Okay, hate’s a strong word but chances are you’ve been in a cooking rut before. That moment where ANYTHING in the world sounds better than preparing a meal. Let’s get to the bottom of it together and get you sizzling a pancake with a smile on your face. You’ll find 10 simple tips below.
- Don’t know what to make? Oh hello Pinterest.
- Pressed for time? Streamline the cooking process.
- Worn down by meal prep every single day? Ask friends and family for help…or order a pizza and some breadsticks.
- Tired of your current recipes? Find some new ones.
- Weary after a long day at work? Prep your meals the night before or early in the morning.
- Does it take you away from other passions? Plan quick meals so you can get back to your true loves.
- Lacking ingredients? Shop and stock up that pantry.
- Meals not turning out well? Ask a cooking friend to stop by and troubleshoot with you.
- Disorganized kitchen? Organize it.
- Too many dishes to wash at the end of the day? Wash them as you go.
- Picky eaters? Invite them into the cooking process.
When you pinpoint what holds you back from enjoying kitchen time you can remove it or find a creative way to work around it.
Chances are you spend a lot of time whipping up meals. Instead of begrudgingly washing another head of broccoli ponder ways you can transform your time in the kitchen. Could meal prep be prayer time? Is it quality time with your kids as you invite them into the process? Is it catching up on your favorite podcast or listening to an audio book?
Even though it may seem like it, you’re not just cooking. The food you prepare with your own two hands will nourish bodies, hearts, and souls around your table. It will comfort, provide, and connect. The food you have is gift to be enjoyed and cherished. When viewed this way, it’s easier to step into the kitchen.
Most people go through a ‘I have no idea what to make for dinner’ phase. Invite a few friend to exchange recipes with you or write a quick post on your Facebook wall: “Help. Need new recipes. Who wants to swap with me?” It’ll be well received.
Your local library is a GREAT source for picture filled cookbooks. Check some books out and bring them home! Simply perusing new recipes can ignite your cooking imagination. Choose some that incorporate spices you’re not used to, or recipes from a different culture or country! They’ll give your weary meal routine a boost.
If you’re tired of cooking tell your spouse or kids you need a night off every now and then. Ask them to chip in and whip up dinner. If you live alone this is the perfect time to invite friends into your home and cook with them.
You can make more than just gooey slop in a crockpot! Plenty of books or blogs show you how to prepare quick, easy, delicious and comforting meals in your slow cooker. Perfect meals for busy days. Freezer Meals can be pretty darn quick and tasty too.
How awesome would it be if you only had to make ONE dish for dinner? That’s the benefit of sharing meals with friends. Throw some chicken on the grill and ask a few friends to bring the extras. Veggies, pasta salad, dessert, etc. “Group cooking” pulls a meal together in a snap and fosters fellowship.
Sticking to a rigid menu plan can wear you right out! Taco Tuesdays…spaghetti Wednesdays…sigh. Keep key ingredients on hand that you can be flexible with. Maybe it’s beef, chicken, or tofu and an abundance of veggies and grains. The beef doesn’t always need to end up as hamburgers. What about chili, sloppy-joes, stuffed shells, enchiladas, meatballs, goulash, etc.? The potatoes don’t always need to be mashed. They could be scalloped, baked, roasted, french fried and so on. Brainstorm a list of everything you could make with certain provisions and keep it handy. When you don’t know what to cook – check the list.
Cooking at the end of the day when the kid [or spouse] is ferociously hungry and you’re worn down can be brutal. Plan ahead. If you know you’ll be having BLT’s for dinner – take 10 minutes that morning to slice the tomatoes, wash the lettuce, and cook the bacon. When dinner rolls around all that’s left is toasting the bread and assembling the sandwiches. Simple at 6:37pm. The more you can prep ahead of cooking time the better.
And last but not least — HAVE SOME FUN with meal time. When was the last time you made a grape animal or tiny hamburgers and miniature baked potatoes? Tweaking your usual meals infuses lighthearted whimsey to table time. Instead of regular shaped toad-in-the-hole why not make it heart-shaped? Pancakes for dinner? Absolutely. They’re not just for breakfast.