Pleasure Cooking

Far too often we get caught up in the necessity of cooking in order to eat and forget the absolute joy that can be found through the act of cooking. Of course this isn’t limited to stovetop cooking. There are many men and women around the world who find baking to be an extremely pleasurable pastime in addition to traditional stovetop cooking or even barbecuing on a grill. The main distinction occurs in how you perceive your cooking projects.

How Do Your View Cooking?

While this question is asked somewhat rhetorically, it is a question you should ask yourself and answer. Do you view cooking as a chore or duty or do you view it as a project? There is something much more exciting about embarking on a new project than getting around to a loathsome chore. If you do view cooking as a chore the more important question might be why?

Some common reasons that people dislike cooking include the following: lack of skill, lack of confidence, boredom, or you could simply dislike the inevitable clean up far more than you enjoy the process of cooking. For each of these, there are solutions if you are willing to make the effort. capresso ultima

A lack of skill when it comes to cooking can be easily corrected in most cases by taking a few cooking classes. Classes are offered for varying degrees of skill sets and are meant to help you develop your cooking talents while teaching you the basics of meal planning and preparation. You can increase your skills by taking more classes down the road.

While a lack of confidence is a little more difficult to address having a few ‘dinner parties’ in which your quests can compliment your culinary talents can often solve this particular dilemma. The key in this process is to plan your menu carefully and remain well within your comfort zone. You will be amazed at the wonderfully rich and delicious meals that can be prepared with very little effort if you are willing to sift through the recipe books in order to find them. culinary academy

Boredom in the kitchen is perhaps one of the easiest problems to fix there is. The solution is exceedingly simple-find a challenge. Try cooking Thai or Indian cuisine. Try more difficult recipes. Try making only meals from scratch or simply try broadening your use of spices and seasonings. There are many things you can do in order to bring some excitement back into your kitchen. You may even discover hidden talents and tastes in the process.

There will always be clean up. My suggestion is to make a deal with either your partner or your children and they can draw straws over who cleans up. Of course if this won’t work in your family, you could always turn over a new leaf and clean as you go whenever possible. This makes the clean up process after dinner so much simpler to handle that it is well worth a few extra minutes during meal prep.

Cooking for pleasure is really the only way to cook. If you have difficulties when it comes to finding the enjoyment and entertainment value of cooking, perhaps it’s time you bring some fun back into your kitchen. If you’re barbecuing, put on some Jimmy Buffet and dance around your kitchen. If you’re cooking Italian find some nice Italian music to set the mood. Bring the fun back into your kitchen and you will find that cooking is a pleasure rather than a chore. Wilton chocolate fountain

Choosing a Theme for your Holiday Cooking

For some families there is constant competition from one year to the next to top the efforts of the hostess for the last season’s holiday festivities and cooking. If you are looking for a great way to do just that when it is your turn to do the holiday cooking for the family how about breaking with tradition and creating your own theme for the holiday? I know it may seem a little rebellious and some may not like it but others may find it ingenious.Coleman roadtrip grill

You can make your holiday cooking fit any theme or situation you like. You can create the perfect picnic complete witch a checked table clothe, seating on the ground, and baskets filled with goodies for everyone to dig in when ready. The idea is to do something a little bit (okay I admit it a lot) different from what others have done in the past and give them ideas to build upon for the next holiday cooking theme. If you decide to go with the picnic theme be sure to bring wine, cheese, and plenty of finger foods that travel well. If the weather permits (and it may depending on where in the country you live) you can actually make a picnic event of your turn doing the holiday cooking.culinary academy

You can set your food up and display your cooking efforts like an all you can eat buffet if that’s what you like, though I hope your cooking is much better than most of those I’ve tried. The point is to make the theme something that is new and a little bit different but also that isn’t really related to the holiday but allows the family to enjoy the benefits of the holiday, which includes the pleasure of each other’s company.

If you really want something new go with an ethnic theme for your holiday cooking. This leaves a lot of room to explore and those who have the duties of cooking for the holidays next year will have a hard act to follow if you choose a theme that you really enjoy eating and cooking and decorate well to suit the theme. Let your imagination, personal tastes, and knowledge of your family be your guide as you decide what theme to incorporate and how far you want to take it. You can even have a lot of fun by issuing a challenge from the very beginning.

One fun theme that I’ve always wanted to bring into my Christmas cooking (specifically) is a Medieval Christmas theme. I think it would be fun to require costumes for the dinner, dancing afterwards, and observance of some of the cultural ‘manners’ of the time for the celebration of Christmas. It just seems like such a fun way to spend the day with family and loved ones even if you are doing the cooking. The good news is that with a Medieval Christmas cooking theme you have a little bit of room to let your imagination run wild and it will definitely be a hard act to follow.the green egg grill

The downside is that skipping tradition is always a risk. If you are worried that your family might not like it, ask first, and then decide if this may or may not be the right move for your family situation. You could always do the other as a Christmas party or for your own personal Christmas with immediate family only (though arguably that would be less entertaining).

