Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Cooking at Home

I came across a great list of tips to encourage more cooking at home over at a blog called 'Organizing Your Way'. Written by Mandi Ehman, mother to four girls, the tips are aimed at both those who love to cook and those for whom it's a bit of a chore. There are six really helpful ideas for being more organised with your cooking, perfect for busy mums! I've chosen to highlight three from the list and have provided the link to the post below.

2. Create an idea file and a favorites list. Sometimes you just can't think what to cook but if you've collated those ripped-out recipes from magazines, or stored links from online cookery sites, you can refer back to them for inspiration. Creating a physical file makes it easy to go to and search for something yummy to cook.

3. Throw in some easy options. We all have days when we either can't be bothered to cook after a tiring day or we've been out and are in a hurry to throw something together. My fall-back is usually pasta with an easy-to-make sauce but things like eggs or a stir-fry are other fast but fairly healthy options. As Mandi puts it, 'these nights are usually about survival'!

4. Keep extra meals in your freezer. 'Whether you double a recipe or set aside a once-a-month cooking day, having meals in your freezer is a great way to have home-cooked meals more often'. This is probably my favourite point on the list and Mandi gives two do-able options for keeping food in the freezer.

If you're looking for ideas of what to cook, I have a couple of suggestions. Use your cookbooks! How many of us have lovely cookbooks that sit on our shelves gathering dust and don't get used enough? Take five minutes here and there to look through and reacquaint yourself with your cookbooks. Maybe you want to mark pages where you see a recipe you'd like to try out for easy referral at a later date. I also think eating seasonally helps you seek culinary inspiration. As regular readers will know, I have organic seasonal vegetables delivered each week and I find it really helps encourage me to look around for a new way to cook with a particular vegetable when I receive it several weeks in a row.

We all know home-cooked meals are best for us and our families but so often a lack of time or inspiration can result in us turning to the quick, but not usually so healthy options of ready-made convenience foods or take-aways. With a little bit of planning and thought however, we can make it easier for ourselves to cook at home and enjoy a varied diet.

You can read Mandi's full list of tips here.

Are you a keen or reluctant cook? Are there any other tips you have to share that keep you cooking at home?


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  1. So agree with these tips, it would be far too organised of me however, to have a list of my favourite recipes. I just dive into the freezer around 5pm and hope for the best.

    CJ xx

  2. You're going to laugh: being on Twitter has brought me back to my pots and pans. Looking at all those recipes makes me feel like cooking. Finding a favorite market helps to. A place that entices you to buy fresh and cook.
    Nice to visit you. :)

  3. I'd have to concur with the freezer tip. If I'm doing something like stew, pasta sauce, chilli etc I tend to cook double so I can freeze the leftovers for a quick and easy meal at a later date.

    I also freeze everything in small portions - that way you defrost only what you need.

  4. CJ - I guess the list of favourite recipes isn't going to work if you're not a really keen cook. Cooking double and freezing is a good easy way to keep your freezer stocked up with home-cooked food though! Thanks for your comment.

    Maryse - local markets with lots of yummy fresh produce are indeed a great way to entice you to cook up something tasty.

    Lucy - good to hear the freezing method works for you. I've been trying it myself since writing this post and cooking double really is easy and it will be so helpful to have stuff in the freezer for a day when I'm pressed for time. Your method of freezing in small portions is a good tip too.


Thank you for reading. I'd love to have your comments and thoughts!