Ten Tips To Taper Down Time
In The Kitchen
Today’s topic in the culinary arts and pleasures of the stomach is saving time making those wonderful creations that you sample as you go, eating close to half your meal before it’s out of the frying pan. Most of us are likely to not want to make anything from scratch after an eight hour shift (especially if you’re already cooking all day like me!) and are apt to just plunk down on the Lay-Z Boy© in front of the tube or with our phones…probably both given this day and age. After having prepped and cooked many meals for myself and others for the past 7 years, I thought I’d share some time-saving tips as I always like to promote cooking at home as it’s both sustainable and cost-effective rather than eating out or packaged goods.
1.) Bulk Cooking: I can’t emphasize enough how useful this is – rather than making a meal every day, just cook a bunch of food! BBQ 2 kg of chicken, scramble a carton of eggs, chop 2 heads of lettuce, make 3 days worth of waffles. Just make sure that you don’t keep them in the fridge for too long as food does go bad; put them away in the freezer for future meals. Check out the Canadian government site here for safe food storage times.
2.) Sticky And/Or Greasy Pans and Pots: While you’re scraping the rest of your food out of the pots and/or pans, boil some water and then put into (along with some dish soap) the empty crockery and let soak while you’re eating or doing something else.
3.) Multi Use: If you’re cooking something relatively similar in taste (or not conflicting) in a pan – use the same one again! For example: you’ve just made some scrambled eggs for breakfast and are going to be making some chili…use the same pan again! If you’ve fried onions and then want to make sweet pancakes…maybe not the greatest taste combination.
4.) Ingredient List: There’s nothing more frustrating than getting ready to make food at
5.) Slow Cooking: If you’re going to be in and out of the house (or are even gone for the whole day, like to work) and don’t really have an allotted 2-3 hours you’ll be at home, make a recipe in the slow cooker. Basically, you add all your ingredients in and let the machine cook your food for you over a long period of time. This way you can guarantee yourself a cooked meal that won’t be burnt because you were too busy to tend to it. All slow cookers have a timer and heat level option; some even have a meat probe.
6.) Season as you go: This one is more for the sake of not having to redo your whole recipe. Sometimes recipes call for more seasoning than you may care for and find the whole thing tastes like a hunk of herb or spice (this has happened to me with cayenne before…not fun!)
7.) Freezer Items: If you’re planning to make food that includes some freezer items, don’t forget to take them out 4-8 hours (depending on size) ahead of time, otherwise you’ll have to microwave them which wastes power and risks overcooking (or unevenly) them when you actually put them into the oven, in the pan, or on a grill.
8.) Pre-Measuring: I personally find it easier and faster to read the whole recipe and put everything out on the counter rather than having to go back and forth in the cupboards looking for things.
9.) Making pasta: Add a pinch of salt too the water as it will make the water boil faster.
10.) Frying veggies: heat the oil in the pan on the max level and then turn it down after a minute; chop the veggies (and anything else) while the pan is heating up. Also, if you cut things really thin, they will cook much faster.
Happy Cooking and Baking!