I love to cook, eat and pretty much anything which involves the kitchen. It’s my second favorite room in the house, next to the boudoir, of course (wink, wink). I was recently discussing my love of food with a friend, and she said “Yeah, but you like to cook.” This is true and I’m not gonna lie, liking to cook helps a ton. Seriously, if you don’t like it, why would you do it. Other than not wanting to starve and all, which is pretty good motivation in itself. And, let’s face it, eating is something you’re going to have to do for the rest of your life, you might as well find a way to enjoy it. So, if you can, you should reconnect with your kitchen, make it a room you love to be in, and find a way to enjoy cooking.”How?” you wonder. Well, since you asked so nicely….
First, start by making your kitchen about the food. Not yesterday’s mail, your car keys or whatever else you can clutter the counters with. My kitchen counters are sacred to me. It’s the one place not to put random shit because I’ll freak out or just move it…immediately. Seriously, if you put your purse or car keys on my counters, they are gonna find a new home fast. Remember those OCD tendencies I mentioned in an earlier post. Here’s where they come into play.
Aside from my neurosis, find a way to make your kitchen appetizing. I like to keep food on display. If I see it all the time, I’m more likely to eat it or want to cook it. On any given day, you’ll find a fruit bowl at my house. If I have a pineapple or melon, it’ll be in eyesight too. I also keep the potatoes, onions, and garlic (mmmmmm……garlic) out in the open. On weekends, I keep a pitcher of lemon water handy. I love coming into the kitchen and seeing all the delicious and mouth-watering food. It inspires me to cook, eat and drink.
Another way to enjoy cooking is enlist a friend. When he has time, the Hubby does a lot of cooking with me, and not strictly because I force him to, but really because we have a good time, and the end result is so much more rewarding when you prepare it yourself. So grab a friend, a spouse, a partner, a child, or pet (whatever works in a pinch) and bring them into the fold. The work will go by twice as fast, you get to enjoy one another’s company, and as a reward there’s good food at the end.
Turn on some music or the TV, something which interests you. I prefer jamming to music, while the Hubby likes to watch any kind of sport on television. Thank god for the mute button. Grab a cup of coffee, a glass of water, or wine, if you’re feeling frisky and chose your attitude. Tell yourself this is going to be fun. Before you know it, you may actually start to have a good time.
The Hubby recently acquired a bunch of new music, and I have been loving the Latin American beats. Something about it just makes me wanna swing my hips (Shakira wasn’t lying). Before long, I’m sashaying to the spice rack, hip bumping the Hubby, backing that thang up, and most definitely enjoying myself. I look good too, not at all foolish.
Last, start with a simple recipe, which you love to eat. If it has to be a dessert then fine, make a dessert. Just make sure the recipe is easy; the fewer the ingredients, the better. If you don’t have any ideas, feel free to use this one for Baked Sweet Potato Fries. Yes, I know I got a little excited yesterday discussing obesity, but since these are sweet potato fries and they are baked, as opposed to fried, you can actually enjoy them without all the negative health consequences or any guilt. See, you can have your fries and eat them too. I told you healthy eating can be yummy.
- Olive Oil, for tossing
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch long slices, then 1/4-wide inch strips
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1/8 tsp. Pepper
- 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1/4 tsp. Paprika
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a sheet tray with parchment.
- In a large bowl toss sweet potatoes with just enough oil to coat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Spread sweet potatoes in single layer on prepared baking sheet, being sure not to overcrowd.
- Bake until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes.
- I've read if you bake your fries on a cooling rack, as opposed to a baking sheet, they will come out crispier. I haven't tried this technique...yet.