What I love best about cooking is you can be as creative as you want, or you can choose to follow directions to a tee. I savor cooking classes for just that. You can be innovative, pour-over new recipes, master new techniques, or gain information on different types of food you have never had before. Food and cooking are all about the experience and the journey.
Cooking can be relaxing and satisfying even after a long, stressful day. The kitchen has always been my favorite place in the house. When my children were small, and today as adults, it continues to be our central gathering spot. When my husband Conrad and I are alone, he is either working as my "sous chef," or he is hanging out in the kitchen (usually with a glass of red wine in hand) and keeping me company. I love that! We are lucky enough to have a large kitchen and plenty of room for people to gather. When entertaining, the whole group is usually hanging around the kitchen island and the appetizers rarely make it past that point.
I enjoy entertaining. There is something so satisfying about cooking a beautiful, healthy meal with quality ingredients that friends and family experience. I have found that the more entertaining we do, the less Conrad and I are invited to others' houses. Funny how that happens. I think they all just like the experience and the way I make it look so simple and taste so good. I like that it seems that way, but honestly, it takes a lot of work. I am a firm believer in prepping and cooking as much as I can before our guests arrive. Often that means I start a day or two ahead of time. Doing that enables me to enjoy visiting with our guests as well. I make sure to have everything prepped out like I am holding one of my cooking classes; that way, I can talk and cook at the same time. Trying to read a recipe and have a conversation or enjoy any of the appetizers is almost impossible. When you have it all measured out, chopped, and ready to go, you can throw it all together and voila! Your masterpiece emerges!
If you struggle with enjoying to cook, ask yourself why. Is it hard, boring, a pain in the butt? There are a lot of excellent cooking classes around. I suggest taking some if you need help or inspiration. Make sure your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer are well stocked. This helps immensely when trying to put something together. I also suggest taking the time to plan. Figure out your meals for the week ahead and shop for the week as well. Lastly, I would recommend mixing things up each week. Don't get stuck in a rut cooking the same five dinners Monday through Friday. I know a few people who do just that. If you keep making the same dinners over and over, I can understand why you don't enjoy cooking very often.
Don't forget there are some outstanding magazines out there for inspiration each month. I love Bon Appétit, Fine Cooking, and Sunset. There are thousands of amazing cookbooks out there as well. If you want a few suggestions, send me a message on the website and I will be happy to send you some of my favorites.