10 Easy Ways To Make Cooking More Fun April 26, 2018

by Lifestyle

Call us crazy, but we’re pretty sure cooking can be fun — and yes, even on busy weeknights (gasp!). Continue reading to find out how. 

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1. Cook a themed dinner

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Meatless (or macaroni) Monday, Turkey Thursday, Fish Fridays, Sandwich Saturdays… you get the idea. Themed dinners are all the rage these days, and it’s easy to see why. By assigning a category to each day, you’ll have a clear “blueprint” for dinner. So no, rules aren’t set in stone. But there’s still some semblance of order and direction — just with a tad bit of wiggle room if you’re feeling inspired.

Hopping on the taco train? This is a must-read. And next Meatless Monday, try your hand at springy vegetarian soups.

2. Organize a food bar

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The last thing you want to do on busy weeknights is make entirely separate meals that cater to everyone’s conflicting taste preferences. But when faced with one die-hard tomato lover and another ardent tomato hater, what is the humble home cook to do? DIY food bars, that’s what. Not only are they versatile and customizable, but they’re also easy to prep in advance, foster creativity, require practically no recipes, and are inherently communal. Get the low-down on taco bars, flatbread bars, pasta bars, and salad bars here.

3. Take your taste buds international

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Discover a world of flavor from the comfort of your kitchen with globally-inspired recipes (conveniently tagged with GLOBAL EATS on the HelloFresh menu). From sticky-sweet Asian stir-frys to herb-studded Argentinian chimichurri, it’s easier than you think to take your taste buds on a trip around the world, no passport required. 

If, like us, you’re still feeling inspired from the Olympics, check out these deliciously simple Korean recipes. And if you’re in the mood to peruse, our recipe archive is the place to be.

4. Cook with a cocktail

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Sipping on a flavorful, fruity, and boozy wine cocktail will surely help warm your spirits while you wait for spring to arrive (and your food to cook). Learn how to make peachy white wine sangria, a mango rosé concoction, and red wine sangria here.

And don’t forget about the HelloFresh Wine Club! 6 bottles of red, white, or rosé delivered monthly to your doorstep? Now THAT’s what we call fun.

5. Turn up the music

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Cooking is prime time to dance like no one’s watching — and sing, too.

Preparing a hearty sauce, lasagna, or meatloaf? “That’s Amore,” obviously. For more elegant fare, “Swan Lake.” On repeat. All night long. And if your meal walks the line between sweet and savory (think dried fruit, glazes, etc), “Sweet Caroline” is a must.

Follow HelloFresh on Spotify for more groovy tunes, and if you’re stumped, ask Freddy FreshBot to recommend a song for you based on the meal you’re cooking.

6. Cook with friends

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Key ingredients include actual conversation, team building without an obstacle course, and less time ’till dinner. There’s nothing not to love, but if you need more proof, here’s five reasons why cooking together is better than pretty much anything.

7. Whip up a one-pot wonder

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Your to-do list is a mile long. The dog needs to be walked, car pooling needs to happen, and dinner? Haven’t even thought about it. We’ve been there. We get it. On the days when free time is not your friend and you think there’s no way I could cook dinner tonight, remember these 10 one-pot meals. Remember that it’s possible to whip up a hearty, delicious, and simple meal without slaving over a Jenga stack of dirty dishes afterwords. And hey? You may even have fun in the process.

8. Play with your food

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Is there anything more beautiful than avocado roses perfectly assembled on a piece of toast? Anything? ANYTHING? Picture perfect, if you ask us (and not as hard as you might think). So go ahead — play with your food. Make beautiful patterns, rainbows, food gradients, and roses. ‘Cause let’s be honest, you definitely eat with your eyes first.

9. Make the kitchen your happy place

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Before you bust out the pots and pans, give your kitchen some love and scrub, scrub, scrub until everything’s spick and span. But instead of the usual all-purpose cleaners, try your hand at making them from scratch. Not only do they come together in less time than it’ll take you to drive to and from the store, but they’ll save you money, too. And the best part? No harsh chemicals. Before you know it, your spotless kitchen with fresh, citrusy scents will become your new happy place, cooking will become part of your fun, go-to groove, and you’ll never look back.

While you’re at it, try these DIY natural room scents, too.

10. Forget about perfection

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Some dinners take a turn for the worst. It happens to everyone; we’re all human. The important thing to remember is that stressing over perfectly roasted veggies (golden brown but not charred-kinda golden) or impeccably cooked steak (medium, moist, tender) is a sure way to put a damper on the fun. Far easier said than done, we know, but try not to take yourself too seriously. And remember, for what it’s worth, kitchen catastrophes make great stories.

How do you make cooking fun? Let us know in the comments!

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