With all of the talk about the decline of the kitchen last month, this month I am working with Wolf to share with you about reclaiming the kitchen and about my experience. I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed food. I think that for me, everything surrounding food, from the smells to the tastes, started in my childhood. As part of a large family, meals were our time to connect, as well as a time to eat. So, my enjoyment of food is also connected to being part of a loving family. Throughout my married life, there have been times when I have really gotten away from the kitchen, but I always return to my kitchen and meals together as a family.
When things get busy, we tend to eat out more often. Although I enjoy eating at restaurants, a home cooked meal makes more sense. Not only is it significantly less expensive, it is often better quality food that is more nutritious. A home-cooked meal can even take less time than driving to a restaurant, placing an order and waiting for your food to be cooked. Plus, preparing and eating a meal at home, allows time for my family to be together. The problem for me was that I didn’t know how to make some of our favorite restaurant food, such as steak, but I was determined to figure out how to cook a steak with a perfectly seasoned, seared outside and a tender, juicy inside. I tried making steaks on the grill, steaks under the broiler and even tried a recipe for steak in a slow cooker. Finally, I found a recipe online for how to cook a perfect steak in a pan and now my daughter says that my steaks are better than the ones from a high-end restaurant.
Besides making steak, I’ve learned how to make many things from juicy cheeseburgers, parmesan crusted chicken and fettuccini alfredo, to buttercream frosting, crème brulee and macarons. Not only did I learn how to make these things, I am trying to teach my kids how to make their favorite meals. So, the next time my girls wanted steak for dinner, I had them cook their own steaks, while I stood alongside them showing them how to do it.
If they can do it, so can you! I don’t have formal training. I’m not a chef. I am a mother, a wife and a lover of food, just like you.
Tips for reclaiming the kitchen:
- Give yourself the time and space to cook in the kitchen. Try to think of it as a fun experiment. Sometimes you are going to be successful and other times your experiments are going to fail. All the while, you will be learning!
- The internet is full of resources and recipes. The Wolf website is a great place to find recipes, as well as tips for reclaiming your kitchen.
- Talk to your family what they want for dinner. Then, narrow it down to a meal or two, making it a group decision.
- Make a list before going to the grocery store. Include everything you will need for the meal from the main dish to the sides. Don’t forget about things like spices and condiments you may need. I like to make my list on my cell phone (because I don’t forget it at home like a paper list) and I delete items as I put them into my cart.
- Take a quick peek in your cupboards to see if the staples you typically have on hand are still stocked, and make sure they are still fresh. Replace the things you will need for your meal.
- As a family, choose which evening you will have your meal. Pick an evening or time when everyone will be home. If everyone puts the family dinner on their calendar, they won’t accidentally schedule something else during that time.
- Let each family member help with preparing the meal. Younger children can scrub veggies and tear lettuce. Teens can peel potatoes and slice carrots. Everyone can help set the table.
- Sit down at the table together; turn off the television and put cell phones on silent.
- Talk to each other about how your week is going, about something you are looking forward to or about your favorite family memories. Don’t only talk, but also listen to what each family member has to say.
- Enjoy your food, enjoy your time together as a family and then do it again next week!
Now, it’s your turn. I would love to hear how you’ve reclaimed the kitchen!
Please leave a comment below and check out this great video from Wolf.
This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Wolf blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.” Please note that new FTC blogger guidelines recommend posting the disclosure clearly at the top and at the end of sponsored blog posts. Disclosure Guidelines:http://ftc.gov/os/2013/03/130312dotcomdisclosures.pdf