10 Tips in the Kitchen

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10 Tips to Speed Up Kitchen Time

by Handy Hannah

 

You don’t have the time to spend hours on end in your kitchen (as much as you might like to!), so a little streamlining is in order. I love time savers wherever I can find them … it means … eventually … more time for me! 

 

1. Roll up your sleeves

This is my most favorite piece of advice. There’s nothing worse than approaching mealtime with an “Ugh .. I hate this” attitude. You’ve got to do it right? So roll up your sleeves and take it on. It will go faster because you’re not slogging through the process!

 

2. Clutter control

Look around. Can anything be put away? For example, are there empty cups or jars, or pot holders laying around? What about pieces of paper or pens and paper? If you don’t use it, get rid of it!

 

 3. Know what you use and what you don’t

What are the essentials you need for cooking? Arrange your kitchen so you can get to what you use a lot of easily. Keep your olive oil on the counter in a pretty dispenser bottle (you can get a cheapie one at Kohl’s!) Try to have 2 of each essential on hand if you cook a lot and go through items quickly. Never be left in a jam.

 

 4. Keep only “favorites” in your recipe box.

Figuring out what’s for dinner is easy if you have 20 or 30 favorite recipes at your fingertips. Keep these in your recipe box and keep your staples on hand so you don’t have to run to the store, just to the freezer.

 

 5. Chop everything at the same time.

Rather than chopping and stopping, chopping and stopping, when a recipe calls for you to do a lot of chopping, do it all at once and separate your items into different bowls.

 

 6. Use a bowl for scraps.

Speaking of bowls, use one for scraps so you don’t have to move to the trash or sink if you can’t chop right there. If you compost, your’re probably already doing this.

 

 7. Keep a handy towel at hand.

Handy Hannah always has a towel nearby! Don’t use all of those paper towels, tearing them off over and over again. Keep a towel within reach and you can quickly wipe off your hands.

 

 8. Store plastic containers and lids separately.

By storing the containers by themselves, they are easier to stack and organize. The same rule applies with the lids, and you don’t get a messy drawer of bent lids and mishmash.

 

 9. Multi task during wait periods

When preparing a pasta recipe, for example, while your water is heating to a boil, you can get the sauce started by heating some olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add in two or three cloves of crushed garlic, and let simmer for 2 minutes. While the garlic is simmering, chop your tomatoes. Then add in the tomatoes along with a dash of salt, cover and simmer until the pasta is cooked in the water. While the pasta is cooking and the sauce is simmering, clean the counters and get your dishes ready for serving.

 

 10. Use electricity.

Food processors save time, electric can openers save time, so use those handy gadgets! 

Susan Day is editor-in-chief of Cincinnati Family Magazine and a mother of four.

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