As the pandemic forces us to limit going out, many have turned to home cooking for their daily meals. And let’s face it, it isn’t a task everyone enjoys. Even if you’re usually a fan of the kitchen, you may feel like you’re spending an awful lot of time trapped in it during this health crisis.
Take heart with these tips and tricks that can make cooking more fun and help spice up your routine.
Bring in the Entertainment
If you find your time in the kitchen boring, try cranking up some tunes. Listening to your favorite music, podcast, or audiobook can give you something entertaining to do while you cook. The worst thing that could happen is your spouse catches you dancing your way through the room using a whisk as a microphone, so go for it!
Make a Food Bar
It’s bad enough when the kitchen feels dull, but picky eaters can make the situation worse. What are you supposed to do when he hates mushrooms, but you love them? A food bar could be the answer.
A food bar lets you simply gather up ingredients and then let your family put them together however they want. The various combinations make every plate a bit more exciting. Furthermore, allowing everyone build their own meal cuts the amount of work you have to do. Food bars work great for tacos, homemade pizzas, salads, and sandwiches.
Keep It Clean
We’re not going to lie: it’s hard to make doing the dishes seem like a great time. But getting motivated to spend time in the kitchen is even harder when you know you’ll have to face last night’s dirty dishes when you get there. Making a mess is way more fun than cleaning it, so make sure you clean up after every meal. That way, you can walk into a fresh kitchen ready to dive into something new rather than get bogged down in yesterday’s mess before you get started.
Cook What You Love
It’s a lot easier to get motivated and enjoy your work when you know there’s a reward at the end. When you cook, the reward is to eat what you make, so cook what you love. It’s okay to treat yourself to that rich pasta dish or a decadent dessert once in a while, and you’ll enjoy the time in the kitchen more if you know a tasty treat is coming.
Have the Right Tools for the Job
Some kitchen gadgets seem to exist solely to line the pockets of their inventors. Nobody really needs a pickle picker. Other kitchen tools, however, really do save time and frustration. Make sure your kitchen knives are sharp and that you’re well-stocked with quality cookware and bakeware. You don’t need to clutter the space with gadgets, but don’t suck the fun out of cooking by doing simple kitchen tasks with dull knives and inadequate equipment.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
Repeat after me. “I am not Martha Freaking Stewart, and that’s okay.” If your finished product looks as glorious as the picture in your cookbook, give yourself a pat on the back. If it doesn’t, cut yourself some slack. Yours would look just as good if you had a team of Photoshop professionals, too! What matters is that it tastes good and you have some fun making it.
Don’t pressure yourself to make every dish turn out perfectly, or you’ll never have any fun in the kitchen. Just go with the flow, knowing that if the end result is truly awful, you’ll have an excellent excuse to order a pizza.
You can have fun in the kitchen, even if it isn’t your favorite room in the house. The key is to stop stressing and just let it go. Grab your favorite recipe, pour yourself a glass of wine, crank up the tunes, and get cooking! You’ll be having fun before you know it!