Yes, I am generally a happy cook. I love to cook, have always enjoyed the fun of making food for others and watching them enjoy it..
Lately? Not as much.. I do feel as if I am slowly coming out of the cloud, though..
So, today I will write the 10 things that help make ME a happier cook 🙂
1) Make a plan for your meals. Not set in stone, but just a general idea.
2) Don’t make things too complicated. Go with the flow. If you aren’t a cook that likes to measure everything exactly, then don’t bake.. Cook meats and other things that aren’t as precise in their recipes.
3) Think ahead. If you are going to make 1 chicken pot pie, why not make 10? Then you have plenty of freezer meals for other meals when you may be rushed and just want to throw something into the oven.
4) Keep your shopping list handy, and update it. I keep a note (on my iPhone) for all the stores I like to shop. When I know I will need something, I put it on that note, then erase that item once I have thrown it into the cart at the store.
5) Keep trying. If you don’t think you’re good at making a pot roast for example, try again, or try baking. Practice makes perfect!
6) Substitute – especially when it comes to making main dishes or vegetables.. Throw in rosemary, experiment with garlic roasted olive oil, slap some basil onto that homemade pizza..
7) Don’t let the dishes pile up – try to keep your work area and sink area clean. I try to put stuff in the dishwasher so that I don’t have to look at the mess. And then I don’t feel so overwhelmed with a huge pile of nasty dirty dishes when I am finished cooking.
8) Try to recreate recipes at home. My famous risotto and scallops came by experimentation. I had that dish at a local restaurant, and kept trying to recreate it til I had it down pat.. I did the same with fried green tomatoes and homemade pimiento cheese!
9) Save time if you can. If the recipes calls for you to wash baby spinach, etc, etc, save time by buying pre-washed. I hate washing any kind of greens.
10) Keep a well stocked pantry! I have tons of spices, always have arborio rice, chicken stock, flour, bread flour, cake flour, multiple kinds of sugar etc etc. Makes you want to cook as then you don’t have to run to the grocery store!
And yes I will throw in just one more – so we really are at 11…
11) Don’t be upset if something doesn’t turn out as you thought it would. It happens. I used to ask my husband “is this a keeper?” on a new recipe. Most of the time he would say yes. But once in awhile I got a “no”…