This week I want to offer some tips for a topic that is very near and dear to me - how to spend less time in the kitchen. Now, don't get me wrong. I had a bunch of cooking success in the last 2 weeks. Mostly because I wasn't terrified to try something because my husband was out of town, but whatever, it worked!
Despite the success, it didn't leave me wanting to run out and buy a new cookbook or anything. In fact, as work gets into full swing and I try to desperately find a way to squeeze in a workout, I need to spend the least amount of time in the kitchen as possible.
Here's 5 ways to make this happen:
If you are at least participating in Menu Plan Monday, you are already finding ways to streamline and spend less time in the kitchen. Planning, as I found when my husband was out of town, really makes a big difference when you get home, and everyone is tired and hungry.
There are bazillions of resources on menu planning, but here are a few:
This is a GREAT tip, especially if you want to spend less on lunches. If you need chicken for a meal, cook enough for two meals. For example, tonight we had Chicken Enchiladas and then on Tuesday we can have Taco Salad. If this is too overwhelming, cook just a little extra and take the leftovers for lunch. This has been a lifesaver for me and my food allergies.
When I was brainstorming for this blog post, this suggestion actually came from my husband. He knows as well as I do that many guys don't like to cook. (You see, when he went hunting last week, he ended up being the camp cook, a task he quickly tired of. He didn't really make the connection to me and the dishes though).
Find ways to get help in the kitchen.
Before you have a panic attack at the thought of your husband, or even <gasp> your kids, in the kitchen, relax. And I mean this overall - relax. Who cares if the kitchen gets a little messier? You will be teaching the skills necessary for survival later in life and if you are teaching your son's to cook, he'll be more of a catch later. Trust me, it makes a difference. :)