The kitchen may be the last room of the house you think of when you have a night to yourself, but with a little planning it can become a scene of relaxation, inspiration, and some precious You Time.
Set the Mood
Plan ahead by getting your kitchen clean and tidy; nothing distracts like piles of unwashed dishes or stacks of mail waiting to be gone through. Shift piles, give those counters a swipe, and make sure you have a comfy place to sit, be it bar stool or a dining room chair topped with a cushion.
Take a few minutes to plan your ideal evening. Think through what you want to accomplish, how you want to feel, what you want to eat and drink.
Then set the mood you want to create with lighting, music, and scent. Want to forget about the outside world and utterly spoil yourself? Light a few candles, fill your crockpot with orange or apple slices, water, and a cinnamon stick and set it on high, and press play on your favorite jazz, easy listening, or classical tunes. Feel up to a bit of nighttime adventure and creativity? Get that coffee pot brewing, put peppermint or rosemary essential oil in a burner, and crank up the music that inspires you most.
For a truly relaxing evening in your kitchen, fill a goblet with wine to ease frazzled nerves or brew hot chocolate with raw cacao to level out stressed emotions. Drink slowly, taking time between sips to breathe deeply, letting all the pressures of the day ebb away.
Eat What You Love
Treat yourself to food you absolutely adore. If you’re exhausted, bring home your favorite dish from your favorite restaurant so you don’t have to cook, and be sure to remember a decadent dessert exquisitely presented.
If you have the energy, linger over preparing a delicious meal just for you. Choose the ingredients you love best in a tried and true recipe that never fails. An unexpected food flop has no place in a relaxing night in the kitchen.
Enjoy dessert while you lose yourself in a new novel, page through a new magazine, or just close your eyes and listen to the music.
Teach Yourself New Tricks
For a night of creativity in your kitchen, plan on learning a few new skills. Instead of brewing your usual cup of coffee, let YouTube teach you how to do your own latte art. Rather than making your favorite pasta dish with packaged pasta, pull out that dusty pasta machine you’ve always planned to use, and actually use it! Churn out linguine or fettuccine and top it with your own homemade sauce.
Keep yourself going through these projects with a special cheese platter featuring cheeses you’ve never tried but always wanted to: Tasmanian Camembert, French-Italian Cambazola, perhaps a Spanish Manchego.
Be sure to end your evening with a beautiful dessert such as fresh raspberry tart. It looks amazing but is simplicity itself.
No matter what you do with your night alone in your kitchen, make it special, make it delicious, and make it about you.
Photo credits: Michal Osmenda, Oxfordian Kissuth, Erik Vanden, Simon B., Kenny Louie, and Ewan Munro.