So as promised, here are a few tips to energize your cooking. Now, these aren’t “cooking” tips. You can find a gazillion other sites that can tell you how to organize your cooking, make meals in advance and freeze them, cook in batches, etc.
This is about how to spice up you ATTITUDE about cooking:
Buy cookbooks when you travel – When I was little I used to collect those little touristy spoons or thimbles when I traveled, you know, the useless little things that end up in a junk drawer somewhere? Now I buy cookbooks. There is something really special about buying a cookbook with local flavors and recipes (often stemming from the original settlers of that region). If you can snag a local Jr. League one, even better! So now whenever I pull one of those out, I also relive that particular vacation with people I love.
Pinterest – this is only for the brave and strong of heart. You MUST NOT let yourself be misguided here. Pinterest can incite horrible mommy guilt over all the amazing things that you are not doing for your children. You must resist this. You are looking for legitimate, practical cooking inspiration.
Cook naked – the ultimate risk-filled participation sport. Double points if you are cooking bacon.
Sing while cooking – I had a roommate once who knew when I was singing I must be cooking. She also knew that when I was belting out opera, it must be Italian food. Even now when I’m chopping up fresh basil from my garden while noodles are boiling away a sudden belting of “O sole mio” is a sure indicator.
Pretend you are a cooking show host – this is my FAVORITE game to play while cooking. When I’m really dragging I suddenly imagine myself as a cooking show host, and talk about what I’m doing, why, little food “tidbits”. Really, I should be winning an Emmy for my work here. Double points if you can convince yourself that you not only cook like Giada, but you look like her too ;-)
When in doubt, add bacon.
Don't do too much at once - Serve a fancy meat with simple sides. Or put all your time and money into an incredible side but serve a simple main dish. Ok. So this IS a bit of a cooking tip. But this is also a warning - overextending yourself leads to burnout very quickly.
Pray over your food – something really undercuts all the mess and frustration if you pray for those who will be eating your food while you are putting it together. It serves as a reminder of why you are doing this. If that isn’t your style, at least cook with love. You can taste it, I promise. My husband will suddenly say in the middle of a meal, “I can taste the love in this.” Somehow, they know.