QI'm really bored with cooking and have lost interest in it. Any ideas for how to get back into it, or at least have something for dinner other than takeout?
You're certainly not alone, Elizabeth. Even people who usually enjoy cooking can get burned out by the day-in, day-out demands of just putting dinner on the table every night. While there's certainly nothing wrong with relying on a little help from delivery or takeout when you need a break, there are other tools you could use to give you a hand in the kitchen. And changing up your cooking routine just might be the inspirational boost you need.
One of my favorite kitchen helpers is my slow cooker. While the slow cooker doesn't do all the work (there's still a little browning and chopping to do), it allows you to do all the work in the morning, before the crazy afternoon rush sets in. I particularly like this Italian Beef Roast because it's essentially two meals in one. Cook the meat and vegetables for a savory stew on day one; blend the reserved sauce with cream for pasta sauce on day two. What's more inspiring than having tomorrow's dinner ready and in the fridge?
Another great helping hand in the kitchen comes from your grocery store: a rotisserie chicken. With one of these, seasoned and hot and ready to use, you're halfway to soup or casserole or enchiladas or—you name it, really. With fully cooked chicken on hand, you can make our Creamy Alfredo Chicken Casserole in less than an hour, and most of that is baking time. It's a simple, comforting dish that always reminds me why I love to cook good food for my family.
And, since we're trying to find alternatives to takeout, how about making some takeout flavors in your own kitchen? Think about how long it takes to order and pick up your favorite Thai food, for example. You can have our Weeknight Shrimp Pad Thai on the table in just 15 minutes with another one of my favorite kitchen helpers: Sauté Express® Meal Starter. Our Garlic & Herb flavor is the flavor base in this simple sauce; you add pantry staples and fresh or frozen shrimp.
I hope that inspires you to find renewed pleasure in cooking, Elizabeth! And, remember, it's okay to find the little helping hands and shortcuts that work for you.