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Cooking for Two - Be Your Own MasterChef
Do you bang things in the oven and hope that the food you put on the tray turns out okay?
Are you like Carrie Bradshaw, who uses her oven as a storage facility?
Does the thought of cooking irritate you?
If you're anything like what I was a few years ago, then you probably don't enjoy being in the kitchen too much.
I didn't hate cooking, I just couldn't be bothered with it.
It was too much effort. It took too much time.
There were better things to be doing than slaving away over a hot stove for an hour.
Truth is, you don't need to spend hours in the kitchen. You can create a quick and tasty meal for two in under half an hour if you wanted to....and have fun doing it at the same time.
Make Cooking FUN
The first thing you need to do if you want to be the MasterChef to your own kitchen and start enjoying cooking, is forget about what the norm for cooking is.
You don't have to make a roast on Sunday, you don't have to have a set menu that never alters for every day of the week - you don't have to do anything.
Cooking is meant to be a creative expression.
It's meant to be fun. Not a chore.
True, if you have to make the food yourself every night, it can get repetitive and you could feel exhausted, or even a little resentful.
Cooking together is one way of making it seem less like a chore, and more as a way of spending quality time together.
Or, you could take turns in cooking.
One person can cook, and the other can set up the table and do the dishes. Or, you could take turns and treat your partner to a night of complete relaxation and do all the cooking and cleaning up afterward.
Cooking together or giving each other turns in the kitchen to cook is a good way of getting creative, and coming up with new ideas.
It's also a great way to unwind after a stressful day.
Gone are the days when the only reference to recipes were passed down recipe books from generation to generation.
Today, there's an entire world of information at our fingertips. Use it and explore different avenues to come up with ideas for food.
Here are a few that you could try to start with:
- Food Network Channel
- Cooking Websites
- Food Blogs
- Restaurant Menus
- Catering Companies
- Updated Family Recipes
- Or, you could just wing it and throw a few things together and see what happens!
A World of Flavoured Difference
Have you ever eaten food so delicious that you felt as though your mouth was going to explode from sheer pleasure?
Most likely, you ate something that had tons of flavour in it.
Flavouring your food is key to cooking good food.
Whether you're cooking for two, or for a family of six, this is one of the easiest things to do, and it can make an enormous difference to your experience of food and spending time in the kitchen as a whole.
Today, it's easier than ever to plant fresh herbs in your garden. If you don't have a garden, you can plant them in pot plats and put them on your window sill or on your outside balcony.
You don't even have to grown them from seeds, you can buy them half grown in pots of soil, or you can buy them from your local grocery store.
Herbs can be bought fresh, or dried.
When it comes to spices, there literally is a world of flavour combinations. Salt and pepper are two key ingredients, but cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, paprika, cumin and chili flakes are becoming more and more popular as people begin to experiment more with flavours.
- Cinnamon - Use this in your morning oats, on top of pancakes, or in meat dishes to create a North African flavour.
- Ginger - Use this with lemon zest in chicken or vegetable dishes to give your food an authentic Asian flavour.
- Paprika and Chili Flakes - Use these to add a touch of zing to your dishes. Chili flakes work well in almost any dish, and especially well with chocolate.
- My Favourite Quick and Easy Recipes
A quick rundown on how to make Butternut Pizza and Chocolate Covered Popcorn with Roasted Nuts.
Easy Recipe Ideas for Two
Cooking for two is easy, especially when it's only for yourself and a partner.
Here you can really experiment and get as creative as your heart desires.
And, you don't need to spend a fortune to do it either!
Below are a few quick and easy recipe ideas you can make for two, that won't take you more than 45 minutes to make:
- Butternut pizza
- Poached Stuffed chicken with cheese (whatever you have) and anything else you feel like adding, with rice or potatoes, and a quick salad
- Potato bake (add cheese, bacon, onions, or any left overs you might have)
- Chicken/beef/vegetable stir fry with rice or noodles. Fry the rice with egg for an extra Chinese take-out effect
- Fish cakes topped with a quick chopped cucumber salsa
- Tuna pasta salad
- Tomato and herb meatballs with a carrot salad
- Mince stuffed squash with melted cheese on top
I could go on and on....the list is endless. I've tried all of these and they were delicious.
They're adaptable and easy to make. You can use what you have available, and there are usually only one or two main ingredients I need to buy.
The best part is, most of the time there are left overs that can be used for the next night's meal.
They're also budget friendly.
The next time it's your turn to make food, or you're not in the mood, but tired of TV dinners, why not try and get a little creative in the kitchen?
Have some fun, and make something that's enjoyable to make.
I hope you enjoyed these tips and that cooking for two (or three, or four, or five) becomes something you look forward to, instead of just another check-box to be ticked off for the day.
There are so many different ways to cook food - no matter what you've got in the cupboards or fridge at home!