How to make beautiful (and irresistible) dinners every day effortlessly

I post recipes regularly here on the blog. I can keep a good number of updates for a simple reason: I cook practically every day.

And here at home my husband and I have a rule of trying to eat well every day. We like to make the table, sit down to eat talking and enjoying good food.

As I have been posting the photos of my dishes for many years now – whether on Instagram or here on the blog – I always get questions like “how can you?”. So I decided to join some tips to help those who want, like me, to make beautiful dinners every day.

1. Schedule

That’s a rule I’ve been keeping for years. I always know a week before what I will prepare during the week.

RECIPE FOOD BLOG

As we shop weekly, I sit down and think what we will eat each day and then make the list of ingredients we need to buy. This avoids a lot of headache and especially waste of money!

Who ever went in the supermarket without a list and came back with a lot of things that didn’t need? And I bet when you got home you still realized there was nothing to eat, lol.

Planning what you will eat helps a lot. Think about what it would be ideal to eat on each day of the week. Maybe on Monday you have less time and need to think about something faster. Or maybe Thursday is a special date and you want to do something more elaborate … anyway, planning helps to optimize your time too.


First of all, look at what’s in the refrigerator for the next week and think about what you could prepare with it. Then write down in your planner what you will cook each day, trying to use all the ingredients you have. Next you write down the ingredients you don’t have and need to buy at the supermarket.

2. Collect books with easy recipes

Tigela de Burrito Vegetariano

My tip to take better advantage of these books: Whenever you buy a recipe book, take the time to get to know it well. Browse it and look for recipes that interest you. Write down your favorites or take pictures of the pages to have on your phone. So when you’re at the grocery store, you can look at your recipes and buy the ingredients you need.

3. Set the table every day

RECIPE

I know during the week it’s normal to feel tired and neglect our dinner.

After an exhausting day of work the temptation to throw yourself on the couch and eat whatever things already ready in front of the TV is very large.

Don’t give up so easy! Put a nice table every day. It doesn’t matter the day.

Enjoy this moment to relax with family. Put on some good music, talk to your partner about each other’s day while you both set the table, cut the ingredients … well, don’t wait for dinner to be ready to enjoy it!

Making a beautiful table motivates you to also make a beautiful dish.

4. Take photos of your dishes

Spicy Peanut Tofu Bao Buns

This tip sounds silly, I know. But it is very efficient.

I have come to the conclusion that one of the best ways to form a habit is to document the process. Since I started photographing my dishes (over 5 years ago!) I’ve paid more attention to them and consequently always want to improve them … which encourages me to cook every day.

When you start to want to excel in the appearance of the dishes, your cooking also improves because you will want to look for new ingredients, new ways to assemble the dish, new techniques, etc.

5. Collect plates and cutlery

RECIPE FOOD BLOG

I love collecting plates and cutlery!

Unfortunately, when we moved from Brazil to Canada, I had to get rid of most of my tableware. And although I bought a little something here, I’m still very far from having the collection I had originally.

But that’s ok, one day I’ll get there! Or rather, I’ll get back there …

Having different plates has always helped me to make a table more beautiful and to build more elegant dishes.


Not to mention that when you have something new to experience you feel more motivated. Don’t you work out more motivated in the gym when you buy a new gym outfit?

Here I curated a selection of beautiful plates and cutlery to include in your collection (click to see more):

My tip: if you live in a two people household – like here at home that we are just my husband and I – you don’t need to buy big sets. Have a complete neutral dinner set for when you have visitors and buy spare plates in pairs for weekdays for two. So you end up having a wide variety of plates and never get sick of any.

6. Consider subscribing to a home delivery service

blog recipe

Here at home we subscribed to GoodFood two years ago.

It’s a food subscription service that delivers us every week the ingredients to make 3 different recipes (they offer plans with more or less recipes). Everything comes in the exact portion to be cooked which avoids food waste (who ever had to buy a bottle of 32743847 liters of such an Asian sauce that would use 1 / 2 to spoon into a recipe?).

We can choose the recipes we want with a few weeks in advance and then just wait for delivery! Everything comes separated by recipe and with the instructions on how to make it.


Since we signed up for this service, my weekday dinners have gotten a lot easier. Plus prettier too, lol. Almost all the recipes I put here on the blog I discovered trough GoodFood.

7. Relax

As I said at an earlier point, enjoy dinner before it’s ready!

Ideally, you should find routines that suit you and your lifestyle. Take advantage of the tips I gave that help you and discard those that do not help you that much.

Everything I wrote here is to help you have a more enjoyable evening and that should always be your goal. Think about what makes you happy and go for it.

What other tips do you have to give me and share with others? Leave it in the comments below.

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