One of my most favorite spots in the whole house is my kitchen! 😍😍😍 It's not a super huge gourmet kitchen, but it's perfect for me. I love cooking all the recipes I've learned from my aunts & grandmother as a child/teen, I love creating, learning & trying new recipes. And I thoroughly enjoy trying different dishes from all over the world that I've tried while traveling. The kitchen is where I bring all the meals to life and to our taste palates 😂.
My cooking style is simple but delicious. I am all about quick and easy family dinners and recipes, some that fuel the soul, some lighter meals like appetizers and snacks, and every now and again I'll throw in some desserts. Being in the kitchen cooking gives me a chance to be creative and the look on my family and friends faces when they try my food makes me happy.
My 11 year old has been so open to trying many new dishes, there are many days when she come to me and asks, "Mom, can you make that salmon recipe again?" or "Can you make kale chips?" We all know that kids can be vey picky and most would be ok with chicken nuggets, fries and fruit snacks everyday. Sometimes you should even pull your kids in the kitchen to help out with meals, picky eaters will be more open-minded to trying new foods that they've picked out and helped prepare.
I've had so many people tell me they hate cooking, so below I want to share a few tips on how to start spending a little more time in the kitchen and learn to love to cook;
1. Keep things simple - there is no need to step in the kitchen and try to be a master Italian chef on the first day. Start with an easy meal, gather the items needed, prepare your work station, thoroughly read through the recipe before you start and get to it!
2. Find simple recipes on Food packaging, YouTube, Blogs, Cooking Channels & Cookbooks - Start with the foods you love most and find a good recipe for that dish. On Youtube you can find some amazing step by step tutorials that will walk you through the entire process if you need the visual. On my Instagram Highlights you can find tons of step by step tutorials on a variety of meals. Whenever you feel you've come across an unfamiliar cooking term or ingredient.........Google It!
3. Create a fun atmosphere - I enjoy cooking with my music on and often times I am enjoying a glass of wine, it just really outs me in a good mood. Make sure your kitchen is clean before you get started, you don't want to become overwhelmed by all the clutter. Turn on a good TV show (but don't get to distracted and burn the kitchen down), light a candle or call a friend or relative to help walk you through steps if you get confused.
4. Learn the basics - Some people get lost trying to find their way around the kitchen or even learning how to use a new tool. Start with learning how to properly boil pasta, how to boil the perfect egg or make basic pancakes. Learn about all the different tools and utensils in your kitchen. Learn the difference between simmer and a boil. We all had to start somewhere.
5. Don't be afraid to Experiment - sometimes cooking is all about trial & error. You'll have some meals that turn out great and you'll have some that you'll be walking to the trash dumpster. It's ok to substitute ingredients or add in your favorite spice or herbs. The more time you spend learning new recipes in the kitchen, you will begin to find what you do and do not like.
6. Value Presentation - Not everyone likes a perfectly aesthetic looking meal, but you know we all eat with our eyes first. Take an extra 2 minutes to serve your food in a visually appealing way. (don't worry, the food won't get cold LOL).
7. Clean as you cook - While those veggies are sauteing, get a head start on cleaning. Often times I place a huge bowl to the side that I toss food packaging in after I've opened it, the shells from eggs, etc and I toss it all in the trash at the end, this avoids me from having to pull out the trash bin with food all over my hands which is absolutely disgusting. Start washing or placing dishes in the dishwasher that you’re done with so you won’t have to do it later. Wipe down countertops as you go.
8. Cook when you're not tired or hungry -when you're really hungry and look in the fridge to start at a bunch of ingredients that need to be cleaned, peeled and chopped you may become a little overwhelmed or even discouraged, as a result you end up reaching for the phone to order take out, eating a bowl of cereal or grabbing something unhealthy out the fridge that can be thrown in the microwave. Try to prep some of your ingredients the night before to cut down on the cook time.
9. Invest in some "must-have" kitchen gadgets - Purchase an instant pot, slow cooker or air-fryer, you can even look for an all-in-one. They are so easy to use, just toss all the ingredients in, set the time and walk away.
10. Cook foods that you enjoy - try to get recipes from family members that you enjoyed growing up or meals you may have tried recently that blew your taste buds away. You can also find cookbooks you can purchase with some of your favorite restaurant dishes with full recipes so you can recreate them at home.
Cooking does not have to be rocket-science, it can be fun. Just turn the process into an experience, when you get frustrated, just take a deep breath and remind yourself that you are cooking for the people you love (even if that person is only you).
Do you love to cook or is it a hated task? Is it because you never learned how? Do you hate the process? Do you hate the clean up afterwards? Hopefully these 10 tips will get you back in the kitchen and loving it!
I'd love to hear from you. Comment below.