Cooking at home is the only way that you can truly control what you eat, but many people find it stressful. Personally, I think cooking is fun, and I’ve developed some practical, and not-so practical habits that help to keep it that way.
Firstly, I always plan out time to cook or reheat food for dinner, depending on my schedule -and I do groceries ahead of time to last me the entire week. If I know I’ll be busy during the week, then I pre-cook food and keep it ready in the fridge or even just pre-chop things so that they are ready for me to cook fresh yet quickly. Another thing I love doing is using the slow cooker: I simply throw in some raw food during lunch or breakfast, turn it on and have a meal to come home to! Similarly, I will pre-make breakfast or lunch beforehand if I expect to be rushed during those mealtimes.
Keeping the kitchen tidy on-the-go is another way I keep cooking stress-free. For example, I’ll wash a cutting board and knife right after using them, while whatever I chopped is cooking on the stove. I also wipe counters clean as I’m cooking, and I keep them clean by using a tray, plate or paper towel for food that might drip or crumble all over the place. These all go into the dishwasher as soon as I’m done using them! I’ll also sweep things on the floor to the side so that I don’t have to vacuum constantly yet don’t track foodstuffs all over the place.
The most important part of keeping the kitchen tidy though is having an organizational system – and sticking to it so that you can reach for something and find it ready to use! I recently moved all of my spatulas, wooden spoons and ladles into an open crock next to the stove, which has made them much easier to access than the drawer in which I used to keep them. This makes sense because I use them pretty much every time I cook.
Finally, a great way to reduce your boiling point is turning on some music and dancing around the kitchen. Pretty aprons, nice dishes and a bright cheery atmosphere can also make you want to cook more. So clean up your act, put some spice into your cooking habits and enjoy cooking sans le stress!