Tuesday, March 11, 2014

When Cooking Feels Like a Chore...

You just got home from a hectic day. You'd made sure to buy all kinds of fresh ingredients to cook earlier in the week, but when you open your fridge to find dinner, you're overwhelmed by all those raw ingredients, staring back at you blankly. Sigh... What the heck are you going to make? Why can't dinner just cook itself tonight?

We've all been there, despite our best intentions. I get it. It's important to me to eat organic, fresh, whole foods and so I prepare most of my own meals. When I'm working from home, that means three times a day. I often rely on leftovers and throw-together salads to keep things simple and easy, but sometimes I feel like I have "better" things to do than be in the kitchen.

Here's the thing: If I know I want to make myself food, and that I'm going to, despite my current feelings about it, I can either let it be a drag, or decide to change my mind. So I usually take a deep breath, shake my shoulders, and change my mind.

Three of my favorite ways to cook:
  • With My Super Sensual Senses. Preparing and cooking food is a gorgeously sensory experience when we remember to be awake to them. Go slow. I smell my ingredients, especially once I've cut them open. I feel my knife. I marvel at the inner world complexity of fruits and vegetables. I taste pieces - raw, cooked and everything in between, I lick my fingers, I take a sip with a spoon. I enjoy the sizzle. My senses tell me when everything is good and ready. Cooking becomes my zen time.
  •  I Make Food My Art. I pretend like I'm a professional chef with my own TV show. I'll orate food poetry and describe my process. I'll chop and arrange my ingredients extra fine or symmetrically. I grab my camera, and photograph the whole process, start to finish. I plate my food carefully, in layers, or with a design in mind, perhaps with a decorative smattering of herbs or drizzle of oil.
  • As a Gourmet Foodie PlayGround. I open my creative mind to all things in my kitchen and pantry. Pull out and look at all my spices. Ask myself, What one simple but unsual spice or ingredient can I include here that will accent and mix up what I've got going on? I notice what's calling or what pops out at me. I start cooking and trust the inspiration will grab me. I pull something random from the fruit basket and figure out how to incorporate it. I make garnishes. I rummage through the fridge for unusual condiments, sides and drink ingredients. My kitchen is my play ground.
How do you keep it fresh? What's your favorite way to cook? LOVE to hear what you're doing and loving in your kitchen... please leave a comment below!

My first Sensual Cooking Feasts have been booked! If you want to boost your creative confidence, wake up your senses big time, or try a new way of shopping and cooking for yourself, come over and let's do it. Learn more here :) I look forward to playing with you.

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