There might be affiliate links in this post. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission. Read my disclosure policy here.
If you’re still searching for something interesting to do at home, add improving your cooking skills to your everyday life list goals. We all need to eat, and it’s no secret that cooking your own food is the most cost-efficient option. Plus, cooking is a great hobby and survival skill.
Learning how to cook or trying something more advanced might not be as hard as you think. Come up with a dream list of tasty recipes and utilize these ideas below to motivate yourself to get started.
Add Teaching Yourself to Cook to Your Life List
If you’re wondering “How can I teach myself to cook?” There are so many ways to learn how to cook. There are books, recipes online along with friends and family that can show you.
I think videos are the most helpful and fastest way to learn. You’re able to see firsthand how involved a certain dish is. You can also see how the person in the video is preparing the meal along with how it’s supposed to look when it’s finished.
The recipes on Food Network show the experience level involved. It will let you know if a recipe is considered fairly easy to make or if it’s more advanced. It also includes the average cooking time and how many servings you can expect to make.
If you’re just starting out, try to find recipes with videos to show you exactly what to do. The Food Network recipes are also tested so I believe you’re more likely to get great results.
Basically, this means that someone makes the recipe in the test kitchen to see how well it works. They pay close attention to the measurements and the timing of everything so they can guide you to make it the way that they did.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried random recipes and didn’t think they were very good. I would follow the instructions to the letter, but it didn’t always taste great.
It made me want to quit learning to cook altogether. After trying recipes from the Food Network, I felt like my cooking skills improved overnight. I figured out that certain online recipes and ones from magazines weren’t always the best.
The meals I made from Food Network always came out tasty when I followed the directions to the T. For this reason, I stick to Food Network recipes because when I follow exactly what they tell me to do, the recipes are fabulous.
Add “Improve Your Cooking Skills Together” to Your List of Goals
No matter how much experience you have, I believe almost anyone can learn to cook. Cooking fits many different styles: You can make something quick, easy and casual, or be adventurous and attempt something more formal and involved. Either way, it comes off as a labor of love and shows you put effort into making something for someone else.
Also, cooking can seem like less of a chore when you’re doing it with someone else. When you cook together, it can be a bonding experience. Set up a romantic date night with your partner so you can learn a new recipe together.
What to make for breakfast in bed or as a nice surprise in the morning
Unless your significant other is picky, I believe almost anything you make as a surprise breakfast qualifies as special even if it’s peanut butter and jelly served on a tray.
If you want it to be more special than the average breakfast of say cereal, think about making a french toast or fancy pancakes. Make any morning sunny by following one of Sunny Anderson’s ideas. Surprise someone with a special breakfast. You can also try to make scrambled eggs with truffle butter or attempt Eggs Benedict.
Omelettes are also fun to try since you really can’t mess up in terms of taste. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect. Watch videos for tips and remember, each time you try making an omelette you’ll get better and better.
What can be cooked for lunch?
Try different homemade lunch ideas. The sky’s the limit, but if you want to keep it simple, why not try a fancy grilled cheese, chicken lettuce wraps, a panini, or homemade burrito bowls.
It all depends on what you’re craving and whether you want a meal that’s quick to prepare or may take a little more time to whip up. If you’re having a lunch date during the work week, you might want something you can eat quickly. If it’s on the weekend, you’ll have more options.
What are good cold lunch ideas?
Here are a few cold lunch ideas:
- Any kind of wrap (turkey, vegetarian, etc.)
- A simple salad with lettuce, onion, cucumbers and tomatoes
- Pasta Salad
- Egg salad
- Tuna salad
You can also try to make restaurant recipes at home. Look up your favorite restaurants online. Scout out the ingredients for sandwiches and salads and try to make them. For example, on the Panera website, you can look at the menu items. I did this from my desktop.
I like their Fuji Apple Salad. When I click on that, all of the ingredients are listed. If you don’t want to buy every little ingredient, you can pare it down and make a slightly different version too. You can even plot out a weeks worth of ideas on a meal planner slash wellness tracker to have tasty meals to look forward to all week.
If you’re craving fried food, but want a healthier version, air fryers are all the rage! Pull out the best fried chicken recipes or other favorites to make in it.
What is a good romantic dinner to cook?
If your list of goals includes making simple yet impressive recipes, I recommend anything from Ina Garten. Try out one of her date night ideas. I’ve made a few of her shrimp scampi recipes before. They are super tasty and can quickly boost your cooking confidence.
Put making one of her recipes on your meal planner, life list or dream list for any time of year. I’ve never been disappointed and it makes me want to cook more often.
I also recommend Giada De Laurentis’ risotto recipes. I once made this risotto recipe for my husband on Valentine’s day, but really, you can make it any time of year.
There are also many seasonal variations you can try such as a spring risotto or one in the fall that includes squash or other in-season vegetables. If you’re looking to make something special, this is worth a try. Just be prepared to stay close to the stove because you do have to stir the arborio rice frequently.
Consider adding all of the recipe ideas to a couple’s date jar so you don’t have to keep looking up recipes last minute.
Use Your Favorite Recipes and Add “Make a Date Jar” to Your Life List
How do you make a date jar? Get a small jar. You can purchase a mason jar at a craft store or clean out a glass spaghetti sauce jar. Label it “couples date jar” and include all of your recipe ideas, date night ideas and other couple activities.
Then get different popsicle sticks from the craft store or dollar store. Make different recipe bucket list categories of different recipes. Make each category a different color. Maybe your breakfast recipes can be red, lunch can be blue, dinner can be green, etc. It’s up to you to decide what categories to have and how to sort them.
Let’s face it, most dates involve food or dessert of some sort. Make it fun by adding in a few new recipes you’ve tried or want to try at home to make your date meals budget-friendly.
No matter what you decide, put them in a jar and label the outside with your color-coded system so you can remember what the colors represent. Then you don’t have to constantly scramble to come up with new ideas each time.
You can even make a separate jar of fun things to do together. Maybe you go for a walk, ride bikes, make sundaes or play quarantine bingo with another couple or try other bucket list ideas for couples.
Pull out date ideas that already have your approval while still adding a bit of spontaneity since you won’t know which one you’ll choose. Whether you’re looking for cute date ideas for your boyfriend, ones for married couples or you’re celebrating relationship milestones, you’ll have something to do at the ready.
Learning how to cook and improving your existing cooking skills is a must. Add it to your summer bucket list or year round one. It’s an important life skill to have. It can also become a fun hobby for you, and cooking also helps bring people together.
Consider exploring some new recipe videos and challenging yourself in the kitchen over these next few weeks. Incorporate some exciting home-cooked meals and desserts while planning date night and think about starting your own date jar to enhance the experience. Use these simple ideas and get started today!