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How to Look Forward to Cooking at Home (3 Easy Steps)

How to Enjoy Making Dinner

How to look forward to making dinner in three easy steps:

1) Send the kids upstairs to watch a movie.

2) Sneak out the bag of chocolate chips to snack on. 😉

3) Turn on a podcast or music you love. See some of my favorites here.

Ta-da! Instead of drudgery, dinner-making becomes something you look forward to!

Bonus ideas: 1) Only cook recipes you love. 2) Decide what you’re making before 5 pm. 3) Stick to simple recipes.

Need some quick, easy, and frugal recipe ideas? I’ve been posting some on Instagram this week.

Now that I’m back to doing a lot more cooking since I’m traveling a lot less and have cut back significantly on my work responsibilities, I’m loving getting to get back to meal-planning and cooking again… so that means you’ll probably see a lot more recipe and food-themed posts here from me. 🙂

Have any great tips to add to my list here on how to enjoy making dinner more? Share them in the comments!

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  • karen b says:

    Yay for more food related posts!!!!! That was what brought me here in the first place 🙂 I think it was one of your muffin recipes that we still use! I or my teen age daughter cooks every nite, & we both enjoy it for the most part & we normally keep it pretty simple but its always fun to get new recipes. One of our all time favorites is strawhats which is basically what you call haystacks.

  • KS says:

    Great post:) and yum for chocolate chips!

    Glad to hear there will be food posts from you again! I have really missed those. Your pumpkin chocolate chip muffins are the bomb! I use that recipe all the time- even in the summer. 🙂

  • Amanda says:

    Very excited to read that more food posts are coming! I frequently return to your Four Weeks to Fill the Freezer posts. Your baked oatmeal freezer recipe in on regular rotation here.

  • Florence says:

    My three steps are:
    Plan- know what you are going to cook and have all the ingredients on hand.
    Prepare- get all the ingredients, bowls, pans, measuring cups, etc. together in one place early in the day. I also like to have any chopping or slicing done early in the day and kept in the refrigerator.
    Cook- cleaning up as you go. With everything together and prepared early, the cooking part is a breeze and the cleanup it too. Part of cleaning up is storing leftovers in individual serving size containers–ouila, lunch for tomorrow.

    • Susan says:

      Like! I try to do this to. Makes a huge difference.

    • Brittney says:

      Cleaning as you go helps so much. I always put things away as soon as I’m done with them and put dishes in the dishwasher or sink of soapy water right away. When I’m done most of the cleanup is already done too. It makes cooking so much more fun.

      • Liz says:

        I got into this habit when I had a teeny tiny apartment kitchen and no counterspace. It makes after dinner cleanup so much easier!

    • Mila says:

      Florence, these are my steps exactly, making the cooking part so easy. I plan menus a week at a time. Look them over as I’m chopping something and chop extra, if I’m using more (say chopped celery) during the week. It’s done, it’s one knife and cutting board to clean one time, instead of multiple times, and it saves me a lot of time!

  • Ashley says:

    Hooray! I’m excited about more food posts. I’ve missed them.

  • Number two is essential 😉

    For me, the big thing that makes cooking more enjoyable is starting with a clean kitchen, which probably sounds obvious, and also, cleaning up after myself as I go, rather than waiting until I’m done to put things away.

  • Michelle says:

    I am loving all your posts this week! They have been so personable and remind me of your posts from when I first started following you 7 or 8 years ago!

    • Thanks so much! I’m SO excited to have breathing room in my life again… even though making so many changes and hard decisions over the past 4 months was so hard, I’m thrilled with the fruit of those decisions and just being able to be home and get back to so many things that I love and that are life-giving!

  • Abby says:

    Too funny; I just blogged about this:
    Great minds… 🙂

  • Mari in MD says:

    Having the kitchen relatively clean, especially the dishes, is essential for me. It also helps to have a refrigerator that isn’t so full so I can find what I need and a good novel or other book on CD to make the time pass. If all else fails, I set the timer andvtry to beat it, especually when cleaning up.

  • Number four: The husband comes in and cooks alongside–making it a sort of date night!

  • Ashley says:

    Lol! When I saw the title I thought this was going to be a typical “15 different ways to enjoy cooking” type post. Oh my! The hilarity of eating choc chips, sending kids out, and doing your own thing! Haha! Made me smile!

    The dinner hour can be CRAZY with littles, so I found this very real and encouraging!

  • Julia Moore says:

    Looking forward to more food and recipe posts from you. Even though I’m trying to mostly follow THM; I def. over complicate my meals a lot of the time. Looking forward to the ideas and encouragement to simplify meals and meal planning.

  • Anna says:

    And when kids are old enough… Have them clean up!! The worst part of cooking.

  • Kim says:

    Your hamburger vegetable soup has taken us deliciously through an extended season of sickness. I’ve made it several times. Yummy! Thank you for sharing

  • Molly says:

    Our steps are very similar! I get the kids started with the TV, grab some carrot sticks (I’m trying to lose weight or I’d have out the chocolate chips too!) and then set up my tablet and Bluetooth headphones and watch a show on Netflix. (Generally something funny that I don’t have to watch every second.) This method also helps me during the part of the day I dread the most — kitchen clean up time!

  • Carrie says:

    Awesome simple tips, lol. I have a hidden chocolate chip stash in our pantry 🙂 While the kids are busy, making dinner is the perfect time to sneak a treat! I’m also really enjoying contemporary folk music while I cook. It’s amazing what a difference just listening to something can make.

  • Diane says:

    Cooking in the morning before my kids get extra fussy (they don’t always wake up from nap happy) works. I use the crock pot a lot or aready have a meal assembled to just put in oven after nap. Then after nap we can read or play or clean.

  • Haha! This really made me smile! I feel like we see all over the blog world posts on how to enjoy cooking with our kids, when sometimes it’s just nice to be in the kitchen fixing dinner alone snacking on chocolate! 🙂

  • K Ann Guinn says:

    When my sons were little (now they are sixteen and eighteen), the best tip ever for cooking supper was to have them or help them clean up all the toys and then sit them down in front of the TV! When they were of an age where I couldn’t leave them unsupervised, I either let them watch from a playpen or used my handy highchair in the low seat position.

    The only piece of advice I would add now is to keep some ingredients for quick, easy meals on hand at all times; make an extra (or two) of most complicated meals to keep on hand in your freezer for later; and allow yourself to fall back on a frozen prepared meal now and again.

  • Liz M says:

    I had to comment – YEAH for more recipes and food posts. My husband always used to ask “Is this a Money Saving Mom recipe?” It would always crack me up. We serve your sweet potato recipe for every holiday! Can’t wait for you to share some of your new favorites!

  • I also let the kids watch a movie when I’m making supper fairly often. Another tip: call a friend while making dinner. It makes it seem like so much more fun and as a bonus, you get to build relationship. It is one of my favorite things to do.

  • Cherilyn says:

    Menu planning is huge! I am always inspired to cook when knowing what we are having for any given meal.

  • HoosierMom says:

    Put up the toddler gate to keep from stepping on toddlers or baby while cooking.

    Use the crockpot for supper, and load it after breakfast when the kids are busy and happy, not whining for fooooood.

    Label the shelves, drawers and door of the fridge, so it stays organized and stuff doesn’t get lost in the back.

    Definitely listen to podcasts. I’m enjoying A Slob Comes Clean and Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

    Drink peach tea or Pepsi throughout.

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