Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Doubling My Efforts in the Kitchen to (hopefully?) Make Things Easier

Photo snapped while waiting on my broth to defrost.... sigh.
Inspired by Crystal's 4 weeks to fill your freezer, I've been trying to maximize my efforts in the kitchen. Although I am not following her specific menu plan, when making my meal plan and shopping list for the week, I noted all of the meals that would freeze well and planned to make doubles of each of them. One for dinner, one for my freezer.

Last night's plan was chicken pot pie, and since I was already chopping onions and carrots for it, I decided to make my zesty tomato soup at the same time (since it also calls for chopped onions and carrots). Impressed with myself for thinking of this, and pleased that I was making not one, but four dinners, I happily set to work.

Only to realize that:

1. I hadn't thawed any of my homemade broth (which both recipes require).
2. I was out of frozen corn (a favorite veggie of ours for pot pie).

This of course dawned on me at the moment that I desperately needed the broth; two big pots on the stove bubbling. I had to shut off the burners and thaw my broth in the microwave.

Ten minutes later, I was back on track. Sort of.

S woke up from her long nap, starving and demanding food. Niall walked in the door, home from work, to a frantic wife, frantic baby, and a kitchen that looked like a hurricane had gone through it.

The moral of the story? If you want to get ahead in the kitchen, plan wisely. Walk through your recipes first, have all of the ingredients ready to go and waiting before you start, and begin early with plenty of time to complete your project (in case if a starving baby wakes up).

I think I've learned my lesson. After dinner all I could do was collapse on the couch with a headache brought on by the kitchen debacle.

On the bright side, dinner is already made for tonight :).

Do you freezer cook? How do you multitask to get the most out of time spent in the kitchen?

8 comments:

  1. It's funny you should post this today- I just did a double meal yesterday! Yes, I agree, planning ahead would help. I try to go through and check my ingredients- though it seems that whenever I forget to is when I assume I have something that I really don't- and then I end up in a pickle! I sometimes will also cook 2 different meals at once if they require the same type of prep- aka, 2 types of soup- or yesterday I cooked chicken in the oven, roasted a red pepper (for chicken & red pepper bistro sandwiches), and made a quiche at the same time since I had the oven going at the same temp for a while anyway. Then I had dinner for 2 nights in a row with only minimal extra prep. (Saved some electricity too!)
    Thanks for all your great ideas!

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    1. That's just it, isn't it? You assume that bc you always have something on hand, you'll never run out! Ugh. Yum, chicken and red pepper bistro sandwiches sound delicious!

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  2. I try and make a double batch of everything that I can. Usually, I only try and tackle one item at a time (unless I am feeling really ambitious or frantic about the empty freezer!) such a doubling a spaghetti sauce recipe or making an extra pan of casserole. It is currently fairly easy as I have a small family, so making an extra "meal" really doesn't take that much effort. On the weekends I try and do more bulk cooking. This may include an extra loaf or two of bread, extra batch of muffins, or extra waffles to put in the freezer for those days when time is short!

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    1. Bulk cooking on weekends is a great idea! I've been thinking I ought to schedule one day a week for freezer cooking, just to get a little bit ahead. Because being able to pull dinner out of the freezer on a busy day is so amazing!

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  3. I try to double things, sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't. At least you got another meal out of it.

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    1. Yes, it is nice when you can keep things simple while getting ahead, isn't it?

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  4. lol. Thanks for sharing! I tried doing the cooking a bunch of food on Sundays to store in the freezer thing for a while. I could never get the hang of it! I've decided it's much easier for me to just double (or triple!) whatever I am cooking on a particular night and throw the extra in the freezer for later. I feel like no matter what I do, cooking is usually a hassle for me. But I'm working on simplifying things!

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    Replies
    1. Apparently doubling recipes works good for most, and totally makes sense! I need to do it more often :).

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