The holidays are over and we are now well into 2018. In fact we are half way through the month of January. I am not sure what your resolutions were for the New Year, but odds are that you have already ditched those resolutions. I am not sure if "cooking more at home" was one of your resolutions, but I want to help encourage you to take back your kitchen. All of us are busy and we have so much competing for our time. Finding time to cook is often difficult.
What are some obstacles that keep you from preparing meals in your kitchen? For me, it often involves lack of time and if I don't plan ahead, there is no way I will be able to make dinners at home. Identify whatever obstacles that are keeping you out of your kitchen. Then let's work on overcoming those challenges.
Take Back Your Kitchen
- Meal Prep - Taking the time to make out a list of what you want to prepare at home for the week is a must. Think through what food items you love to cook or you have time to prepare and get those recipes. Make out your shopping list using those recipes. That will help ensure that you purchase only the food you need to cook those meals. Making out a list ahead of time can also help to save money when you go to the grocery store. Once you go to the store and purchase your food items, when you get home, take the time to prep some of those foods. Taking the time to cut and prepare your fruit and vegetables can be helpful during the week. Sometimes that cleaning and prep work takes too much time during the week. Doing it on the weekends can help ensure you are able to cook these meals at home.
- Realistic Recipes - When you pull recipes for the week, make sure that they are realistic. If a recipe will take you 2 hours to cook then that might not be a recipe to make during the week. If you work or have evening plans the sticking with 30 minute recipes will help ensure you are successful in cooking foods at home. Also during the week, make sure that ingredients are also easy to get. Some times if you forgot an ingredient and if you can't easily pick it up during the week, you might not prepare that recipe during the week.
- Clean Up - Whenever you cook there is often a mess. Lots of dishes and clean up afterwards. Taking the time to tidy up your kitchen at the end of the day is helpful for the next day. I hate cooking in a dirty kitchen. Each night I try to take the time to clean up from dinner and from putting together lunches for the next day. I like walking into a clean kitchen in the morning and then preparing dinner the following night in a clean kitchen. Is that is something that is an obstacle for you cooking at home, find ways to remove that obstacle. If your spouse enjoys dishes or is able to help with one part of the cooking/cleaning that teamwork is great!
- Use the Left-overs - Don't throw out the food that you took the time to cook. You can save these left-overs and use them for lunch the next day. If you have enough left, you can even use it for another dinner that week. If you have taken all that time to prepare the meal, it would be a shame to throw out that food and some what wasteful.
Think about what stands in your way from cooking in your kitchen. Do you want to take back your kitchen and start preparing more meals at home? Hopefully some of these tips and tricks will help you be successful and accomplish this goal!