My mom would be the first to tell you that I have not always loved to cook. When I got married in my early twenties I was the girl that called my mom and asked how to make spagetti. My husband actually taught me how to cook the first year of our marriage. I learned by watching him make gourmet meals from his favorite cook books. Once I discovered a love of cook books and Martha Stewart, it became a passion. I truly love to cook. Sure there are days when I am tired and nothing sounds good, and I declare it a sandwich dinner, but for the most part I really enjoy cooking. The main reason I love cooking is because I adore eating. I don’t just cook what I think everyone else will like, but mostly what I will like. And when I cook with love and passion, everyone loves it regardless.
I want to bring back the love of cooking that seems to have disappeared in most homes today. By cooking at home you eliminate over 75% of processed chemicals, salts and sugars from your diet. Most of America has forgotten the love of cooking due to tight schedules and long hours of work. The drive through window and microwavable dinners have increased in sales, while our health has been declining. We are promising the next generation (our children) a shorter life expectancy than our own by saving a few minutes of our day.
Here are some ways to find the love of cooking that you may have lost over the years.
1. Go check out or buy a cookbook that makes you smile (Here is my new favorite!).
2. Plan your meals ahead of time so that you have all the ingredients on hand. making a meal plan or following our fall menu for a week or even a full month at a time will save you stress and time during the busy week.
3. Put your ipod or speakers on some good, relaxing music in the kitchen and make this a time of joy and creativity after a long day. I usually add a glass of wine to step 3 as well ;)
4. Organize your work space. I would invest in a nice thick wood cutting board that can stay out at all times. Keep this near your sink or your trash or composter, if you can, so that you can chop and slide off trash in seconds. Move your knives close to your cutting board, so that you have everything you need to chop right in front of you. Have a strainer that fits over your sink on at all times, or at least keep it close by. This will allow you to wash and rinse things with out any hassle. Keep a towel tucked in your pants or close at hand. I know it sounds crazy, but this eliminates washing your hands every two seconds and searching for the paper towels over and over. I like aprons, but a towel tucked in a pocket, or the side of my pants makes my cooking go much faster.
5. Make a list of spices, tools, and utensils that you are constantly out of or wished you had while cooking. It is amazing how long I will go without a certain tool and when I finally break down and buy it, it will cost me $3 and I wonder why I waited so long. Having good kitchen tools can really save you time and bring you joy.
6. Make Friday Pizza night! There is always one night of the week that I don’t have to think about, Friday. Fridays we always have pizza night. We love our homemade pizzas so much, that no one even asks for delivery anymore. Pizzas are so fun to me because you can add so many different toppings, make individual pizzas, have friends over and let them pick out their own toppings, and everyone loves pizza! We have family movie nights or eat the pizza on the patio, it’s just brainless good food! And of course, here’s a recipe! We also love this book!
Friday Night Pizza
Make your own dough – google it ( so easy to make, anyone can do this!)
1 can crushed tomatoes
5 garlic cloves crushed
Spread the tomatoes on the dough, sprinkle crushed garlic over tomatoes and then drizzle with olive oil. Now add your cheese and toppings and bake! You will never order pizza again!
If you love to cook, what are some tips you have to bring back that lovin’ feeling?