Updated: Nov 17, 2022
You had a long day, it's getting late, and the last thing you want to think about is dinner. Chicken - again. Or is it?
Incorporating small things into the average day can keep things interesting and fun. Whether you experiment with something new or decide to fancy-it-up, here are creative ways to breakout of the weeknight routine.
Play background music
It might be routine to have the news or a sitcom playing in the background while you make dinner. Why not try some tunes? Many cooks report a change in mood when listening to music while cooking. Depending on your music of choice, music can result in more mindful cooking or even an occasional breakout dance. Listen to The Chef & The Dish channel on Spotify >
Start with a Cocktail
Cocktails always make things feel fancy. If you need to get out a weeknight rut, why not make yourself a simple cocktail as you get dinner started? Get inspired with these recipes >
Play with a new side dish
Side dishes are meant to be easy complements to the main, but often we revisit the same staples - mashed potatoes, a side salad, simple roasted veggies. There's nothing wrong with sticking to your weeknight regular for the main, and having some fun with the side! Our Chicken Cacciatora class can introduce you to fennel with Fennel Gratin. How about learning how to master refried beans in our Chicken Tinga Class? Never work with a plantain? You can in this Visit the Amazon Class. How about a quick vegetable stirfry? Check out our Green Curry Class. Side dishes can completely change the vibe of your meal.
Try a new spice
The easiest way to spice up an average weeknight is to try... well, a new spice. We have tons of spices in our kitchen, but everyone at The Chef & The Dish agrees they tend to fall in a rut and gravitate to a narrow few. Why not try something new? Never use Sumac? This citrusy spice is critical in many Middle Eastern dishes. What about really learning how to cook with Paprika as a flavour profile rather than a pop of color?
Use cloth napkins
There’s something about cloth napkins that instantly transports us to our favorite bistro. If you’re used to using paper napkins - break the routine and throw in the fancy place settings.
Eat in a different room
It might sound silly, but night after night sitting in the same room (and probably the same chairs) gets a bit old. Why not take dinner somewhere else? Sure, you could pack a picnic, but make it even easier… throw a blanket on the living room floor, take the pillows off the couch and build yourself a little fort. These little whimsical ideas keep things fun at home.
Spin the Globe
You may have met Hannah, one of our Kitchen Assistants. Her family had a beautiful tradition growing up. They would spin a globe! Wherever their finger landed, they would read about the country in the encyclopedia and imagine travelling there. Take this idea to weeknight dinner. Spin the globe on Sunday and get inspired for the week. Vietnam, here we come!
Discover a new Fruit for Dessert
Our founder Jenn has similar memories growing up. “I have such fond memories of heading to the grocery store with my dad and picking up weird fruits. We didn’t really know how to eat them (pomegranates were novel in Buffalo, NY in the 80’s!). That little discovery and new after dinner treat made such an impact not just on the regular school night, but in my memories.” Discovering a new flavor will make your weeknight just a bit more special.
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