How many of you love a home cooked meal? Or..
How many of you love to cook but the deciding factor is how much clean up you have? I’m raising my hand for this one!
Of course, most people would like to have a nice, home cooked meal every night, for example, Chicken Picatta, Chicken Alfredo, or a meat and three; but honestly that’s not reality. We get busy and after a long day, the last thing we want to do are the dishes. If we have to clean more than one pan then that meal is a definite NO or even cleaning a pan at all is just out of the question. So instead we go to Chick-Fil-A for that nice meal.
Let me release some tension from that area of your life and say you’re not alone in this! I love to cook and go through this almost every time I cook. These tips I’m going to give will hopefully change your perspective on clean up and that it’s really not as bad as it looks!
Clean as you go! When you’re finished with an ingredient, go ahead and put it away because it will take less than 5 seconds to do that. The more things you get off your countertops, the less cluttered it will feel. If you have a few minutes while something is cooking, be productive during that time and put some of the dishes away or finish putting those ingredients away and throwing away the trash you may have around the countertops. By the time you clean up a couple things, it’s time to check up on your meal. This will save you so much time after dinner when you clean up. It will not be as overwhelming and annoying at the end of the night.
Take out ingredients beforehand! Doing this will save you time while in the middle of cooking. Going from one end of the kitchen to the other while cooking is exhausting. But if you have all the ingredients you in need in one place, including the measuring cups and bowls, it just makes it so much easier and enjoyable. Having everything in one place also helps when putting everything way.
Line up ingredients by order! Personally this is an extra step to me, but this eliminates guessing what ingredient is next and prevents from looking at the recipe an absurd amount of times. This also allows you to enjoy cooking and it also looks pretty with all the ingredients together and lined up and I mean, who doesn’t like looking at pretty things?
Don’t be intimidated by the mess! Yes, cooking can get messy but it’s worth it! Do not let your messy countertops beat you, thinking you can’t do this, because you can! The way I think about it is “it’s just a mess, all I have to do is clean it up.” It is harder said than done, but once you start believing you are bigger than the mess, it’s makes it easier to clean up. After I started doing a few of these steps, I realized that it took me 5-15 minutes to clean up after dinner compared to 30-45 minutes. It is so satisfying when you walk into the kitchen after dinner and see the trash is already thrown out, a couple pans are already cleaned, and the ingredients are put away so all I have to do is put away food, wipe down the counters and put a couple plates in the dishwasher.
I hope this helps my current and future cooks out there!
If you have any cleaning tips out there I would like to hear them!