I love food and I love to cook for family and friends, but I also have a very busy schedule. Who doesnít nowadays? We are always looking for time, but there never seems to be enough. That is why we have to simplify and get back to basics because a few hours in the kitchen with family and friends, a little laughter and some good conversation, can mean a lot in how we deal with life on a daily basis.
Cooking is fun, relaxing and so creative. If you learn to follow my five easy steps, you can take a lot of the stress out of cooking and learn to just enjoy.
First Step: Make a Menu. Donít go to the store without some idea of what you are going to cook. Youíll waste precious time walking up and down food aisles.
Second Step: Write a Shopping List and donít leave home without it because you are just wasting time. And you will over-shop especially if you go to the store hungry.
Third Step: Food Prepping and one of the most important steps. Learn to make things ahead of time so you can pull them out and be ready to add the finishing touches.
Make desserts, side dishes and appetizers ahead of time to save time.
Fourth Step: The Cooking. This is the easy part. Just make sure you have all the ingredients out and ready to go like you see the chefs on TV have everything ready to go.
Donít be searching the kitchen for an ingredient and ruin the sauce.
Fifth Step: The Presentation. People eat with their eyes. You donít have to go out and carve an ice sculpture, a simple sprig of parsley, basil, dill or mint can add
color and life to the plate.
And when you are at the store buying basic ingredients try to buy the freshest ingredients your pocketbook will allow. Don't shy away from ready-made products either. There
are so many out there that a re so tasty and can make your cooking experience so simple.
I always say, ďYou donít need to have a million dollar kitchen to make a million dollar mealĒ. When I first got interested in cooking my pots and pans were
bargain basement, but they still turned out some pretty great meals. I still have some of those old pots and pans, especially some that belonged to the family. But if you can, invest in great knives and all you have to do after that is take care of them and they should last
for years. And keep them sharp, if they become dull, they are difficult to use and you can hurt yourself and the food you are trying to cut.
I love gadgets, but I cook for a living. You donít need every crazy cooking tool that comes out on the market, but if you see something that is fun, go ahead
and splurge because that makes cooking fun too.
In these crazy economic times the kitchen becomes the heart of the home. In these times as it becomes difficult to even afford a meal in a restaurant, don't let that
stop you from having a great meal with family and friends. Make your own Happy Meal. When times get tough, don't let it get you down. Instead, get down in the kitchen.
You will find that it is a great place for meditation, inspiration and creativity... and, oh, did I mention big hugs.