Plan Your Weekly Meals, Stress Free I've been planning my recipes and doing my shopping for the week ahead for years now. Awesome idea. One thing I've learned - you just cant set meals for specific days. Even choosing tomorrows meal is a bit wonky. I used to try at first, but there are just way too many things that crop up to stop you - meeting a mate for a drink after work, small (or missed) lunch so you're starving when you get home and your meal takes an hour to make, 'accidentally' snacking mid-afternoon so not hungry when you get home, delayed journeys, too tired when you get in to start faffing around with big recipes. Its a nice idea but for me, no. What works for me is just to have a list of meals, and to make sure that you have some that are quicker and/or easier than others. Even better, make sure that at least one of them is a store cupboard dinner - i.e. most of the things come out of tins or packets. By the way, let me recommend this book as the daddy of all midweek cooking books for lifehackers.
A Chicken in Every (Crock) Pot The phrase "a chicken in every pot" has been repeated throughout history, beginning with King Henry IV in France. The words promise good times, with enough to eat and time to relax and enjoy it. These days, most people cook their chicken in a crockpot. The crockpot is probably the best time saver in the kitchen today. There are some tips for cooking chicken in your slow cooker. Bone-in and boneless chicken have different cooking requirements. Vegetables in these recipe should go into the bottom of the crockpot, with the meat on top because vegetables cook more slowly than meat. For hints and tips about using your crockpot to its fullest capacity, see Crockpot Lessons. A Chicken in Every (Crock) Pot
How to Seed a Pomegranate The Easy Way Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn Previous image Next image Here's how to seed a pomegranate while keeping the mess to a minimum The unwritten subtitle on this one is really "without creating a gigantic mess in your kitchen." As delicious as they are, pomegranates are notorious for leaving your counters, your cupboards, and yourself splattered with sticky deep-red juice. Here's how to do it while keeping the crime-scene-like mess to a minimum. Pomegranates are a completely bizarre fruit, in my opinion. Dozens of methods for opening and seeding a pomegranate have been developed over the years, from diving in with your fingers to thwacking the pomegranate with a spoon. Do you have a favorite method? How to Seed a Pomegranate The Easy Way What You Need Ingredients One pomegranate EquipmentParing knifeA large bowl of warm waterStrainerBaking sheet for drying the seeds Instructions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. (Images: Emma Christensen)
The Stupid Things You Do in the Kitchen (and How to Fix Them) Love cooking or hate it, much of your time in the kitchen is likely wasted by easily correctable mistakes you probably don't even know you're making. You waste time prepping ingredients, use your knives incorrectly, mix and match the wrong utensils, and throw out food that's still good—and those are just a few of the stupid things you do in the kitchen. Here's how to fix them. P Stupid Thing #1: You Spend Too Much Time Prepping IngredientsP Few people enjoy the tedium of prepping ingredients. Say you're cutting a bunch of carrots into sticks; it doesn't make sense to trim, peel, and slice each one individually. It also helps to use two bowls—one for scraps and one for cleaning—so you don't make a mess during the preparation process. These are all great ways to save you time and keep you organized, but a few common ingredients have tricks all their own. Stupid Thing #2: You Use Your Knives WrongP The easiest issue to correct is a dull blade, and it's one of the most important.
These Three Kitchen Shortcuts Will Change the Way You Cook Healthy eating starts at home, but most people don’t have the ability or energy to spend hours in the kitchen every day. Between work, school, family, and other responsibilities, time is of the essence. These are my favorite tips for home cooks, as they help to minimize both mess and time in the kitchen. My cooking students always tell me how, since learning to do weekend planning and prep, their weeknight dinners are so much easier. 1. My most important kitchen shortcut is batch cooking on the weekend, which sets you up for success during the week. For example, make a huge pot of beans on Sunday. Beans and riceSoup with beansSalad with beansBean spread/dip You can do the same thing by whipping up a triple batch of grains, such as brown rice or quinoa, over the weekend. While you’re batch cooking your single ingredient, cut up whatever raw veggies you have in your fridge. (RELATED: A Top Chef’s Healthy Cooking Tips That Every Home Cook Needs to Know) 2. 3.
