Some people find the ideas of working 9-5, then coming home to cook everyone dinner a tad stressful. And, I’ll admit, on particularly long days, I’m one of those people! And even if you aren’t rushed around dinner time, making dinner after work can still be a bit chaotic. (Why do you think TV dinners exist?) However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Cooking should be enjoyable for everyone, regardless of time constraints. There are so many different recipes to try and flavors to experience that you should often be expressing your kitchen creativity and experimenting with your food. Yet so many people will prefer to stick a ready meal in the microwave and be done with it. Or, they have a small set of recipes they fall back on all the time. If you’re one of those people, then let this post open your mind to the possibility of hassle-free cooking and better eating.
Hassle-Free Cooking Idea #1: Get Everyone Involved
Obviously, if you’ve got really young children you might want them to stay out the way, but if you’ve got tweens or teens there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be helping you in the kitchen. Getting them excited about cooking can also help to keep you motivated in making good food rather than taking the easy option. Even if you just get help with the manual labor side of things such as chopping or peeling vegetables, it all takes a bit of the burden from you. Plus it is a great way of bringing all of the family together. If you do have younger children and want to try and get them involved then you could get them to help with the safer tasks such as sprinkling the cheese if you’re making a homemade pizza. They’re more inclined to try foods if they’ve helped to prepare it.
Hassle-Free Cooking Idea #2: Kit Your Kitchen Out
If you want to make cooking hassle-free, you need to have a decent modern kitchen. Of course, you could renovate and give yourself a brand new one — if you can afford it. Or you can make do with what you have, and fill it with the latest appliances. Something from Kitchenaid will literally aid you when it comes to fun tasks such as baking. (I LOVE their standing mixer!) It has so many capabilities, and they actually look really pretty, as well. They’re a tad on the expensive side, but worth it in the long run, since they are long-lived.
Another cool addition you could put in the kitchen is a food smoker. They give off that gorgeous smokey BBQ taste that you’d get from an outdoor BBQ, but without the hassle. If you’re stuck with deciding which one to chose, get help deciding here.
The one thing every kitchen needs though is a good oven. But what’s the one thing people don’t seem to have? A good oven. If you’re looking for something that’s going to make cooking hassle-free, then you should look into the price of a double oven. People’s biggest complaints are not having enough space when it comes to cooking, a double oven will solve all your problems. Frankly, I wish I had one for this Thursday! Luckily, I have two slow cookers and will be making three of my usually oven-made dishes in those!
Hassle-Free Cooking Idea #3: Safety First
Hassle-free cooking is safe cooking. Nothing creates more hassle than a sliced bloody finger leaking into you bolognese mix. So, you need to find ways to make your kitchen as safe as possible. Let’s start with the major issue that a lot of homes face, fire due to lack of fire safety equipment. We aren’t talking about a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, but a simple smoke detector could save the lives of everyone in the house, as well as your lovely dinner from burning too much. They don’t necessarily go off because your house is burning down, you could have just left the pie in the oven for too long. (Or you’re cooking bacon with all the windows open like I was yesterday and it goes off because there’s a little smoke in the air. Erg.) Keep in mind, that if you rent where you live, in many states it is against the law not to have a working smoke detector.
In addition to fire safety, you may need to think about making the kitchen safe for little ones. Make sure knives are well out of reach and cupboards are childproofed. The last thing you need is a child rummaging through your cupboards and ruining the contents.
Hassle-Free Cooking Idea #4:Cook What You Like
Hassle-free cooking is fun! You need to actually enjoy what you’re cooking. If you look forward to the meal you’re making, you’re less likely to consider the making part of it a hassle. But at the same time, it can be so repetitive making the same foods over and over again. Try and experiment a little and challenge yourself in terms of cooking. Don’t just go for the simple chili, switch it up and create a chili nacho cheese feast. Sounds good right? All you need is your normal chili con carne mix. Get an ovenproof fairly large dish and layer with nachos, top with the chili, add a layer of cheese, repeat until done. Microwave for 3 minutes to melt the cheese and you’re in for a treat.