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North Carolina Chef Gives 3 Tips for Making Cooking at Home Easier

If you are a busy mom or climbing the corporate ladder with a million things to juggle, life is always busy and there is always something to do. This often means than taking time to make a home cooked meal doesn’t happen no matter how hard you try. If you are like me and trying to juggle a hectic schedule but find time for homemade fresh food, Chakayla Taylor, Founder of The Power Plate, is here to help. This self-taught chef, heads up a catering company, teaches cooking classes and hosts an intimate dinner series, all while taking care of two sons (who are also her taste-testers). Today she gives us her very own expert advice on tips for making cooking at home easier and I can’t wait to implement them in my own house.

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3 Tips for Making Cooking at Home Easier from Chakayla Taylor

1. Clear Out Your Pantry & Fridge: After becoming a single mother nearly ten months ago, I have made it a point to save every coin I get my hands on. Once a religious serial grocery shopper, for items I simply did not need or grocery items I would just end up wasting, I have made it a point to completely clear out my pantry and fridge with recipes that allow me to nourish my two boys, both under the ages of 6. This method not only forces me to make miraculous meals with big flavors, but it forces me to try new recipes that allow me to save money, clear out my grocery lists before my next trip to the store and to make it a point to inspire other families to do the very same.

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2. Have Your Children Help You: Often times, when I am cooking I get in the zone. I do not want anyone to bother me, talk to me or even brush past me. I love my children, but just imagine a 1-year-old opening up your cabinets and taking out every single pot and pan you own. Or better yet, think about your 5-year-old who does nothing to intervene, he just screams, “Mommy, look at what the baby is D O I N G G G G.” So, instead of letting both kids drive me insane, I give my youngest a snack and a seat and I have him watch his big brother and I cook up a storm in the kitchen. My oldest, Emmanuel, loves to cook. So, I have him mix different foods and also designate him as my trash helper. Anytime I need help cleaning off the island in the kitchen, he is my go-to-guy. Honestly, he makes a mean plate of eggs and grilled cheese!

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3. Plan It Out: Honestly, I need to be taking my own advice with this one. But as of late, I have gotten much better with cooking in bulk and meal planning for the entire week. After working all day and then picking up my boys, I literally have 30 minutes to 1 hour to make a delicious meal before bed time sets in. So, I like to do a quick scan of my pantry and fridge to see what I have to make a delicious meal with. If I just so happen to have ingredients that I can make multiple dishes with, I will take the time that evening to make the main meal for my boys before they go to bed. Once they are sleeping, I will make the second meal, let it cool and then place it in the fridge for tomorrow. I love to make home-cooked meals, so I do not mind taking extra time to make a meal that my boys will love!

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Chakayla J. Taylor is a self-taught chef who uses the healing properties of food to create safe-spaces for creatives to connect and build in a delicious, unconventional way. She has created a brand focused on helping dynamic people create stability and purpose in their professional, entrepreneurial and personal lives. As the founder of The Power Plate, an intimate dinner series she started in her home, Chakayla enjoys providing nourishment in the form of food, drink and positive conversation. Founded in October 2018, The Power Plate has served as a creative extension of her entrepreneurship and business studies at her alma mater Wake Forest University, along with a Life Coach certification she earned in 2016.

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I knew I loved to cook when I could just go into the kitchen, clean out the pantry and fridge, and make a home cooked meal that tasted like I dedicated the entire day to preparing it. 

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Michiel Perry

Michiel is a Black Southern Belle living a lowcountry life. I love all things fashion, home decor and southern! When I am not running around doing fun stuff for Black Southern Belle, I live in antique stores and have a minor obsession with historic homes 🙂

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