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Cooking Up Some Fun

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Is Cooking Cool Again?

It used to be that you could watch a TV show about the late twenties or early thirties character and they were always jetting off to the latest hot restaurant to eat a fabulous meal. Things have changed, however, as more shows are featuring their characters cooking or having dinner parties in their home. Television shows often get their storylines from what’s in the news or what’s trending, so it stands to reason that cooking may be the new normal.

Back in the day, if you’re in your thirties, it was a rare occurrence to have a family meal outside of the home, even if your mom worked. Restaurants were for special occasions or a treat when an especially lucrative payday rolled around. Then that all fell by the wayside and fast food and quick meals became the standard in American households. It was easier, you didn’t have to coordinate the whole family’s schedule to enjoy one meal, and a basic grasp of cooking wasn’t required. Even during the recent recession, people were still dining outside the home and cooking was out.

Then something happened. Chefs became the new rock stars thanks to shows like Top Chef, Chopped, and Hell’s Kitchen. Gordon Ramsey, Tom Colicchio, and Giada all became household names. The popularity of The Food Network and Rachael Ray soared, but why? The formula was pretty simple; they made gourmet food approachable again and we’re offering simple meals with fresh ingredients that didn’t include weird items or require six hours in the kitchen. They made cooking look cool again.

It’s About Your Health

In the past five years, cooking has seen an even bigger resurgence than ever before as people are starting to get serious about their health. Don’t worry, fast food restaurants and pizza shops aren’t going anywhere, but more people are making the effort to cook at home. There are millions of websites devoted to finding new recipes in specific categories and one website reigned supreme in compiling all of them.

A lot of people have complained in the past that it’s less expensive to buy food from McDonald’s for a family of four than it is to go to the grocery store and buy all of the items needed for one meal. In some instances, that may be true. However, the meal you’re purchasing from your fast food restaurant of choice is also producing a third to half of your recommended daily caloric intake. It’s also loaded with preservatives, fats, and unidentified ingredients, so is it worth the “savings”? Not to mention the fact that there are many recipes that can be prepared for under $10, and you’ll spend a heck of a lot more than that at Burger King!

Pinteresting Developments

When Pinterest launched, bored people started using it to window shop on the internet for landscaping designs they would never get around to, fantasy homes with decadent bathrooms, and crafting ideas. Then someone noticed that they could type something “Easy Meals” into the search bar and be rewarded with hundreds of recipes that could all be prepared by novice cooks, and that’s when the culinary pursuit really took off.

Have limited supplies in your home? Check out one pot meals or whole feasts that can be prepared in the crock pot. Working late all next week? Find meals that can be made ahead of time and frozen for easy reheating. Pinterest changed the way people were thinking about meal preparation.

For many people, the quick and easy meals started a fire within them. They followed the recipes, cooked a hearty meal that fed their family, and didn’t actually burn the house down while doing it. So then maybe, they could try something a little bit more difficult and so on and so forth. A lot of new cooks were gaining confidence because of the feedback they were receiving from the meal they had prepared. Families were also quickly finding out that cooking was something they could do together and if done correctly, it was a lot cheaper than dining out.

Cooking may not be for everyone, but you never know until you try! If you can boil water, you can make pasta. If you’re able to grasp the concept of opening a couple of cans, adding some spices, and stirring you can make homemade spaghetti sauce. Add a bag of salad mix, a couple fresh veggies, and you have a meal. Don’t let complicated meals turn you away from the power of preparing your food. Just put one foot in front of the other and get to the kitchen!



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