Ever wondered how to reduce your stress in the kitchen and actually enjoy your time there?
I know so many people who say cooking stresses them out. Most people look at me like I am crazy when they find out how much I cook – especially with 6 kids. I agree it can be stressful, but for me it is almost more of a refuge than anything else. Plus, with 6 kids who are constantly hungry, I have a great excuse 🙂 I have had to learn many coping mechanisms in the process. I will share them with you here:
1) Preparation is KEY!!!
- Try to work in a clean kitchen – de-clutter as much counter space as possible to make room for actual cooking
- Know what you want to make before coming into the kitchen and make sure you have all the ingredients before starting your projects – Meal planning and strategic grocery shopping help with this (posts to come)
- If you know you will have limited time to cook – Prep as many ingredients as possible beforehand! (Make salad dressings and marinades the day before, pre-portion your vegetables and frozen meat, pull meats out of the freezer so that they will have had time to thaw in the fridge, etc)
2) Set your ambiance
Get your “Ambiance” the way you like it. Everything is more fun with ambiance.
Turn on your favorite music, podcast, or audio book. Grab yourself a glass of wine (I like adding a dash of Diet Ginger Ale to mine – mostly so it feels bigger, but also because fizz is fun 🙂
If you are are really advanced, eventually you can even start watching your favorite TV show or movie while you cook. Meanwhile, keep your eyes on what you are doing. There are too many opportunities for injury or burning things if you don’t give what you are doing your full attention.
3) Know your time limits
Most of us don’t have all day to cook, so just try to give yourself as much time as possible. If you are in a rush, don’t try anything new or fancy. Stick to tried and true.
However, if you tend to be in a rush every night and you are tired of the same old tacos and spaghetti, just be sure to plan and prep in advance so that you find new recipes that come together much more quickly than you thought.
Anytime you want to try something new make sure to give yourself ample time. Be patient with yourself and know that once you have done them once or twice, the faster you will be!
4) Have all the right tools
There is nothing more irritating (or dangerous) than trying to cut vegetables with a dull knife, or having everything stick to your “non-stick” pans. It makes a world of difference to try to flip an egg with an actual “flipper” as opposed to a wooden spoon or a spatula – and please, please, NEVER use a fork to stir food in your pans.
5) Fire all unhelpful “help”
Do you have nay-sayers, pessimists, complainers, or picky people in your kitchen… they need to be kindly, but firmly, evicted from the premises. They can come back when they are willing to be positive and supportive. If you are going to enjoy this you don’t need anybody dragging you down (especially if you are just learning and your confidence is shaky).
They will live if they have to watch from the other side of the counter… (every once in a while).
6) Clean up when you are done
so that next time you enter your kitchen, you won’t have to clean up before you start.
Recruit help for this part. This can be an opportunity for family bonding, life skill building, and responsibility training, if you have a significant other or kids. Besides, when you cook, it’s only fair to delegate some of the cleanup!
If you have to clean before you start, chances are all your energy will be spent on cleaning up and you will be grumpy before you get to the fun part.
I’d love to hear from you! What are your favorite tips for making time in the kitchen more fun?!? Share below!
#LessisMore #Beginning Simply