Welcome to Art in the Kitchen – where families can bring creativity back to the kitchen

Hello to all! I am here today to write and share with you my reasons for creating a site that talks about cooking and baking from home. I want to share ideas, my favorite kitchen utensils and recipes for both baking and cooking. It seems to me as though we are all caught up with the fast-paced environment of today and we are not making sure to take time to focus on a good home cooked meal. I have heard many parents say a lot of times “I don’t have time for that craziness!” But the thing is you do. I have made recipes that are hearty and delicious, that everyone will eat, and they do not take long to prepare at all. Plus, I always make doubles of my recipes so that I can freeze half and have a full meal if I have a night where I don’t feel like creating a masterpiece.

Below I have listed out several reasons that I believe families should cook and bake at home. First off, it is very expensive to eat out! You will also be able to have more control over what you and the family will be consuming. When you are cooking and baking, why not bring out your creative side, just because a recipe is there doesn’t mean you need to follow it exactly! And my absolute favorite reason to cook and bake from home is the interaction with my family. What is a better way of bonding then over delicious home cooked food. Please remember, the following is truly my opinion! I am not telling you that what you are doing is incorrect as I don’t live your life. I just wanted to share with everyone that I believe it can be done!

It is so expensive to eat out!

How many of you have decided to go out to dinner with the family and when you receive the bill you say…Oh my goodness! What did we get for dinner?! The last time I went out to dinner with my family, I ordered an iced tea and it was $3.25! For iced tea that is probably from yesterday? No, thank you! I would much rather spend that amount on a box of tea bags from the store make fresh delicious homemade sun tea.

The average amount of money spent on a family for one meal, at a restaurant is $75-$100. That is just a drink and a meal for each person, now you add in appetizers, sides, adult drinks, add-ons to your dinner and deserts, you can easily get up to $200-$250 for one meal! Even fast food dinners can still run around $40-$50. Some families I talk to go out at least once a week, sometimes twice a week. To each his own, but I would personally much rather save that money up for a vacation or something fun for the family. Usually, I take that money to buy ingredients for my favorite recipes.

Who am I kidding, meat is insanely expensive these days. I am a huge bargain shopper, I watch for excellent deals on meat, whether I have plans to use it that week or not. I watch for the buy one get one deals, and when the fish or roasting meats are on sale. I always check out the discount bin the day after a big holiday and get super deals on turkeys and meats that were pre-ordered and not picked up. The more I can save on one trip to the grocery store the more excited I get!

Have better control of what you are consuming

What is in the food that you consume at your favorite fast food place? How about your favorite fine dining destination? I know what is being served in my kitchen. I know what type of meat I am purchasing; how fresh the produce is and what spice(s) I want to use. A big one for me as well is, I know how clean my kitchen is. How many of you have worked in the restaurant industry? As I am sure most people have at one point or another in their lives, I have as well. I have witnessed some unsavory behaviors sometimes that make me worry about eating out. We have all heard stories about big chains that have given their customer Salmonella or E Coli and in the news every day you see your local restaurants that fail health checks. I don’t really want to take that chance for my family.

How about the fact that someone in your family may have dietary restrictions that you need to make sure to watch out for? With doing your own cooking and baking you can control that in a healthier way.

Now to be clear, I am not saying only eat organic or farm fresh, but if you have the opportunity and ability I would recommend it for sure. I like to buy things on sale when meat is the cheapest, as I stated above meat is super expensive. When the blueberries and strawberries were on sale I bought about ten packages of each, separated them and threw them into freezer bags. Now the kids can have fresh fruit during the winter months when they are craving it.

Creativity is fun – you are not limited by a recipe

What makes you want to cook and bake? Or is it more of a chore for you? Are some recipes a little overwhelming when you look at them? How about when you look at a recipe, but you know your family will not love an ingredient or two that is used. I love to cook and bake but some recipes might be too fancy for my family, so I like to read different takes on the same recipe and pull out what will make it family friendly.

Even though I am practically perfect (Just kidding of course) I have not always had 100% success with my first or even second attempt at a recipe. But the important thing is to learn from what was done incorrectly the last time…did I add too much of something or not enough, did I bake it to long. Was there a good mix of flavors and textures but none overpowering the others. You are the one that controls what is in your recipes cooked or baked and it is fun to experiment, be creative and step outside the box. You might just find that you have a natural talent that you never knew you had!

My favorite reason – Spend some quality time with your family

My family has gotten used to me feverishly running up and sticking a spoon in front of their face that has a little taste of my latest creation. They usually don’t need to say much; LOL I can read by their faces if they like it or not right away. When I first started with the testing, I would get a thumbs up, sideways or down. Slowly, I have been working on bridging that out to “What is it that you don’t like about it? What can I add to make it better?” They are my taste testers and help me with making my creations unique. There have been times that they have even stopped me from make another change to the recipe saying “Mom! Don’t change it, it’s perfect!” They are my biggest fans and are awesome about trying everything I make.

I have been teaching my kids about cooking and baking for a long time. We have recently been learning how to safely handle meats and learning how to cut and peel produce. We put on our aprons and let our creativity flow in the kitchen. The kids love it and they are learning about measuring and what things would be alright to modify and things that would not as in the recipe will no longer work. My goal is to get them to be able to feed themselves well on a budget and be able to cook for their own children someday.

Thank you to my amazing husband and beautiful kids for being my trusting testers!! I love you!

Thank you for hanging around!

Hopefully you are still here with me to read my conclusion! If you are, I really appreciate it! The point of my ramblings above is to try to convince a few more families that purchasing your own supplies and creating your own masterpieces is well worth the effort. The more love and thought you put into your own recipes the better they will turn out. I am just your normal working mom that wears many hat’s, but I have enough belief in families (not just women) getting back to the art of creating homemade food. You can do it with any budget and not a lot of time. The biggest ingredient is love! Cheesy, I know….but you loved it! I really appreciate those of you who decided to read through my rantings above and I hope that this will become a warm and sharing community for us to share creative ideas and learn from each other. I love new cooking and baking tips and hope that I can help at least one family have a new amazing recipe that is simple and delicious!

3 thoughts on “Welcome to Art in the Kitchen – where families can bring creativity back to the kitchen”

  1. Hi Elizabeth – I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. You’ve given me some fantastic reasons to bring the family together through cooking (and eating!) My teen son won’t join me in the kitchen and loves anything he can heat in a microwave. Unhealthy and unfriendly! So the challenge is enticing him into the kitchen to experiment with easy cooking. Do you have tips for easy recipes for teens?

    1. Hello Alisa! Thank you so much for the wonderful comments! Luckily, my kids just turned 9 and 10 so I have not run into that yet. How do you think he might respond to you telling him you would like a night with you and him, like ‘the good ole days’ and that the two of you will make anything he wants as long as it is from scratch and together? Even something simple like making pizza bagels might get the ball rolling. I have a delicious homemade pizza sauce that takes 5 minutes to prepare. I will post my recipe for homemade pizza, that is one of my kids (and my husbands) favorites. Thank you again for commenting! I hope you will come back frequently to see new receipes and content!


    2. Hello Alisa, I have posted a recipe for pizza, this might be a fun one for you and your son. Give it a shot and let me know if you are able to get him to help and how it turns out for you. Good luck and I really hope you enjoy it! Elizabeth

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