A Reader Asks: How Do You Make Cooking Enjoyable?

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Reader Question: Part of the challenge for us is food preparation feeling like a chore. . .

I've always enjoyed my time in the kitchen. But I feel much more like it is wrong to spend too much time in the kitchen with two kids demanding my attention. (And why would you not want to spend all your time with that super-cute kid pictured above and his big sister?) So, here's a couple things I am doing. I hope these ideas can help you and encourage you to come up with some ideas of your own.

  • I maximize my time in the kitchen. If I'm making the week's oatmeal Sunday morning, I might cook up beans (that I soaked the night before) or whip up muffins to go in the oven. Maybe if you decrease your time in the kitchen, it will help you be happier about the time you have to be in there, knowing it is limited.
  • I'm starting to use my Blendtec for more things. Blender pancakes (great for kids, but also really healthy with nuts, nut butter, and fruit). Just whiz ingredients and pour out of the blender onto the griddle. Twice over the joliday, I made a batch of biscuits in the Blendtec for our large family breakfast. Easy prep and easy cleaning.
  • I'm using my oven a lot more. Especially early after Peter was born. For example, in a small brownie pan, I roasted beets. Beside it I had a few ears of corn still in their husks. Another meal, I baked potatoes on one side of a pan and roasted broccoli on the other. Last week I roasted squash, onion, and potato in one pan. Then I blizzed them in the blender for soup.
  • If you're cutting part of an onion for a meal. Go ahead and finish the onion. It saves you time later. For that matter, fill your food processor or Blendtec with onions. Pulse until sized the way you want. Refrigerate the leftovers. It's one less step you have to thinkk about later.
  • Freezer cook as much as possible. This goes with #1. When my mother-in-law was helping in the kitchen this week, I blanched broccoli to freeze, sauteed spinach to freeze for a later spinach pie, and chopped squash to freeze. I also had her make cookie dough to freeze.

And of course, don't forget your favorite music to keep your energy up!

Do you have advice for keeping cooking fun? Please share in the comments below.