Some of you don’t share the same enthusiasm for cooking as I do. And I get that. I really do! I understand how difficult it is to come home from a long day of work, an hour of sitting in New Jersey traffic, feed the dog, bathe the baby (Ok, I don’t have a baby. Or a dog – but I could imagine), watch Oprah on dvr, do the laundry, and then have to worry about cooking dinner too? Cooking is not always as glamorous as Paula Deen makes it out to be. I love how she stands in the middle of a pristine kitchen with makeup and hair fully done and ingredients that just happen to be conveniently measured out within arms reach. I mean, really? Who actually has time to make sure their collar stays popped and their lips stay a rosy shade of Russian Red while stirring, sautéing, and whisking all at the same time? Tsk
Glamorous? Not always. Fun? Yes! I’m here to tell you that it can be fun, and should be fun! Here are some of my tips for keeping things exciting in the kitchen:
- Be confident. Michael Ruhlman said it best when he wrote about The Worlds Most Difficult Roasted Chicken Recipe. It doesn’t have to be complicated to be good. Read this!
- Try a new ingredient. Do you like asparagus? Try white asparagus. What about fresh artichokes? Plantains? A new cut of meat? For every few recipes you make, try one ingredient you’ve never used before. The anticipation for trying a new ingredient keeps things fresh and exciting.
- Let the recipes come to you. Do you know what I love most about blogging? (Well, other than being able to say whatever the hell I want and then duck and hide behind a tiny 12pt, Times New Roman font – that’s actually my favorite) But secondly, I love having the opportunity to inspire people through a daily blog that can be delivered directly their inbox. There are gobs of excellent food blogs out there. And they are free! Find a few that you like and that inspire you. Subscribe to them and let the ideas come to you.
- Clean as you go! This one is huge for me. As a culinary school graduate, being clean and organized in the kitchen is the most important step. Instead of letting the dishes pile up into an overwhleming mound, clean them as you go. Not only will this help keep things moving smoothly, but this will also prevent you from having tons of work to do at the end.
- Eat with the ones you love. Even if it’s for a mere 30 minutes a night, sit down and enjoy your work with your family. And if you live by yourself still sit down at the table with your settings in place, napkin on your lap and knife and fork in hand. And if you have fine china, use it! Why the heck not?
- Turn on some tunes. Trust me, it helps. I could never go to the gym for a full hour if I didn’t have music to distract me from my I-can’t-wait-to-get-off-this-dang-treadmill thoughts. Crank up your ipod with your favorite tunes and let the beats engulf you in the moment.
- And lastly, Don’t take yourself too seriously…and always keep a frozen pizza on reserve in case you royally screw up.