I love to learn new ideas that help me save time in the kitchen! Here are a few time saving tips I use to help me get meals on the table more quickly.
- Keep your favorite recipes handy. Write the ingredients on the back of each recipe card so you can zip in and out of the grocery store.
- Use pre-packaged items like salad, broccoli, shredded cheese, chopped onions, and items that are already washed, chopped, and ready-to-use.
- Clean and cut vegetables in advance.
- Trim, divide, cook, and freeze meat in appropriate serving sizes.
- Do the same with snacks and vegetables for lunches – divide them out into ready-to-go snack bags.
- Cook or prepare part of your meal in advance when you have a few extra moments – make a marinade, grate the cheese, make a sauce, wash and dice the vegetables.
- Cook once, eat twice by doubling your recipe. Divide and freeze one for later. Disposable products can be helpful!
- Use disposable products to prep meals: use plastic bags for defrosting, marinating meats, and storage of pre-chopped veggies; use foil to line cookie sheets and baking pans; buy aluminum pans for the casseroles or lasagna you freeze.
- Choose easy recipes: less than 5 ingredients, 30-minute meals, one-pot dishes, casseroles, and other items that can be prepared quickly.
- Before you cook, have your ingredients ready. This will help to ensure you are not out of any ingredient and that you don’t forget to add anything to your recipe. Begin by chopping, slicing, measuring, and pulling all other ingredients out of the refrigerator and pantry.
- When you’re ready to bake, waiting for cold butter to soften can seem to take forever. Hurry the process along by shredding the amount of butter you need over a mixing bowl on a grater. The little pieces will soften faster than a solid stick.
- Make a special breakfast in a snap with pre-made, do-it-yourself mixes. Just combine dry ingredients for pancakes or muffins, transfer to a re-sealable plastic bag, and write the recipe on the front with permanent marker. Store in a cool, dry place.
- Serve corn on the cob already buttered. Bring water to a boil in a stockpot (don’t add any salt; it toughens kernels), and drop in 6 to 8 ears. Return to a boil, and then cook 2 to 4 minutes for crisp-tender corn. When ears are just about done, slice 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, and drop them into the cooking water; stir to melt. The butter will float, and each ear will get an even coating as you remove it from the pot with tongs.
- An egg slicer can perform more than one function in the kitchen. Use it to quickly and cleanly cut soft fruits, such as strawberries or bananas. The fruit slivers can be used to garnish waffles, pancakes, French toast, and oatmeal.
- Keep your kitchen stocked with staples like flour, sugar, herbs, spices, grains, and oils. Keep your fridge stocked with milk, butter, ice cubes and other often-used refrigerated items.
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