Cooking dinner can be incredibly time consuming – even if you’ve planned your week’s meals well ahead of time and know exactly what you’re making. Here’s a few simple tips to help you get from stove to table faster, so you can spend more time enjoying your family’s company in the evenings.
1. Create a Measurements Chart
When you’re following a recipe, having to grab your phone Google how many grams are in a cup, or how many quarts are in a liter can add precious minutes to your cooking time. Type conversions up on a piece of paper (or photocopy it from a recipe book), laminate it, and leave it somewhere that’s easy to see or grab.
2. Put Mixes into Snaplock Bags
Rather than chopping or measuring every single time, vegetables for stir fries or dry ingredients for baking can be put into labeled bags, and left in the pantry or freezer. That way, you can just add your wet ingredients and put it in the oven.
3. Use Tin Foil or Baking Paper
If you’re putting a roast in the oven, put tin foil down first. Same goes for just about anything that gets cooked in the oven or under the grill. No leaving pans to soak, no scrubbing. Aluminium foil is 100% recyclable, and can be used for all sorts of in-home projects too: for example, you can give the foil a quick wipe-down and then use it to wrap delicate herbs and plants in your garden during storm season.
4. Save the Leftover Bits
When you only need an egg white for a recipe, save the yolk in an ice cube tray – save it for later, when you’re making something that only requires yolks. You can make homemade stock from a chicken carcass by simply throwing it in a pot with some water, vegetable ends (carrot ends and peels, onion skins, celery leaves) and spices – and then again, freeze it for later. The dregs at the bottom of a wine bottle can be frozen for use in stews and sauces later. The things you throw out without thinking can save you a lot of time further down the track, if you have them ready and waiting to be thrown in your dish.
5. Double Your Recipes
Cooking twice the amount of the exact same thing rarely takes a huge amount of extra time (if it takes any extra time at all), and it means you’ll have plenty of leftovers for lunches, and dinners on nights when you just can’t be bothered getting into the kitchen.