Friday, September 7, 2012

How To: Motivate Yourself to Cook More!

SO I was thinking this morning about why I started this blog in the first place. The original reason was just to share my recipes with my friends and family who frequently asked for them, but then something unexpected happen and a bunch of NEW friends were reading too. I now realize, the purpose of the blog is to encourage y'all to do what I love- COOK! To get your booties in the kitchen whipping up something fantastic and show you that it's EASY. Really, there's nothing hard about cooking. Whenever someone tells me "I don't cook." Or "I can't cook." I just stare at them. "Um, what do you mean you don't cook? How do you eat?" Eating out every single meal of the day would be SUPER expensive, so your other alternative is pre-packaged frozen-type meals- have you ever read their ingredient list? ICK-- if you can't pronounce it it's probably not good. You have the ability to make something SO MUCH BETTER THAN THAT. Yes, shouty capitals because I've got my serious face on now. You're better than frozen food, your family (or whoever you're cooking for, even if it's just yourself) deserves more than that. Seriously. Nutrition is important, ignorance is NOT bliss in this situation. This is a "knowledge is power" situation and if you have google, you don't have any excuses. So without further ado- here's my list of motivators to get your butt in the kitchen! :)

1. Cook something you LOVE. Nothing will motivate you more than knowing you're about to have your fave food on the table. One of the best things about cooking yourself is that you get to put whatever you like in the meal, not like at a restaurant where they give you the choices. Love chicken? Sit on Pinterest for 30 minutes, pin every chicken recipe you see. Cook one. Love a specific chicken dish? Google "Chicken ______ recipe", you'll get a ton of recipes. Why pay Olive Garden $12 to make you chicken alfredo when you can make it for $5? And that feeds like 4 people. And on that same note, Olive Garden has their actual alfredo sauce and many other recipes on their website. Just google it.

2. Plan ahead. The saying goes "fail to prepare, prepare to fail" and it's true. You're far more likely to hit the drive-thru if you know you don't have anything to cook at home. Plan a trip to the grocery store Sunday afternoon and layout meals for the whole week, make sure you have ALL of the ingredients on hand and then you have no excuses. You'll also be more motivated to cook because you don't want those ingredients you spent good money on going bad on you! No sir. I was going to stop by a local smoothie joint this morning, but I remembered I have 2 bananas that are EXTRA-ripe sitting on the counter. If I don't use them ASAP, they will be rotten, so I came home and made my own dang smoothie. I'm cheap, so that strategy almost always works for me. 

3. Make a playlist. Put "Beyonce" radio on Pandora and turn it up! Trust me, cooking to 'Bootylicious' is wayyyyyy more fun than cooking to silence. Not a Beyonce fan? Ugh, I feel bad for you- but just put on whatever gets you jazzed :). On the same note, that reality TV show that you just have to watch- blare it in the background. You don't need to see the housewives faces to know what they're arguing about, let's be honest we see that same fight every week! Someone in the house complaining about your choice of tune-age while you're in the kitchen? Tell them to kiss it, or they can cook themselves. 

4. Don't overestimate yourself. I'm so proud of you for getting in the kitchen! But you really need to be realistic with yourself. If you're busy during the week, planning to cook coq au vin is NOT realistic. Stick to something quick & easy that you're really comfortable with during the week, save the harder, newer stuff for the weekend when you have plenty of time to work at it. Nothing is more frustrating than having a burnt meal finished at 8pm when you have to be at work bright n early. Don't be that guy.

5. Buy yourself a new toy. When I was in a cooking rut about a year ago I picked up this fab Kitchenaid knife with a lime green handle. It wasn't expensive, it was around $7 at T.J. Maxx, but it made me so excited to use it because it was so bright and happy! New kitchen gadgets are exciting and fun, and usually pretty inexpensive. Just browse the kitchen aisle in Target- so many cute things! I have a can opener that looks like a toucan, a bottle opener that looks like a shark, a potato peeler that looks like a monkey, and kitchen clips shaped like duck bills. They make me happy. Being happy in the kitchen is important, you want it to be your happy place so that you will be there MORE.

6. Think of all the benefits of cooking. By this I mean both nutritionally, and financially. Nothing drives me crazier than when I see little kids scarfing down Mickey D's chicken nuggets and french fries. Have you seen those pictures of what McDonald's chicken used to look like? That pink sludge? Ick. I understand if you're in a major pinch or you're on a road trip fast food is sometimes necessary. Don't make it a habit! Not only is it a poor choice nutritionally, but it's expensive! A $5 kids meal? If they love chicken nuggets, go home chop up a chicken breast, toss it in some bread crumbs and bake. You'll get like 25 chicken nuggets for around $2-3. And you'll know exactly what's in them. Yes, I know I don't have kids- maybe I don't understand? Maybe I don't. But when I think about having a little mini-me in the future I can't even begin to imagine stuffing them with fake, processed foods. 

7. Just do it. Okay, I'm gonna get a little Nike on you. Just cook. Just do it. Just get in the kitchen and start. Here's some really good, EASY recipes to start with:
Hot {or not} Baked Teriyaki Wings! 
Hot Turkey Sammies! 
Chicken Satay & Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce 
Spinach- Mozzarella Chicken 
Lasagna Stuffed Pasta Shells! 
Bacon Cheddar Ranch Chicken 
Chicken Enchiladas in Sour Cream Sauce 

There's 7 meals, for 7 nights of the week! No excuses. :-D  


  1. Stopping by from Foodie Blog Roll. I defnitely listen music as I cook! Great site!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Kathy! Music always keeps me motivated, no matter what I'm doing :) Especially some Beyonce... lol!

  2. Great post today! I love being organized in the kitchen, helps with my stress level also if I am organized.

    1. Thanks Annette! You're right, being organized should have totally made this list. It's much easier to breeze through a meal prep if you have everything at your fingertips :-)