Tell me if this is you: Gets excited to find new recipes on Pinterest or in cookbooks, but feel like you make the same thing every week.
*Insert hand raising emoji here*
I’m one of those people who actually enjoys cooking. I really do. But we are in a stage of life right now – I’m stay-at-home mom to a 3 & 5 year-old – where cooking is done out of necessity and not enjoyment.
But that desire to find new favorites and make them hasn’t gone away, so I’ve had to find ways to try those new recipes.
3 Ways to Find Time to Try New Recipes
The name of my cooking game right now is speed. How fast can I go from starting to prepare supper to on the table?
The faster, the better.
And I don’t know if it’s just me, but trying something new takes me for-ev-er. Whatever the cook time is listed on the recipe, I double it. I’m a slow cooker.
Give yourself permission to try something new when it’s fun for you and not when you’re feeling obligated or guilty. Enjoying trying new recipes doesn’t mean recreating the wheel every day and utilizing a new cook book doesn’t mean finishing every recipe in it in a month.
For Mother’s Day, my husband got me the Magnolia Table cookbook. I proceeded to read through it and flag the recipes that I want to try – of which there were about 20.
That will probably take me 2 years.
It may seem like a long time, but if you do the math, that’s one new recipe a month, and I know that’s ambitious for me. And it’s October, which means I’m five months behind already.
Simplify the Other Parts of the Meal
Go Big or Go Home doesn’t apply to this situation.
When you do have the time to try something new, put all of your effort into one new recipe at a time, and make the other parts of the meal as simple as possible.
For this meal, I decided to go with bagged salad and my favorite bread from my favorite bakery for the sides.
Be Strategic About When Your Cook the New Recipe
Make the new recipe on a day when you have some margin. Don’t try to squeeze it in when you’re crunched for time and feeling the weight of getting food on the table ASAP. Pick a weekend or a random day off.
I had one day last week where I was home taking care of my infant nephew, so I could start supper prep a little early. And we didn’t have to be anywhere that evening. So if making the meal took longer than the book said it would (which it always does), we wouldn’t be late for anything.
These little tricks allowed me to look forward to trying something new. All day, I was looking forward to making something yummy (hopefully) and having an outlet for this tiny creative part of me. And the recipe turned out awesome and has now been added to our list of family meals. That doesn’t always happen, but you don’t know until you try, right?
What are you ways to find time to do what you enjoy?