a case for making more meals at home

by Krystal Bick
March 21, 2018

So I have a confession…

…I’m one of those New Yorkers who stores sweaters in her oven and extra beauty products in her kitchen cabinets. In fact, Nora can attest to both. That is to say: I don’t cook. Often. And here’s my defense (or rather, explanation, not that I feel like I need one): I’ve just never been good at it.

So, I know what you’re thinking. Why wouldn’t I just cook more to get better at it? And that, my friends, is a very good question. But, unfortunately, I’m one of those folks who can’t bring themselves to do something if  they know they’re already pretty miserable at something. This hang up only really affects me when it comes to things that I think I SHOULD know how to do by now: like filling out the juror questionnaire I just received in the mail, signing up for renter’s insurance and well, cooking. It stresses me out in a way that you’d think I was taking an essay-based exam, written completely in Javascript.

Of course, there’s the excuse New Yorkers have a million and one restaurants at their disposal, and well, making meals at home just doesn’t happen as often as it should. As I mentioned earlier this year, I’ve been working on understanding my financial health a bit better and the first to-do was examining my spending habits, including how much I was spending on dining out. Since getting back home from Reno a few months ago, I’ve made it my mission to spend more time making meals at home, in hopes that I can start padding my savings account a bit more, with a few new shoe rewards in the process (because I save better if I reward myself at certain milestones).

Let it suffice to say, I’m no Julia Child, but I’ve been having fun stretching my culinary muscles, especially after taking a few cooking classes at Williams Sonoma at The Shops at Columbus Circle. What’s put me at ease is how much the program is geared toward all levels so my anxious self didn’t have to worry about making a fool of myself, whether we were covering basic sautéing skills or even the proper way to cut an onion.

So in the spirit of helping out any of my cooking impaired readers, I figured I would share 4 easy tips that helped encourage me to try cooking at home more often, and heck, perhaps even make cooking at home more fun for me.

  1. Do an audit of your expenses. This was my very first step and man, it was eye-opening. And it wasn’t necessarily fancy dinners that were killing me. It’s all the Sweetgreen salads I consume! For the sake of this exercise, perhaps look at the past three months and come up with your total dining out expenses. For me, I made a personal goal to reduce that number by 25% and then took those “funds” to put toward number 2 (and of course, a robust weekly Whole Foods run).
  2. Invest in a really great pan. I don’t know about you guys, but I approach working out in much the same way. If I have a cute workout outfit to wear, I’m much more likely to head out for my daily run. So, I recently popped in Williams Sonoma at The Shops at Columbus Circle and scooped up a gorgeous copper pan, that admittedly, I think I liked for more aesthetic purposes, but I do think it’ll be perfect for encouraging me to step up my sautéing skills, which brings us to number 3.
  3. Take a cooking class. I cannot recommend this enough. While I was hesitant at first, the folks at Williams Sonoma at The Shops at Columbus Circle were so patient with me (I was probably the most beginning person there, aside from someone’s kid who tagged along). Check their class listings for updates — plenty of technique classes I’m tempted to try as well! (And while you’re at it, check out the little video their team put together.)
  4. Pick out a dish at one of your favorite restaurants and make a goal to whip it up one evening. So, in a perfect world where money was no object, I would order Landmarc’s filet mignon a few times a week. Since that just isn’t realistic, I’ve taken it upon myself to cook this meal myself soon at home. Sure, my apartment may not have the same exact ambiance as a chic French Italian fusion restaurant, but I can certainly make up for it with my own charm.

How about you guys? Are you big gourmands who like to cook? OR are you a bit more like me and prefer to eat out? Also, have any of you guys tried out the classes at Williams Sonoma yet?

 

Photos by Nora Varcho

This post was in collaboration with The Shops At Columbus Circle. As always, all opinions and styling are my own. Thank you for supporting all This Time Tomorrow collaborations!

9 thoughts on “a case for making more meals at home

  1. I love to cook! I think I discovered I love to cook when I was a poor college student and couldn’t bear to spend more on going out to eat. I hope it works out for you! I haven’t tried WS cooking class, but if you heard any reviews about it, please report back!

    http://www.rdsobsessions.com

  2. Loving your look! I’m one of those people who LOVES to cook! I think there’s nothing better than eating a really delicious dish and knowing you made it! 🙂

  3. I very much enjoy cooking and baking when I can take my time, like on the weekends. (HUGE Food Network fan since undergrad!) Weeknights I tend to get lazy because I’m hungry when I get home from work. I usually still eat at home, but it’s normally leftovers from the weekend or something simple like eggs or a sandwich.

    However, last year I got super lazy and ordered food in way more often than normal because life was super hectic (big promotion and bought a condo-my first!). This year when February rolled around I deleted all food delivery apps from my phone. It’s helped a ton! (Though I did get pizza delivered once.)

  4. I have a bit different problem – I can cook everything, so when I eat outside I sometimes think “it is not worth the money, maybe I should stay at kitchen and do this myself… “. Cooking is much fun to me, but everyday…?
    I have my own taste, I know what likes my partner, so I cook exactly what is preferred. Even better, when I am on vacation I like preparing meals from local products, so I always use Airbnb and book apartaments with kitchen.
    I never thought of it as saving money.

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