Raise your hand if you’re sick and tired of cooking dinner and feel like all of your go-to meals have become bland and basic.

Throughout the pandemic I’ve felt pressured to use the time to be more creative in the kitchen because I’m home ... and my explorations into the outside world have been limited to heading to the market for groceries. Thrilling, right? For those who are still at home, I’d like to point out that you do not have to go crazy and make elaborate meals because you’re at home if you don’t want to. Life is stressful enough without trying to master French cuisine.

In an effort to shake things up for my dinner rotation, I prepared grilled chicken and veggie skewers. Now, that in itself can be a bit bland so I whipped up a marinade and it gave the dish a refreshing zing.

Making your own marinade is an easy and creative way to add flavor to a recipe. You can let the food soak up the marinade for a few hours or even brush it on right before grilling. For my skewers I decided to make a savory balsamic and soy sauce-based marinade and splashed it on the skewers a few minutes before popping them on the grill.

Easy Skewer Marinade

¼ cup olive oil

⅓ cup soy sauce

¼ cup honey

1 teaspoon minced garlic

¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette

Salt

Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, add salt and pepper to taste. Cooks should feel free to get creative with their marinades, consider adding lemon or orange zest to give dishes a light tangy flavor or incorporate more spices into the blend to hone in on a smokey flavor.