Post # 1
I am trying to cook a little more and rely on restaurants and prepackaged food a little less. Time wise it can be difficult sometimes!
What are some of your favourite shortcuts?
I like to use baby carrots. ‘Real’ ones do taste better, but I find if they are being cooked I don’t notice a difference.
I also like the canned garlic. As a bonus I prefer it recipes when it isn’t cooked to the fresh stuff.
Post # 3
You can use canned pasta sauce and jazz it up using fresh herbs ( we like to add garlic, basil, onion powder and cayenne)
We cook large batches of chili or soup, and freeze it in quart size ziplock bags. One bag = two bowls of soup. Its super easy to pull out and heat up and I know exactly whats in it.
I also look for leftover meals- I will start the week cooking a large roast or a bunch of chicken breasts. I’ll seperate the leftovers into a few containers and make sandwiches one night, stirfry, some sort of mexican taco salad, shepherds pie etc.
If you like homemade chicken and beef stocks, make a big pot on a day off and pour into icecube trays. Freeze and pop the cubes out into a ziplock bag. Then you can pull one or two out at a time to use. (This is great for us because a lot of recipes call for stock and we are trying to watch our salt intake. By making it myself I can really limit the salt in it.)
Thats all I can think of now but I’m sure there are others I’m forgetting.
Post # 4
Not really a short cut but make a large batch of whatever and freeze the rest. I guess shortcut = microwave left overs? haha. I’m thinking of getting a panini press to make my sandwiches yummier, seems relatively quick and easy to make a sandwich.
Baked potato, stab it a couple times then pop it in a microwave or corn on the cob in a microwave = just warp it in a damp paper towel, put it on a plate and nuke it up.
Microwave steamer. I can’t live without a microwave or toaster over, soo much faster to preheat. I suppose using a toaster oven is in a way a short cut 🙂
I’d like to hear what else other bees do.
Post # 5
For people who work during the week, I suggest using a crockpot on some days that is really hectic. It’s nice to come home to a fully prepared dinner instead of going to unhealthy fast food joints/restaurants.
I also like to prepare the veggies I will use for stir-fry and meals like that. When you bring in the groceries on a weekend day, on Saturday or Sunday, cut the veggies up then so you don’t have to during the week nights before cooking.
Post # 6
I cut up all my veggies when I get home from shopping and sometimes even sepperate and store everything into meals… This works great for crockpot meals too I throw everything I need for the meal in a baggie and freeze (I make lots of baggies ahead of time because I know we get a homecooked meal this way) it the night before I take the bag of the freezer and put it in the fridge until the morning when I just pop it in the crock pot and forget about it!
Post # 7
@MsPanda: I just pop it in the crock pot and forget about it!
I sure hope you eventually eat your meal…. not just “forget about it” LOL
Crock pots are the best tings ever for homecooked meals and the harried working person!
Post # 8
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
I mostly cook for scratch, but I learned long ago not to both with my own pie crust, whether for pie, quiche, or pot pie. It’s just not worth it. I buy the prepackaged, refridgerated kind that comes rolled up. Oh, I also do not make my own stock. Whenever some cook on tv is like, oh, it’s so quick and easy, I’m like… yeah, well, so it buying stock.
Post # 9
Well I guess this will not sound original but pasta sauce is easily frozen and then thawed before cooking. Also you may consider dedicating a day to pre cook items and then store them away for the nearby future like chicken? Also wash all the fruits and veggies when I buy them and to take out all the ingrediates before I actually start cooking
Also what I like to do is to make sure I know almost all the steps in the recipe, this will save you time from checking it often.
Post # 10
@braz: Also what I like to do is to make sure I know almost all the steps in the recipe, this will save you time from checking it often.
Don’t we all love it (sarcasm here) when starting a recipe and half way down it says to store in the fridge overnight or for 3 hours ( and you only have 1 hour before the guests arrive?) It’s a really good idea to read the entire recipe unless you like surprises!
Post # 11
@mrsSonthebeach: Haha it’s kind of funny you said this…because I was going to say, if I make pie crust, I make extra and freeze it so I can just pull it out next time I need one 🙂
Other things I do are dividing up packages of meat before I freeze them (it’s just two of us, we rarely need a whole package of something); making extra of something (ex. rice) and using the rest later in the week and/or freezing for later so I can just reheat it quickly and eat.
Post # 12
I like to use a chunky salsa in place chopped tomoatoes/peppers/onion/garlic whatever. Saves a lot of chopping!
Post # 13
To me, leftovers and planning are more about organization than shortcuts (which I could also improve upon!). I never heard of the corn one though! I’ll give that a try sometime.
The chunky salsa is also a good tip!