From the Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center
Cook Smart And Save Time With These Cooking Hacks
A Cozy Lifestyle with Clearissa Coward
Since the pandemic, we have cooked at home a lot more. Although I miss the relaxation of sitting in a restaurant enjoying a good meal, cocooning, and cooking at home with my husband this spring and summer has been a lot of fun. It has saved a little money and I have had the opportunity to try a few new recipes to boot. While preparing more home-cooked meals, I have learned a few things and in this article, Cook Smart And Save Time With These Cooking Hacks, I will share tips to make cooking at home a bit simpler.
Thankfully, cooking at home does not have to be a chore and can even be enjoyable. So why not get into cooking healthier meals and doing it in a way that saves you time.
There are affiliate links within this post. However, all opinions and ideas are my own. Clicking on and using the links to purchase products does not increase your cost at all. I appreciate your support.
1. Plan Ahead – Trying to start cooking without a plan is like going on a trip without GPS. You need to know what your final goal is before you even write one thing down on a shopping list. Plan meals, plan when you’ll cook, and plan who will help. Cooking together with your partner is a lot of fun.
2 Cook Assembly Line Style – Get all the ingredients out and measured first, putting containers away immediately, then put it together in order like an assembly line. Get help from the family to make it even easier and a time of bonding. What fun!
3. Shop and Cook Weekly – Shop with your weekly flyers to buy what’s on sale and in season. Then the next day organize it and prepare it all for reheating and enjoying throughout the week.
4. Feed the Freezer – Whenever you cook, double the recipe and freeze half. This will make a homemade TV dinner to use when time is short or you simply do not feel like cooking. I do this a lot during the winter with soups, stews, and sauces. But it works well with meat as well. I often season my meats before freezing it as well so that it is easy to pop in a pan.
5. Have a Cooking Party (when we can socialize again) – Want to make a bunch of one item? You can organize a cooking party. Everyone brings something to the event; everyone helps cook (and eat), then everyone takes home a portion to put in their freezer for eating later. I have to admit, I have never done this but it sounds like a lot of fun…right?
6. Have a Pot Luck Party (when we can socialize again)– Another way to cook less, yet eat more, is to have a pot luck. You need no reasons to organize pot luck. Make the invites, clear the times of the party, and you will have fun visiting and save time too. This, I’ve done a million times and it has been fun. It works well if the host chooses a type of food, like Italian, souther, etc., and everyone brings a dish from that particular type. The meal can be quite interesting. To avoid duplication, I generally post who’s bringing what.
7. Swap Cooking Duties (when we can socialize again) – Take turns with friends and family having “family meal night”. If you had five friends willing to participate, you would eliminate five nights of cooking for yourself and them. Again, I have never done this either but if you enjoy socializing, this is a great way to do it and save time.
8. Keep Plastic Wrap Cold –You know how hard it is to get plastic wrap to cooperate, and you end up with a horrible mess. But, you can end that today by storing your wrap in the refrigerator. This will cut down on the static and help it stick only to the dish you’re covering.
9. Use Parchment Paper – This is a great way to keep your pans cleaner and avoid sticking food. Just use to line any pan you plan to bake with parchment paper before putting the food on it. Once the food is done, toss. Side note: Using parchment paper also cuts down on how much fat you have to add. I love parchment paper.
10. Use Equipment Creatively – Did you know you can use your waffle iron to make other things besides waffles? Take a baked potato; smash it in a hot waffle iron – instant crispy delicious hash browns. Who knew?
11. Make Lunch Salads in a Jar – Put salad dressing on the very bottom, add cherry tomatoes, then everything else, ending with the lightest ingredient such as lettuce and spinach. Seal jar tightly. Shake before eating to distribute dressing. Eat right out of the jar. I have done this when I was taking lunch to work. It really works.
12. Stop Overcooking Veggies – Sadly, most people overcook their veggies to the extreme. Most veggies taste best and are most healthy when lightly steamed or roasted. I also love to stirfry veggies as well. You’ll save time, and improve your health too.
13. Sneak in More Veggies – Add extra veggies to all your meals to up the nutritional component of them. For example, chop zucchini and add to chili, or shred carrots to add to spaghetti sauce. You can also add veggies to mac & cheese; just use your imagination. Sometimes this is the only way to get your kids to eat veggies. Whatever works, right?
14. Cook Ahead – Using a crockpot you can start your oatmeal before bed. You can put your dinner on before you leave for work. Or for a real energy pick-me-up, serve fruit smoothies each morning from frozen fruits and veggies. This takes literally minutes and can be enjoyed on the go.
If you plan it right, you can have dinner on the table within 30 minutes each evening, lunches prepared in advance, and never miss breakfast again. Cooking no longer has to be a dreaded chore that sends you to the drive-thru.
So what hacks do you use to make cooking easier for your family?
Don’t forget to check out my eBook; Organize Your Life in 21 Days. It is available for download and has a variety of small projects to help you take on and complete organizational projects. Some you may not have even thought of. Get your copy today.
Never miss another article, tip, or project. Get them delivered directly to your email. Subscribe today! And let’s stay connected.
Thank you guys for all of the support you show to me and my blog. I feel so blessed because of you.
Until next time…I remain in my Element – God Bless!
Don’t forget to share this post with your friends. I greatly appreciate it.
Thank You for Stopping By!
Hugs & Blessings,