Cooking for One

It is often frustrating to attempt to plan meals that are designed for one. Despite this fact, we are seeing more and more recipe books and Internet websites that are dedicated to the act of cooking for one. Divorce and the death of spouses or grown children leaving for college are all reasons that someone accustomed to cooking for more than one would suddenly need to learn how to adjust all the cooking practices utilized before into a streamlined plan of cooking that is more efficient for one person creating less waste. Wilton chocolate fountain

The mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make cooking for one a challenge rather than a trial. Use this opportunity to try new and exciting cuisines. Perhaps one of the greatest things about cooking for one is the fact that it isn’t quite as expensive as cooking for two. This means that you have a little more money in the grocery budget with which to plan and prepare your meals. the green egg grill

One thing you may want to keep in mind however is that when cooking for one, if you prepare foods that are freezable. It may save more time (and in the end money) if you cook the full 2-4 servings that most recipes call for and freeze the leftovers in single serving portions for a later point in time. This leaves you with a freezer full of foods for those nights when the thought of cooking just seems beyond your capabilities. This also leaves you with doing the work once and enjoying the fruits of your efforts many times over. This is a great position to be in if you ask me. culinary academy

We are finding more and more recipes and cookbooks that are designed around the concept of cooking for one. No matter what situation placed you in the position of cooking for one, there is no reason that you shouldn’t enjoy great food that is exciting and pleasant simply because you are dining alone. There is no harm in enjoying a fabulous meal with a glass of wine and great music whether you are cooking for one or one hundred.

Remember you are what you eat and if you relegate yourself to boring meals that lack excitement and spice that is what you will become. However if you decide to reach out and try new and exciting dishes with every meal you prepare when cooking for one, it will show in the way you embrace life in other areas as well. While we should not live to eat, we should also not limit ourselves to eating to live. Enjoy the foods you prepare whether the portions are large or small in size. Best Breadmaker

If you do not want to invest heavily in cookbooks that relate to cooking for one, it is quite possible that your local public library will have a few from which you can find some excellent recipes tips and resources. While you are there be sure to check out their selection of exotic food cookbooks in order to spice things up a bit. You never know what treasures you may discover on the shelves or your local library. You may even find local resources on classes that center on the idea of cooking for one. If the library proves to be a bust as far as resources go, the Internet is full of recipes, tips, and hints for those who are cooking for one. capresso ultima

Cooking Classes for the Masses

Whether you are a seasoned pro when it comes to the fine art of cooking or an utter novice there should be some cooking classes or resources in your area that can help you learn and improve your existing skills. Surprisingly few people manage to utilize the many wonderful opportunities that are available to them when it comes to cooking classes.Coleman roadtrip grill

If you are considering a cooking class you should be glad to know that many communities offer them for a nominal fee at night and sometimes on the weekend. These classes are rather basic and often designed to help women learn the basics of a few economical and healthy meals to prepare for their beginning families. If you fit the bill for this, then you should check out your local library for possible leads for these sorts of classes in your area. Even if they do not have the information available it is quite likely that they can point you in the right direction.Wilton chocolate fountain

If you are looking for cooking classes that you can take with your children, check out your library once again for the first resource. There are also many gourmet food shops that offer cooking classes for parents to take with their children. This is a great opportunity to bond with your child while you both learn to prepare a new dish or two together. It is quite likely that you will be quite surprised by the things you can learn from your child as well as the things you can learn by simply taking the class.

For those among us who are seeking culinary experience with very specific cuisines you will have to search a little more for the perfect cooking classes in which you can achieve your goal. They do exist however, though your chances of learning Thai cooking are much greater in a larger city than in smaller towns throughout the country. If you are really interested in learning some exotic cooking techniques perhaps you should consider a vacation in which you can try out a few new cooking classes while you are there. If you prefer other things on your vacation to cooking you could make a point of attempting one basic class in the cuisine of your choice for each vacation you take. This will give you a little more than the same old souvenir to bring back from your trip and an experience that in many cases is quite memorable.culinary academy

Finally, if you are looking for a romantic idea, how about signing up to take a couples cooking class? Believe it or not, these classes are often offered in both big and smaller cities. They seem to be all the rage around Valentine’s day, perhaps the hint is that the other partner in a relationship can share some of the cooking responsibility or perhaps the idea is that there is more than one way to steam up the kitchen.the green egg grill

Regardless of the reason for taking cooking classes they can bring not only a great deal of enjoyment to your dining room, but also increase your ease in your kitchen. If you’ve never taken a cooking class, there is no time like the present to do so. No matter how skilled you are in the kitchen there is always something that can be learned.