The age-old question of whether to eat out or dine in feels a bit out of place these days. Restaurant closures and new work-from-home norms have drastically affected our eating rituals. As a diehard foodie (like the rest of the Cadence Kitchen team), these times have brought new challenges to enjoy diverse, delicious meals, and more importantly, to experience them with friends and family.
Week after week, our team has been experimenting with new ways to spice up old home cooking routines, and we thought we’d collect our favorites to pass along to you, our extended Cadence Kitchen family. Read on for our top tips for dining out at home™.
You can’t go wrong with a good theme night. In my home, we have International Night, where we try a new dish from around the world every week. It’s been a fun way to explore new cooking methods and ingredients, many of which are readily available at any grocery store or ethnic market.
Personally, I’ve been missing traveling so much during this season, so adding international flair brings a touch of exploration to our weekly home menu. Cadence Kitchen’s Shrimp Scampi, Chicken Tikka Masala, and Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya have been on frequent rotation at my house–I’m instantly transported to coastal Italy, the warmth and vibrance of India, and the bustling streets of New Orleans with every bite!
If going global feels too intimidating, there’s always Taco Tuesdays or Wellness Wednesdays. I also love a good Movie Night, where you choose a meal that fits with the theme of the night’s screening. Binging with Babish is the perfect destination for some inspiration!
Video calls are how we’re all getting through work these days. For many of us, they’re also windows into the lives of our friends and family. Sure, it’s not ideal compared to the real thing, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised how these check-ins can really replenish the soul.
At Cadence Kitchen HQ, the team has taken to doing virtual video tastings to test out new recipes from the culinary lab. It’s been a great way to stay connected, while having a bit of delicious fun.
I’ll be the first to hop on to an after-work virtual cocktail hour, but there are other fun ways to share a drink or bite! For the competitive folks, try a recipe challenge. A la Food Network’s Chopped, choose a friend or two to compete with. Buy the same ingredients and have a timed face-off to see who comes up with the best dish. A friend of mine recently had great success with a bake-off, where every “contestant” set up their computer in the kitchen so they could all bake together over a live stream in anticipation for the big reveal!
Of course, sometimes simply “sitting down” to eat with some family or friends over a video call is all that’s needed to feel like you’re actually out, having a nice chat over dinner.
Sometimes, splurging on a little something can be a great way to complement and elevate the cooking experience. Maybe there’s a kitchen appliance that you’ve been curious to try? Or a specialty ingredient to be used for a certain dish? As far as presentation goes, new dishware, glasses, or cloth napkins can re-energize the dinner table.
There are countless subscription services too, which can be a great way to introduce new items into your repertoire. Subscribe to a wine club to help elevant those beverage pairings at home. A farmshare is a great idea to support local, all while bringing the highest quality of produce home.
It may seem like our dining options are limited these days, but the possibilities to celebrate or reinvent the meal at home are endless! Incorporate theme nights, invite virtual dinner guests, splurge on a subscription, or add Cadence Kitchen to the menu.
Whether you’re new to, or familiar with these ideas, I’d love to hear what’s working for you! If you’re curious to learn more about eating better while working from home, we got you covered. As always, follow us on social to learn more about how we’re finding new, delicious ways to eat at home.
Kelly Torres-Chadd is Cadence Kitchen’s Director of Marketing, where she channels her passions for food and the food industry into leading marketing programs, brand management, social media, and creative direction. Through smart marketing campaigns and thoughtful strategy, Kelly brings more transparency and education surrounding FoodTech and the way Cadence Kitchen sources ingredients, crafts recipes and creates meals that are easy to make and enjoy sustainably at home.
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