Cooking doesn't have to be boring! Try out these ideas to have some fun in the kitchen

Put on a good movie & cook in bulk

Cooking is so much more fun when you can be entertained while doing it. Cook 5-10 pounds of meat and freeze in 1 pound portions. Or chop up all your veggies for the week. You only have one mess to clean up and you are so focused on the movie that it’s not a chore to cook. Don’t have a tv nearby? Watch a streaming channel like Netflix or Amazon Prime on your phone or crank up some music & sing along. Listen to an audio book while you are doing a mindless task like chopping veggies that doesn’t require much concentration.

Try new recipes

It helps to change things up! Have each member of your family go through a cookbook or go online and pick out the new recipes they want to try. Then once or twice a week take turns making one of those new recipes. Everyone in your family will most likely learn something new that they like. They might even find a new favorite recipe.

Meal prep with friends

This a fun opportunity to catch up with friends while being productive! As a group, decide which and how many meals you want to make. Have one person get all of the groceries and then divide the cost by the number of people. Then you will each go home with recipes to put in the fridge or freezer for a busy day.

Get your kids or spouse to help

They can easily grate cheese, stir, measure, wash produce, set the table, etc. and will be much more apt to eat it when they are involved in the process. They will probably even have fun and learn some new things.

Pretend you are at a restaurant

This is another really fun way to get kids involved. Create a simple menu and have your family sit at the table. Have one person pretend they are the server. Have each person order from the menu. To make this really simple, you could put pizza on the menu and then list different toppings that they can order. List several easy drink options. For dessert only list two options or put vanilla ice cream and then list different toppings they can choose from.

Challenge yourself and make a difficult recipe

Even if you don’t think you are a great cook, give yourself a good challenge and find a difficult recipe that you want to try to make. Read the recipe carefully in advance and make sure you have everything you need to make it, including unique ingredients. Just take the recipe one step at a time and before you know it, you’ve just accomplished a wonderful and delicious challenging recipe.

Try to replicate your favorite recipe from a restaurant

Think of one of your favorite meals that you order from a restaurant. Then try to figure out how to make that at home. You might need to do a little bit of research to help you figure it out. There are many copycat recipes online. In the end, you will probably save money and time, compared to ordering that same meal at a restaurant.

Make a themed meal

Think of a fun theme and make recipes that go along with that theme. For example, for Cinco de Mayo you could make enchiladas, chips and salsa, margaritas, etc. To make it a little more exciting, use bright, colorful plates and cups and maybe even don a sombrero. You could have Christmas in July. Think of your favorite Christmas recipes and use a Christmas tablecloth, dishes, etc. to get out of the norm.

Team effort - who made it better?

Get with a friend, your spouse, your kids or a group of friends and decide on a recipe. Both people or groups make the exact same recipe. Then the rest of the family or some friends can be the judges to see whose version they like better. You could even invite a few unbiased neighbors to stop by to taste-test the final results. They wouldn’t know which team made which dish, so they’d give you honest feedback. You could even post pictures of the finished product on social media and post a poll of whose looks better. The losing team has to do all of the clean up.

Get a new tool to make things exciting

Try getting a new tool to liven things up. Try an air fryer, a high-speed blender, a quick cooker, a food chopper, a panini press or a waffle maker. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, you could even search the local thrift shops or social media to find someone wanting to sell one. New tools are a fun way to make things more exciting. They encourage you to learn a new method of cooking and lots of different recipes.

Create a food bar

When you have had a busy, stressful day, often the last thing you want to do on a busy weeknight is make a huge meal. To make dinner simple, you can create a taco bar, pasta bar, baked potato bar, salad bar, etc. Not only are they versatile and customizable, but they’re also easy to prep in advance, foster creativity, require practically no recipes, and are very easy to feed a group. That way everyone gets what they want and it is less prep time for you.

Make it pretty

he experts all say that we eat with our eyes. So, let your creativity run wild and make something beautiful! Look at some professional food photos for some inspiration to create a beautiful dish. It could be making a fruit pizza with the fruit arranged in a unique pattern. It could be making a rose out of a radish or a tomato peel or making an avocado blossom on a piece of toast. Get some fresh herbs to create a simple, yet stunning garnish.

About the author:

Holly has been a school teacher for 15 years. She has taught cooking classes, cooking camps and cooking birthday parties for the past 7 years. She loves sharing her passion for cooking with others and likes to make cooking fun and simple. 

 

Holly also loves to compete in food competitions, especially at the Iowa State Fair. In her spare time she likes to make new recipes, exercise, play games and read.