Six simple cooking tips for any millennial

 

I loathe daunting household tasks. I fear time-consuming chores and, growing up, I avoided them at any cost (see below). As an adult I am constantly googling ways to simplify chores and then tolerating them with a shot of Jim Beam.


This post may shock those who know me best, because I am not an organized person. I don’t enjoy labels, compartments, travel plans; my days are spontaneous at best. God blessed me with talents other than order and organization.

So if you live in the perpetual unknown and clutter, rest assured that these tips are something even you can accomplish.

One day it just clicked for me! What if I can make my cooking life easier? If meal preparations were simple, I would certainly play chef more often!

Here we go.

  1. Be on the look-out for timely shortcuts. Many grocery stores (my favorite is Publix) will chop or slice meats according to your recipe. They also sell pre-chopped commonly-used, fresh vegetables like onions and peppers. My favorite food shortcut that stays fresh for months, is this minced garlic found in the produce aisle. (No need to make a garlic mess when you can apply it by the spoonful – so simple.)blog garlic
  2. Have an “ingredient runner.” Picture a mechanic under a vehicle ordering tools. That is the cook and the ingredient runner. My husband is a great “ingredient runner” when we are in a hurry (and a school-aged child can help with this as well). My husband stands at the pantry and fridge and quickly passes me necessary items from frozen corn to chicken broth. He will also close up bags and containers and put them back to their appropriate home, limiting my project time and frustration. His time invested is usually five minutes.
  3. Use paper plates for chopping or mixing ingredients.  What a travesty when the chopping board has been soiled by raw chicken and we still have cilantro to chop! Should we pause everything to wash the cutting board at the sink? If you are lazy like me, absolutely not. Just pull out a paper plate, chop the cilantro, and discard. So simple. So easy. (This excellent trick was introduced to me by my husband, honorary ingredient runner.)
  4. Leisurely list your needs – before the store trip. Over the course of the day before my meal(s), I lazily select my desired recipes and review my cupboards. I peruse my Pinterest boards called Healthy Eats and Sinful Eats. I complete these activities at a bathroom break or TV commercial. Later I make a 15-minute trip to my favorite store, clutching my plan and list. I grocery shop the day before the meal so that minimal effort is necessary on the day I cook. Who would go to the grocery store regularly if it was a two-hour browse fest and panicked internet search?! Been there, done that, and I ran home, defeated.
  5. Use the appropriate utensils. This tip is so essential. My favorite is the tongs. The tongs are underrated for the female indoor cook. But they can flip meats or vegetables, gently stir – no need to complicate techniques with flat spoons or spatulas. Find what works for you and stick to it. Tongs complete me.
  6. Utilize the slow cooker or other appliances such as a pressure cooker. Meals become timely when a side dish is added to the slow cooker in the morning and simmers while I’m at work. I make all of my mashed potatoes this way. When I get home, all that I have to do is prepare the meat and maybe another side such as bagged salad! So easy.

That’s all I’ve learned yet. Please add your best tips in the comments below!

Should wives cook for their husbands?

Should wives cook for their husbands?

I am a millennial and I prepare nearly every meal for my husband. We both work full-time jobs.

Before you gasp (it’s shocking, I know), allow me to explain my “old fashioned” ways.

I began cooking for my husband February 2017 because of Lent. Lent is a Christian preparation for Easter and is the practice of abstinence and fasting. During this time, we are called to humility and reflection while we mourn our sins because our sins put Jesus to death on the cross. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I set out to spend the forty days focusing on my husband. I contemplated the ways I could make the marriage less about myself and more about him.

In His infinite wisdom, God enabled me to express my love for my husband more fully through cooking. Our marital bond strengthened. We became more intentional and gentle with each other.

I learned to enjoy and take delight in serving my husband this way. My husband learned (sometimes still learning) to express his appreciation.

I continue to serve my husband after Easter. Here is why:

1. We are called to love our spouse the way Christ loves His Church. Christ loves His Church so much that even though she rejected Him, He laid down his life for her, so they could spend eternity together forever. Are you willing to die to your spouse?

“Jesus has not placed on spouses a burden impossible to bear, or too heavy – heavier than the Law of Moses. By coming to restore the original order of creation disturbed by sin, he himself gives the strength and grace to live marriage in the new dimension of the Reign of God. It is by following Christ, renouncing themselves, and taking up their crosses that spouses will be able to “receive” the original meaning of marriage and live it with the help of Christ. This grace of Christian marriage is a fruit of Christ’s cross, the source of all Christian life.” (Catholic Catechism, 1615)

2. My dad admires that my mom cooks for him. About a year ago I recall him reflecting with great joy the daily meals my mother had prepared for him. His sincere expression of appreciation for her hard work and act of love was an inspiration for me to become a better wife. I want my husband, after thirty years of marriage, to look back and say, “I was blessed with a faithful wife who loved me more than she loved herself.”

3. Acts of service is one of his love languages. [Discover your love language.] Cooking for my husband is an avenue to warming his heart, in the same way that I desire a hug through my primary love language – affection. If a wife refuses to speak her husband’s love language, her husband will be left feeling rejected. It “goes both ways” – husbands should strive to meet the wife’s needs. Both can positively contribute to marriage without blaming or creating expectations for their counterpart. The general message is that marriage is not about you or your happiness – marriage is about actively loving your spouse, even if it means dying to them.

4. He doesn’t criticize my food. My husband is easygoing and sweet, and I have yet to hear a single complaint despite late dinners and burnt chicken. I have full freedom to experiment as many Pinterest recipes at my whim, and he delights in each. Serving a genial person is smooth and peaceful.

5. I get to post sweet Facebook and Instagram pictures. Who doesn’t like getting the love and encouragement (and recipe sharing) from your network? I’ve been opened to others who share this hobby. We exchange ideas and create community.

If you are nervous or overwhelmed to cook for your husband, do not fret. Have patience with yourself. Start with a small goal of one or two meals a week. Begin your own Pinterest board and start exploring – or follow mine.

Not all husbands have the same needs or love language. Not all husbands take great delight in being loved through food (although I have yet to meet one to complain). If your husband has expressed another desire, appropriate avenue of love, I highly recommend you take great measures to meet his expressed and unmet need.

Still have doubts?

Answer this question for yourself.

Do you want your spouse to feel less than loved and cared for?

Not me. Not today. Not ever.