15 tips to make cooking instantly more enjoyable
I have put together a list of 15 tips on how to make cooking instantly more enjoyable! These easy tips anyone can do no matter the experience level or equipment available, will no doubt increase the fun you have in the kitchen.
Cooking can be a love hate relationship for everyone. When we have time and energy being in the kitchen can be a great past time, however when you need to feed a houseful of people, in less than an hour with an empty fridge, the dread appears. So read on for the top tips!
15 tips to make cooking instantly more enjoyable…
1. Preparation is key!
It is important to prepare before you start. One of the easiest ways to make cooking pleasurable is to plan ahead of time. Spend half an hour each week finding recipes for your weekly meals. This makes the grocery shopping easier and takes away the stress of not knowing what to cook!
Also to prepare right before you start to cook. It can be useful to read thoroughly the recipe first before starting, this way there won’t be surprises later. Another tip is to get all the ingredients you will use out on to your surface before starting, kind of like how they do on cooking shows. This really avoids getting halfway through a recipe and realising you don’t have a certain ingredient. This also helps to prevent forgetting to add an ingredient (I’m sure i’m not the only one to do this!)
2. Crank up the music
Find a good playlist and turn it up! Music has proven to lower stress-related hormones and can affect your mood and emotions so having your favourite tunes playing will really help.
Listen and follow our spotify playlist below ‘Cooking on gas‘ for some perfect kitchen tunes!
3. Try something new
There is no shame in repetition in the kitchen, it helps us perfect dishes. But don’t be afraid to try something completely new every now and again. There is a whole wealth of recipes and methods out there, so get adventurous and try something new.
Is there a dish you ate many years ago and never again? Perhaps a recipe from a different culture or something that always felt too difficult. Just go for it!
4. Don’t take cooking too seriously
Taking anything too seriously drains the fun out of it and is proven to heighten stress and worry. Obviously make sure you aren’t setting the kitchen on fire, or giving anyone food poisoning but ultimately unless you are cooking for a Michelin star chef, it is not worth the effort of being taken too seriously. Try to relax in the moment, laugh at the mistakes, accept things as they are and appreciate what you have. This mindset really helps to step back and enjoy cooking for what it is, rather than adding unnecessary pressure.
5. Experiment & get creative
The world is changing so fast and cooking is keeping up. For example, immigration brings an exchange of new ingredients and recipes to different cultures. As well as special dietary needs are creating demand for change in ingredients available. Between 2016-2017 plant-based food sales in the UK increased by 1,500%. This shows how what we cook isn’t a strict rule book. Experiment with flavours you like, and change the ingredients you don’t like.
6. Clean as you cook
For me, this is a must! Clean as you go. More mess = more stress. Clutter can affect your ability to focus and your anxiety level and may even make you less productive (source). So put away food once you’ve finished using it, clear surfaces so you have enough space, if you have a dishwasher, make sure it is empty before you start so you can load it up as you go.
7. Drink as you cook
Of course. Fix yourself a drink before you start to cook. If you feel overwhelmed or not sure what to do next, take a moment to step back and take a sip of wine to help with the thought process. Having a drink whilst cooking also reminds you that it shouldn’t be a chore yet an enjoyable moment so savour it! See our recipes for great cocktail ideas here!
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8. Use the internet
We are fortunate enough to live in a world where everything is literally at the click of a button. Like the Preserved Kitchen, there is so many more food blogs and recipes out there. You can find out exactly how to make traditional Kimchi without even knowing anyone from Korea. You can buy the full ingredients to make homemade marshmallows without leaving your seat. The internet is a vast yet wonderful source of information so take advantage!
9. Cooking together
We are social creatures, we rely on interactions to thrive and survive. So try cooking with those you love, whether a partner, children or friend. It can be a special way to bond and have fun whilst also might be an opportunity to learn something new. The best way to make Grandma’s secret recipes is to cook along with her!
10. Cooking for others
A part of human happiness is linked to relationships. Cooking for others is a way to show you care for them. Being able to sit and eat the food with the people you love, is very rewarding and enjoyable. For a novice chef, one idea is to host a potluck. Everyone brings a dish themselves and you can all enjoy a variety of dishes. There isn’t an overwhelming pressure for you to cook everything yourself. Sharing recipes and ideas with good company is always a win!
11. Organize your kitchen
Having an organized kitchen can make a huge impact cooking as it will save you time and stress from finding where everything is! Take a look at how your cupboards are organized. Rearrange to make sure what you use most is in the right proximity. Use filing systems for saucepan lids and baking trays.
12. Make time for cooking
Leave enough time for cooking, really plan it into your day to have time saved for cooking. Having to cook in a hurry is very stressful. So be sure to save time in your day, even if you have less time than usual be prepared on what to cook in that short time frame.
For example, cooking for friends, back track on the timings to ensure you leave yourself plenty of time. I try to make meals in bulk where possible and freeze it down into portions, this comes in very handy for days which I have limited time to cook.
13. Invest in equipment
You don’t need to have the latest most expensive equipment in the kitchen. But it does help a lot if you have some key essentials that really do the job. Take a look at what meals or baking you do most often and see if the equipment you are using is holding you back, perhaps it is time for an upgrade.
In my house we cook a lot of meals with rice, when we purchased a rice cooker I never looked back, it saves time and effort and it also gets used for steaming.
14. Learn hacks & tips
Hack and tips are an amazing way to save time in the kitchen which make everything just a little more enjoyable. Article coming soon on our top simple kitchen hacks that make a difference in the kitchen!
15. Find the benefit
Find the benefit, or should I say find the joy! Think of why you are cooking, the answer is probably to eat food. But think bigger. Is it to feed your family? To eat the dishes you love? To have a healthy lifestyle? Remind yourself of the real reason you are cooking and associate that positivity with cooking.
When I first began the journey to make foods from scratch, I would spend hours in the kitchen cooking to find how to make the most delicious BBQ sauce to create a recipe without ingredients that I thought weren’t necessary. When I was able to make something healthier and more natural in my own kitchen, it brought a lot of happiness!
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