How well did you score on the kitchen organization quiz? If your score was less than a 9, it might be a good idea to pay some more attention to organization. In the long run, you will be happy you did. Let’s start on the small things. I’m going to start off with sharing this type of cooking approach; it works better if you operate efficiently with the basics. These small tricks will make your time in the kitchen go further.
Basics of Meal Planning-Keep Components Ready:
How Can You Do So Much in 2 Hours?
Why peel a small onion or chop half of a larger one only to throw the other half in the refrigerator to be thrown out later? Choose large onions. Chop or slice the whole thing. Use only what you need. Put the rest in a plastic freezer container with an airtight lid or ziploc freezer bag, label it and freeze it. The next time you make chili, spaghetti, pizza, meatloaf or anything else that calls for onion, you’ll have it ready. You will have saved time, and money.
The same type of approach can be applied to the following list. These foods can be prepared when you’re cooking; or you can periodically set aside some time to stock your freezer. Working during the week, I usually set aside time for major cooking ahead on Sunday mornings while doing a bit of extra prep during the week.
The following foods should always be handy in your freezer at all times: onions, green peppers, chopped and sliced; celery; bread crumbs, made from day old bread or even crackers; mozzarella cheese, grated; bacon slices, crumbled, whole or chopped; chocolate or anything else you use on a frequent basis and would spend time grating, slicing or chopping. *Cook’s Note: Chopped raw onion becomes more potent in the freezer; if a recipe calls for four Tablespooons of onion, you may want to decrease the amount to three and a half Tablespoons.
Again, all of this saves you time and money to prepare a large quantity at once. Need help? Cook with your kids! This is something your children can do with you. Those that are old enough to handle a knife. The young ones can have fun making the bread crumbs. Allowing them to do simple things in the kitchen with you, will save you time and teach them valuable lessons about food and cooking. Time spent in the kitchen can be cozy, fun and pleasant.