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.
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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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?
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!