I always feel at home in the kitchen. I constantly plan ahead to make sure I can fit a wholesome homemade meal into my family’s busy lifestyle. When I walk out the door in the morning, I always know what we’ll be having for dinner that night. I’ll take out something from the freezer-a package of meat that’s quick to prepare, a casserole or pot pie I’ve made from leftovers-so it can thaw in the fridge during the day.
If I’m planning some type of stir-fry meal, I’ll often chop the veggies the night before. Little simple steps like that save time. Being a working mom outside the home, I’ve learned never to leave things to the last minute-because there might not be a last minute.
Two of the kitchen “tools” I’ve learned to rely on to get my meals on the table fast are the microwave and my freezer (see my tips for organizing a freezer below).
I microwave to reheat foods and cook vegetables. And I keep my freezer well-stocked. I’m always baking a lot on the weekends. With a big batch of cookies or cake, I can freeze some for the middle of the week. Now that I my schedule has changed at the office, it gives me a few extra minutes to get dinner started. My goal for dinner, is to have a meal on the table in 30-45 minutes, since by the time I get home from the office, my family is famished.
Noel’s Keys To Fast Meals For Working Moms:
- Keep a grocery list in a handy place like the kitchen drawer or on the fridge. As soon as you run out of anything, add that item to the list.
- Keep a freezer list in the drawer or on the freezer. Make two columns-one for uncooked foods, the other for pre-cooked ones (browned ground beef, taco meat, shredded chicked, containers of soup, etc.) That way, you can tell at a glance what you have in your freezer… and when the time’s arrived for you to restock certain items.
- Everything in my freezer is labeled and dated. Every 3 months, I take out each item, check it for freezer burn and use up any little odds and ends or small amounts of leftovers.
- I alsao keep precooked foods on the top shelf of the freezer and uncooked foods on the bottom shelf, so I know right where to reach when I’m in a hurry.
Are you a super busy cook? Do you pack more than possible into a typical day and still have time to serve a fast, delicious meal?