly as described. The problem is with the ingredients. One vegetable isn’t the same as the next!
If you want your food to test good, then you need to use the best ingredients. For your vegetables, check out your local farmer’s market, every town has one. They taste much better than the ones you can buy in the supermarket, which have usually traveled many hundreds of miles before they arrive on your plate.
Mixing Up the Ingredients
Once you’ve got the knack of being in the kitchen, you’ll want to mix up the ingredients that you’re using. One of the great things about living in the modern world is that you can use ingredients from all over the world in your meals! You can check out recipes from, say, Argentina, and then buy everything you need to have an Argentinian meal that night.
You can buy oysters, clams, and more online at Citarella.com, and have a delicious seafood meal with your family, even if you’re not located next to the ocean. Once you’ve got into the habit of cooking, you’ll relish the opportunity to try new and delicious recipes that are not part of your usual eating routine.
You often hear people say, “I spent an hour cooking, and only five minutes eating.” Well, whose fault is that? If you’re going to cook your meals, it’s worthwhile learning the art of eating. It is not something that has to be done and dusted in a few mouthfuls. Savor the experience by actually eating your food. And by that, we mean giving it your full, undivided attention. Focus on the food, not the television!
Once you’re confident that you can prepare a meal with success, it’s time to really enjoy the magic of cooking: sharing it with other people. Invite your friends and family around, and have a meal.
It might sound like a lot of work right now, but once you’re on your cooking journey it won’t be work: it’ll be fun. And what’s more is that you’ll learn just how satisfying it is to feed other people and have them enjoy it. The compliments will make all the effort worth it!
Music and Wine
If you’re ever growing tired of cooking, just remember that there’s a foolproof way to make it fun: add music and wine! Cooking absolutely does not have to be a slog. If you’re dancing around to your favorite songs and sipping on a glass of wine, what’s not to love?