June 19th, 2014
When I tell people that I’m a recent graduate of The Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts, I often get two responses:
- Omg. I love to cook.
- Omg. I wish I loved cooking.
Today I want to share four strategies that will hopefully get you to at least LIKE cooking. And listen, I get it. You’re busy. So am I. The last thing you or I want to do is slave over a hot stove (weird coming from a trained chef right?)
However, I do know that there are a few things that help me cook even when I don’t want to.
I promise you that cooking CAN be fun. Yes, it does take time and a bit of preparation but I’ve incorporated a few things in my cooking repertoire that always makes me want to cook (even after a long day of working in a commercial kitchen)
- Don’t get it complicated.
Pick a recipe that’s simple. I’m all about taking the simplest recipes and making it extra special. For example, I love baked ziti. However, I don’t love the amount of cheese that is often used to make this dish. My solution? I roast a bunch of veggies ahead of time and reduce the amount of cheese that I’m using. As you can see, it does take some time but come on, take a bunch of your favorite veggies, toss in a little oil, add salt and pepper and throw it in the oven. You can even do this right before you jump in the shower. Right?? Right.
- Play your favorite tunes.
I don’t know about you, but music makes everything better and more enjoyable. I simply turn on my Pandora and play my favorite songs depending on the mood that I’m in. A little Tupac or Wu-Tang always does the trick. If I’m feeling a bit mellow I play Lana Del Rey or Ellie Goulding. In any case, music soothes the soul.
- Make it pretty.
Whether you are cooking for yourself or for your friends and family, remember that the act of feeding is an act of love (click to tweet). Set your table. Have some fresh flowers in a vase. Use nice plates. Turn off all distractions and enjoy your meal. By the way, I’ve noticed that eating alone and free from distraction is quite cathartic. Try it out.
- Have fun.
At the end of the day, we all need to eat right? Might as well make it for yourself in the comfort of your own home. I love having bright colored appliances and nice towels from Anthropologie (gift from my older sister Pallavi).
A cute apron goes a long way too.
But most importantly, have fun. I used to be real hard on myself if I didn’t follow a recipe to the T. Now I look at a recipe and then make my own rules as to how much of what I want to add. If you’re the type of person that absolutely needs to follow a recipe, then do it! The whole point is to become one with your ingredients, being one with the process of cutting, chopping, blending, sauteing, whatever it is you’re doing.
I hope this helped. Can’t wait to hear about what you’re cooking up! If you have any other questions post them below. I can talk about food all day. Seriously.