Today, we all need ways to help save valuable time in the kitchen. These time-saving tips-for-busy-cooks have been a life-saver for me while shopping, planning, and organizing my kitchen tasks. The list below is a practical way for you to organize your time in the kitchen to be time well spent.
· Fresh vegetables such as onions, celery, and green peppers can be chopped in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
· While your food is cooking, why not wash the dishes to save time, so that when the meal is ready you‘re have less to wash.
· Always plan meals on a weekly basis. Take a shopping list to the store, that way you will stay on track and won’t forget anything.
· If you’re making a special dish, make sure you write down ingredients before going shopping.
· Plan to shop at less busier times of the day. Your visit will be shorter.
· To save time, bake a couple of cakes at a time but leave one unfrosted. Each layer that you’re not using, wrap well, freeze, then use at another time.
· Make it a family project to keep a small pad visible in the kitchen, so when you ran out of something you can write it down on the pad.
· Store cookbooks and recipe files where you can easily get to them. The ones that you use most often, keep in front.
· When making dishes that freeze well, make larger batches and freeze for a later meal. Tips-for-busy-cooks.
· Sometimes you can make part of a recipe days in advance. For example, when I make my homemade banana pudding, I make the custard 3 days in advance and store in refrigerator in an air tight container. I then put together the rest of the pudding the day of serving.
· Don’t overlook leftovers. They can be great fillers for your meals and excellent timesavers.
· Keep canned and package foods organized in your cabinets. This will save time when you need to check for items that you ran out of so you can add to the shopping list. This tip really works well when you're pressed for time.
You know, time is something that we really never seem to have enough. But by carefully planning, you can organize your cooking time to be time well spent.
For ideas on meal planning, visit our Soul-Food-Meals section.
Cassandra Harrell is a Soul Food Advisor and recently owned a soul food restaurant and catering service. She has coached one-on-one sessions on preparing great soul food cuisine.
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