No two days are alike. One day you need to get everyone fed and on their way; another day you might have an opportunity to slow down and experience the magic of cooking. With that in mind, here are some tips so you’re always ready for whatever the day brings.
This French phrase simply means everything in its place. I am a firm follower of this practice both in the kitchen cooking and in life. When things don’t have a home or place then it causes me a lot of anxiety which is why this principle followed me into the kitchen. Before you start a recipe have all the tools and ingredients you need to get cooking out and available. This will allow you to flow through the recipe with ease and you will avoid unneeded trips to the fridge, pantry, cabinets, and drawers.
Read the Recipe
I know this sounds like a no-brainer but actually read the recipe all the way through. I made the mistake one time of reading the ingredients and just glancing at the directions because “I knew what I was doing”. Well, 5 minutes later I had a cup of water IN my cheesecake instead of in the bottom of my pressure cooker where it should have been. Also make sure you understand all the steps before you start and actually have everything you need too. Visit Google for unfamiliar terms and techniques and have a neighbor on speed dial if you need more flour than you have.
Prep Your Ingredients
There’s a reason why ingredients sometimes list preparation methods (ie 1 large onion, diced). It’s to give you a heads up for simple preparation, aka mise-en-place. So take the suggestions and prep them before you turn on any cooking devices. Don’t forget to have any refrigerated ingredients up to room temperature, if necessary, too. Check out this quick video for a few room temperature hacks if you do forget. 😉
Keep Tools Within Reach
Organize your kitchen in a way that your most used tools are close to your cooking spaces. You don’t want to waste time going through drawers when you have something cooking on the stove. Better yet, get all your tools out from the start!
Have a Garbage Bowl
This tip goes back to my Rachel Ray viewing days on 30 Minute Meals. One of my favorite things she did was keep a scrap or “garbage” bowl handy. She even added one to her cookware and kitchen wares line! This eliminates mid-cooking trips to the garbage and sink plus keeps mess contained until it’s time to clean-up.
Guys, there’s no right or wrong way to eat dinner. I totally get that some nights will be grab-and-go dinners in the car, while others everyone is home to eat together. Saving time in the kitchen means sharing more time with those you love doing things you love to do.