Constantly feel like cooking meals has become a major chore? Fear not, here are 10 ways to make cooking an organized and joyful event!
1. Let’s start with the basics…if you want organized meals you are going to need to do some planning. That’s right friends, it’s time to bust out the cookbooks, recipe box or Pinterest board and write out a list. I personally like to pin my meals of the week to a specific board on Pinterest so they are easy to pull up on my iPad when I’m ready to head to the kitchen. Consider your schedule for the week. Would it better to cook everything on Sunday? Or do you like to come home every night and whip up a fresh meal? Make a plan (and stick to it)!
2. Double check that list and don’t make it when you are in a hurry. There is nothing worse than forgetting that one essential item to a glorious meal that you have planned.
3. Speaking of which, before cooking commences make sure you have everything you need on hand. Maybe you assumed you had baking powder only to realize halfway through mixing that you do not, in fact, have baking powder. My tip to combat those forgotten “every day” ingredients? Make sure to do a double check around the pantry and cupboards that you have what you need on hand. If you don’t, add it to the grocery list.
4. Ponder food storage. Are you going to be taking these meals to go? If so, make sure you have enough food containers to make it happen.
5. Give some thought to timing. Are you going to make multiple items? Does one require more cooking time then another? Does anything need to be defrosted? Is there something to do (cutting vegetables, making sauces) while meat is cooking? The message here is don’t stand idle. Idle time makes cooking time even longer.
6. Ok, cooking time has arrived (finally). You have all the ingredients on hand, you are energized and ready to make this meal happen! I like to fill the sink up with soapy water for a ready bath for those dirty dishes. I also like to pull out the trash can from under the sink (or wherever you have it hidden) for easy throw away. Make sure the dishwasher has been unloaded if it’s clean and everything on the counter that you don’t need has been put away.
7. Keep out ONE tasting fork or spoon. Assuming that the utensil hasn’t been contaminated by raw food (and really, please don’t be taste testing raw food) all you really need is one. Either that or you will end up with 20 dirty tasting forks and not one to actually enjoy your meal with.
8. While you’re at it, you might as well do any snack prep for the week. I slice up some cucumbers, whip up some hummus and mix together some homemade ranch.
9. While the last meal is in the oven get started on those dishes. I know, nothing is more tedious then doing those dishes after you’ve done ALL that cooking but trust me, it will just get harder the longer you wait.
10. Take a moment and embrace the magic that is completed cooking. WELL DONE!