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How to Enjoy Cooking (Even If You're Scared of It)

Carol has learned over time that cooking can be fun. Read how cooking became pleasant and no longer a chore.

Cooking doesn't come naturally to everyone.

Cooking doesn't come naturally to everyone.

Have Fun in the Kitchen

Scared of cooking? I was. Just the thought of cooking a meal intimidated me so much that I would do almost anything to get out of it. Oh, the excuses I would come up with! I never wanted to have to do this complicated chore, which I wasn't very good at, so my poor family basically lived off frozen meals and takeout (which, as I’m sure you’ll agree, never look nearly as good in real life as they do on the package). And they are not exactly healthy meals.

When I became a little older and a little braver, I learned a few kitchen shortcuts and even started making small meals. I made soups, quiches, even roasts. Before I knew it, I started to believe that cooking a meal was as easy as the pros make it look on those cooking shows.

It's really easy to make delicious, healthy meals.

It's really easy to make delicious, healthy meals.

3 Reasons People Think They Can't Cook

I changed my attitude a little and realized that making a good, healthy, homemade meal every day isn't really hard work at all. This also started me thinking about why I had always thought that it was. I came up with three (really good, in my opinion) excuses for my previous cooking challenged-ness.

1. Their Upbringing

The first excuse was my upbringing. My mother used to cook for the family (she was a stay-at-home mom), and when I recall those meals, I remember that every time she made a nice, hot, healthy, home-cooked dinner, she would make us feel like she had slaved over the stove all day long. This is probably the reason that I believed that cooking was a long and difficult task (don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that all cooking is easy and quick, but you can get away with making lots of quick, healthy meals).

In my mom's defense, I have to say that I have seen a great many films and television shows that made cooking out to be really difficult (and no, I'm not talking about cooking shows). Yes, I do realize that these are sitcoms and are supposed to be funny, but for those of us who don’t spend very much time in the kitchen, it just makes cooking seem like another tedious chore.

Older cookbooks are sometimes so dense and complicated that they scare people off.

Older cookbooks are sometimes so dense and complicated that they scare people off.

2. Their Education

My second excuse for staying away from the kitchen was the home economics lessons that I had to take in high school. We were taught the "correct" way to cook. Did you know that there is a correct way to do everything in the kitchen, including how to measure food? I found this too fussy—and frankly—too annoying. I have since come to realize that my cake will rise whether I level off the cup of flour or not!

3. Dense Cookbooks

The third thing that kept me from cooking was cookbooks. Today's recipe books are far more fun and user-friendly than those produced in the past. I’m sorry, I guess I’m just really shallow, but I prefer to use cookbooks that have nice, glossy, colorful pictures. There are also lots of entertaining cooking shows on TV that teach you how to cook and are packed with brilliant, inspiring ideas for healthy meals.

Happy cooking!

Happy cooking!

Get Inspired

The internet is also a great source of cooking inspiration for me. I love to visit Pinterest and check out all those pins of delicious-looking meals. It’s great to have such a gigantic pool of ideas at my fingertips. all of that cooking inspiration just lures me in. Between the drinks, the decorated cakes (I might even try to make one, one day), and the delectable-yet-healthy meals on Pinterest, I can get inspired to cook (and eat) at the click of a mouse.

Improvisation Is Key

What really helped me overcome my kitchen phobia was the fact that I learned that I don't have to follow every recipe word for word. I can improvise! I can take out any ingredient I don't want (or don't have) and put something else in there instead. Cooking became so much easier when I realized that I don’t have to follow the rules. I actually even enjoy cooking now—it's become a relaxing creative outlet. Who knows, maybe I’ll also be posting my creations on Pinterest one of these days.

Questions & Answers

Question: Do you have any diabetic recipes?

Answer: I don't really. I'm not a doctor nor a nutritionist, so I can't give advice on recipes for diabetics. But, when I do cook for my family and friends who are diabetics I usually just tweak recipes - I use fresh ingredients rather than ready made sauces and other store bought ready made foods that full of sugar and when the recipe calls for sugar I leave it out or use monk fruit sweetener.

© 2016 Carol Morris