How to Cut Up a Whole Pineapple Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn Previous image Next image Pick a pineapple that has evenly shaped "eyes" on the skin. Look for ones that are mostly yellow — we've found that the more yellow they are, the sweeter they are. We love the sweet-sour taste of pineapple just about anytime, but it has particular appeal during the dog days of winter. Pick a pineapple that has evenly shaped "eyes" on the skin. How to Slice a Pineapple Makes about 5 cups chopped pineapple What You Need Ingredients 1 ripe pineapple EquipmentCutting boardSharp knife Instructions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. (Images: Emma Christensen)
Five Best Recipe Organization Tools Trust me, I was just as surprised when tallying the votes for the top five. I thought more recipe organization apps would be in the running, but - as mentioned several times above - they just weren't nominated. Managed to get a few into the honorable mentions though. My fault also, I keep running across the finalists for these things instead of the original nomination article. SExpand Actually Nate, you might want to check out Springpad, since it has a specific "Recipe Box" type setup. I've been using Springpad for ages, but I didn't even know about the recipe option until this voting thing started... then I looked into it, and it's about as full-featured as any other recipe app I've tried! Here's an example of a recipe.
5 Ways To Make Frozen Vegetables Suck a Little Less Although spring is upon us and we should be taking full advantage of farmers' markets and fresh grocery store offerings, sometimes the frozen veggies still come in handy for last-minute dinner convenience. back is what's for dinner. In an effort to make them taste, less, well, frozen, here are five ways to help get the most flavor from our freezer friends! The first thing to remember is that frozen vegetables actually can be quite good (and good for you). Take a look at my tips and share your own! 1. 2. Salt + Pepper + Butter = Nothing in that list is rocket science by any means, it's as basic as basic gets, but sometimes getting the most flavor from something means keeping it simple. 3. 4. 5. Do you have any tricks up your sleeve for making frozen veg suck a little less? This post was requested by sprite for Reader Request Week 2013! (Image: Faith Durand)
A Beautiful Mess Kitchen Gear Favorites We get emails and comments from fellow home cooks who want to know what we use and love in the kitchen. I try to link to any special tools I use in recipes here on the blog, but I thought it might be fun to take a peek into my kitchen and see what I really use. Except we made this pretty collage of all the items instead, because, well, my real kitchen gear is pretty much in a constant state of use (aka it's all got dry, crusty flour caked in the cracks or something equally delicious looking). Ahem, without further ado... 1. in Persimmon. 2. Pans. 3. for baking. 4. ! 5. . 6. . 7. . 8. . 9. 10. 11. . 12. . Thanks for letting me share a few of my favorite kitchen tools! The Best, Non-Crazy Ways to Use Grocery Coupons I use the circulars from our favorite grocery store each week to plan our weekly menu. Our circulars are included in our Sunday paper and we have a subscription for just that day. Then, I use coupons included in the paper or those I've stumbled across and sometimes I'll go online to coupon.com or similar to scan for items of interest. I really only bother with coupons for things that we regularly purchase anyway or that fit in with the weekly sales and our menu. I also save up coupons for items we regularly stock and will wait for those items to go on sale. After I started doing this, after about 2 months, I had a really well-stocked pantry where pretty much everything I bought on sale (and much of it with coupons, too). It may sound a little nuts, but after a few weeks of getting used to it, it now takes me maybe one hour on Sunday to plan the weekly menu around the sales, clip new coupons, and scan through my existing coupons to match up to the sales or find those that will expire soon.
Yes, You Can Roast Frozen Vegetables. Yes, They're Delish. Good commercially frozen, organic if possible, frozen vegetables have a lot going for them. They're as nutritious as fresh, if not more so since they're frozen quickly after picking, they're convenient, and quite often they're significantly less expensive than fresh, especially in the winter when the vegetables often look carsick from their long trip from the farm. At this time of year, there still isn't too much local in the farm markets, and even though it is certainly spring, there isn't local abundance yet. Plus, if you are a vegetable eater in a household of picky eaters, sometimes a frozen veg is only way to get any variety on the table without having to toss a lot of uneaten fresh food. Makes eating well way easier. Personally, I happen to like Brussels sprouts and asparagus year-round, even though they both have definite seasons. Roasting frozen vegetables gives, IMHO, a much better end result than either boiling or steaming frozen vegetables. The recipe: ...I lied.