From the time I leave my front door in the morning to the time I get back, approximately 11 hours have gone by. The temptation to give in and dial that handy dandy delivery number is so tempting. It probably doesn’t help that my natural cooking abilities are limited to putting noodles in water and boiling. My fiance has most definitely suffered from my attempts at “gourmet” cooking, aka the balsamic green beans gone wrong.
So here’s what I have! A short list of tips that have pushed me into cooking more and dialing my favorite Indian restaurant less.
1. Think Before You Buy- My fiance and I now create a list of our week’s meals before hitting the grocery aisles. A lot of times I’ll scan through the papers, see what’s on sale and create my meals off of the best deals so I’m saving money and making myself accountable for what goes in my cart. The important part is including every element. Don’t just write “chicken,” put down Italian seasoned chicken breasts with green beans. This will help you remember other items you may need to pick up in order to make the meal. No excuses.
2. Mix It Up- It’s crazy to believe that everyone has the energy every night to be Rachel Ray in the kitchen. I know I just can’t pull that off. I might add in 2 meals a week that are fairly labor intensive, sprinkle in some mid-level stuff and then always keep an easy meal within the rotation. This is absolutely key because plans are made to be foiled. By giving yourself the ability to adapt to unexpected changes you can move that eggplant parmesan to Wednesday and throw in 2 slices of fish with some chopped up potatoes and commence running around or collapsing on the couch in exhaustion until it’s done.
3. Delete Dishes & Browse Often- You could use 1 dish or 3. I’m far more inclined to cook if there’s only one dish involved. The chaos that can ensue in the kitchen is contained and the clean-up time is lessened. And that makes me happy. Look out for recipes you might enjoy on pinterest, but don’t be fooled by some of the sites that advertise their recipes as “few ingredients” and then list spices that you’ve never even heard of before and ask you to do a rain dance at precisely 5PM. Easy recipes do exist. Some of them I find online, but I’ve found quite a few in cookbooks. In fact, Cooking Light has been a GREAT resource. I highly recommend it.
And if it takes a little wine to get dinner made…well, Wegman’s has great sales. Cheers!