Life is busy already and if you are like me, I enjoy to make good meals without spending the entire day in the kitchen. Cooking is fun when I make meals that are quick, or healthy (or unhealthy?) and appetizing. Sometimes, healthy food may be compromised for a delicious taste, because we can’t always watch the pounds. I enjoy my meals and work out later or I may reduce the fat content. I have also learnt to add salads or vegetables.
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I have been told several times that I am a good cook but truly, I do not spend a long time preparing one meal. I prefer to make variety of meals when I spend time in the kitchen. I make so much food that it always seems like I’m having a party or having guests over, but actually it’s for me and my family! For sure, I find cooking interesting and my family have grown to love my meals. However, I am quiet selective in my choices and I guess that helps with my creativity.
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I have a very busy lifestyle and so the question is where do I get the time to cook or make meals? Why not just get a take away and save the time? Well, that is actually an option and honestly, I have tried that too but it is not my preference. I have found that eating as a family brings us closer as we relax and settle down, in a casual atmosphere and enjoy each other’s company. Around the table are the times I re-connect with my family and discuss our day’s events and share some jokes or upcoming events. Over the years, I have also seen another advantage to it. My kids have started exhibiting their own cooking skills! Very helpful, I must add.
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It is really useful that my kids have learnt how to make some meals by themselves. My oldest daughter, has now decided that my baked chicken
of so many years, is not as tasty as hers! So, she now calls my chicken recipe, “without love” and has identified her own “special recipe” for chicken! I must confess that the first time, I ate her revised baked chicken, I was pleasantly surprised because it was so perfectly spiced and delicious. She also spent lesser cooking time (not preparation time
) than I did and that again made me to wonder how she came up with such a great meal. Talk about room for improvement! As I watched her prepare her “with love” chicken, I realized that she spent a lot of time interacting and I thought to myself, “I would have completed my meal long time ago (because I do not interact when I’m in the kitchen).” Then guess what the follow-up was? Her siblings have all voted her as the “chicken pro” and I am now her assistant (or maybe voted out completely?). So rather than worry about improving my chicken recipe, I decided to allow her become the master chicken chef! For me, I thank God because I do not have to make baked chicken (for home or parties) and that has earned me some resting time. I joke with my kid (but in a sincere way) and I tell her that since she likes to cook, that when I visit her home in the future, I know I would be guaranteed of a good home-made meal!
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The joy of my love for cooking at home has not ended! My older son, makes the “BEST Baked ” food.He visited grandma a few years ago, and he watched her bake and since then, he has made the best corn bread ever and he adjusts his recipes regularly. Amazing! His first student job was as a Sales assistant for a reputable bakery business and within his first month of working there, he was recognized as the “best worker for the month”. Passion! Again, I have delegated all baking
needs to him including pastries (but he has to be in a good mood) and that again has given me, some spare time
for myself and additional savings added to that. While working at the bakery, he got us freshly baked food daily and now my kids only eat fresh-baked bread, pastries or nothing! I am not the baker but they like to bake and I love to eat
their baked food despite the effects on my waistline.
I have not always loved cooking but over the years I have developed the skills because I figured that as long as I am not in a cooking competition, it is acceptable to add, take out or use any quality of ingredients as I choose. I was motivated by a desire to loose weight and I wanted to control the ingredients I used. Another realization was that I found out that making kids meal
was not as demanding and that it was a good way of engaging everyone. Then I love to entertain and make my guests really fed with variety of dishes and leaving them with lots of “wows and oh my’s”. With this love for entertaining, I quickly realized that it was an expensive venture. So to achieve the same effect, I decided to use my kitchen and be creative there. It really works! I keep improving and what has helped so much is the critique of my kids. They have identified the spices or herbs or sauces that are quite tasteful and blends well.
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Cooking for me is inspirational. I could wake up in a particular day and choose to make different meals and likewise, on other days, I just don’t want to be around the kitchen. On those occasions that I am in a “no cooking or baking mood”, I am quickly rescued by my cooking crews, my dear kids. Recently, my toddler, came home and said , “Mom, I have a baking sale at school and I have to make brownies”. I am not a brownie expert but I know where to buy very good ones, but in this case, the school wants them home-made. Luckily, my younger daughter, who has a flair for making cakes, brownies and pancakes gladly accepted to make them with her brother. I felt so relieved trusting that my son will get the best quality brownie from our home.
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Here is my word of encouragement. Try cooking and invite your kids to watch you cook. For younger kids, use children cook books and for older kids, use their imagination or internet or cooking channels for ideas. Keep it simple initially, be bold and be innovative. Try even the ones that your guts support and if it does not work out as desired, try something new. Experiment with sauces, or spices and get the taste you like.
Cooking may take more time than eating out but there are health benefits too. It does not have to be a daily event and the easy recipes actually gives the same results. My kids meals for me is like eating out at a discount price, since I did not make them. From trying new recipes to critiquing old ones, to free times, to bonding, to sharing jokes, to laughing at our talents and then having hot homemade meals, the benefits are countless.
It has been a real pleasure to teach my children the skill of cooking and now to learn from them is quite delightful.
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Explore together and enjoy a home party.