Today’s advice is sweet, simple, and super good.
Add butter to tasteless vegetables.
Pictured are some lackluster frozen veggies. It’s frozen corn from Kroger, and the boys are not fans. We’ve been spoiled by the majesty of Costco.
To flavor things up, I added a pat of butter.
After a bit of water, waxed paper over the top, and a few minutes in the microwave; the corn was almost edible. Once we added salt and pepper, they all choked it down.
I also added a bit of parsley for garnish. Parsley’s the best for making food look fancy.
©2019 Chelsea Owens
Being somewhat lazy but also smart enough to avoid shopping with all of my children at once, I’ve developed a few meal prep shortcuts:
- I try to plan ahead, mostly in terms of buying ingredients I can use for future recipes.
- I advocate keeping freezer meals around.
- I make simple things for dinner most nights; like German Pancakes or French Dip Sandwiches.
- And, I LOVE pre-pared food.
Why the hyphen? Because I want to use the word with its literal definition: cut up ahead of time.*
Use prepared ingredients.
If you’re not a finicky chef, food that is all ready to go is a huge time saver. I am somewhat picky about the final taste of things; yet still use dried herbs and spices, minced garlic, and frozen onions and green peppers. I’ve also tried frozen bananas in bread and frozen berries in shakes.
Using dehydrated and frozen versions of ingredients works well. Not all foods can be used in all recipes, of course. Breads and other baked goods are fairly tolerant, whereas stir-fry works better with fresh vegetables.
But still, we’re talking scooping out 1/4 tsp of minced garlic vs. pulling off a clove, peeling, cutting, and accidentally rubbing your eyes.
And food preservation technology just keeps getting better. Our frozen corn from Costco tastes fresher and better than the canned stuff I ate as a kid. The dehydrated onions I bought smell and look good enough to eat.
So try it. You’ll love the time you save.
*Actually, it means to cut off the excess or outer parts, but let’s not get too picky.
©2019 Chelsea Owens
I live in a house of boys. My mini men do not have large appetites (yet), but we do run through a lot of bread.
As such, my first tip is to buy ahead and freeze your loaves.
Buy extra loaves of bread and freeze them.
My second tip is to keep bread loaves in the refrigerator.
Keep a loaf of bread in the fridge.
If you purchase the loaves and freeze them, they are often past the expiration date once you need to use them and will require refrigeration. Even if they are not, keeping them in the fridge extends their life and delays molding.
Bonus tip: I also keep all the bread ends and use them for French Toast.
Keep the bread loaf ends, or heels, for use in French Toast.
If you’re a better homemaker baker than I; heels may also be used for breadcrumbs, croutons, bread pudding, trails out of the woods, and stuffings.
Cooking does not have to be that complicated, especially with the prevalence of so many frozen and pre-made options.
My tip today, however, is to not be afraid of making basic meals.
Don’t fear cooking!
There are a ton of easy meals that don’t take a lot of time, ingredients, or money to make. From the Poor Man’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich to French Bread Pizza to all the quick meals I listed on this very site, you have more than the drive thru to choose from come dinnertime.
You can do it. I promise.