Of all the adult responsibilities I have so far gained, cooking is one of my least favorites. I absolutely despise getting off from work and coming home to stand in my kitchen (for what seems like twenty hours) to stir, chop, peel and all the other cooking terms I’ve learned.
Unfortunately, I have realized that cooking is not going anywhere anytime soon, and because I’m single, I have to do it all myself.
Being an optimist and a five-year-old at heart, I have come up with a few lazy girl tricks and unique ways to make myself enjoy cooking more. It hasn’t made me love take-out any less, but it has made cooking a little more bearable.
1. I act get ready for lights, camera, and action.
When I’m in the kitchen, I act like I’m the new Giada. I call it “In the Kitchen with Brittany.” Creative – I know. I yell “Bam” like Emeril and dance around the kitchen like a Betty Crocker commercial while humming and talking out loud about what I’m adding to my chicken to make it taste better.
It’s ridiculous, but a hell of a lot more fun than staring into my sauce as I stir it.
2. I take myself around the world.
Italy, Mexico, Japan!
Why cook tacos without salsa dancing in the kitchen while listening to Mariachi? Anytime I make spaghetti you can bet I’m prancing around my kitchen singing Mambo Italiano.
Anything is more fun when you’re traveling, so acting like your kitchen turned into a cooking class at the Great Wall of China is a much more fun way to cook.
3. I make smaller portions.
Cooking for one is a hard feat sometimes.
Grocery stores like to package for multi-member families and unless you like scraping the leftovers in the trash or eating them every day of the week, individually packed chicken breasts and miniature cans of veggies are lifesavers. For those times that you can’t find individual packages or miniature cans, Ziploc bags and the freezer are your best friends. Save and re-heat.
4. I remind myself to not to waste my money.
It doesn’t matter how much fun I make cooking, sometimes there are days that it takes everything in me to not get take out.
On these days, it helps to glance at my bank account or in my wallet and then look at an old receipt from eating out. Then, I think of something else to buy that costs just as much as my last take out meal.
Done. That new dress – way better than that fast food cheeseburger.
5. I don’t have a mountain of dishes.
The best part about cooking for yourself is that it’s just you. I literally only have to wash one dish if I want. I don’t have to worry about plate presentation or even putting the food on a plate.
Grab that pan and plop it right in front of you.
6. I keep it creative.
I am convinced that I could write a cookbook.
In this cookbook would be a book full of delicious foods that nobody has ever thought to mix together. You are the only judge, so there is no fear of making something that somebody else won’t like.
If you think that your chicken will taste good if you cut it in half and fill the center with ranch and cheese, then do it (it is by the way). While cooking can be time consuming and repetitive, there’s always a way to make it more fun. Embrace the lazy and experimenting things you can do while being a single cook. It’s the only time in life you won’t be stared at for eating a mixture of weird shit out of the pan in your bed.
Stop eating take out every night and start exploring your kitchen. I was just as scared of it at first too, but now I’m practically ready to open my own restaurant.