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I am Not as Strong as I appear. I enjoy weakness from time to time. We are a homeschooling, special needs family of 6. My 4th son has a Congenital Heart defect, and my oldest has ADHD. I am a survivor of Adultery and mental abuse. I learned that you never really know someone until you are strong enough to stand up and walk away. I love and protect my children, with everything I have. My life might seem unbelievable, but I couldn't make this shit up if I tried! Stick around & let's get to know each other.

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Tips to Help Cut Down on Preparation Time in the Kitchen

You have just found the perfect recipe in your favorite cookbook, recipe website or cooking Television show with a preparation time of 15 minutes and cooking time of 30 minutes. Unfortunately, 20 minutes into your prep time and you still can’t find that measuring cup that is supposed to be in the drawer under the microwave, your kitchen is a mess and you are still only half way done. Suddenly this recipe isn’t so perfect and dinner is late.

Now take step back and think about all the things that happen in those kitchens before they publish that cookbook, website or film that TV show. Aside from the fact that they have dozens of assistants running around getting them everything they need, the key to their preparation time is that they are well prepared before they even start cooking.

I have a few never fail tips that will Help You Cut Down on Preparation Time in the Kitchen:

~Keep your kitchen clean. I think the simplest way to cut down on dinner preparation time is to start out with a clean kitchen. If my kitchen is a mess and I have to work around things on the counter, it just adds to the time it takes to get the dinner from the fridge to the stove to the table.

~Deal with outside factors before they happen. If you have kids, make sure they know you are going to be making dinner and that they need to keep busy, get along and stay out of trouble. Set them up with an activity to keep them distracted so they are not walking into the kitchen every 2 minutes telling you they are bored. Check and change diapers before you start. If you have pets, walk them or put them out so they are not pacing in front of the door begging to be put out. Make sure your pets have food and water or a treat before you start so, hopefully, they will not be underfoot while you are draining your pasta.

~Put the phone away and leave it away. Unless you know it is your spouse calling to let you know they are on their way home, let the answering machine or voicemail pick it up. Dinner time is not the time to talk with friends, or waste time with telemarketers or recordings telling you that you can save a bundle on a new car warrantee. If it is important they will leave a message, and that is the joy of the answering machine, it will take a message for you when you have more important thing to do.

~Think about what to make for dinner earlier in the day, even as early as first thing in the morning. If you know what you want to make you can double-check the cupboards and fridge to make sure you have all ingredients. If you need to go to the store before you pick the kids up from school or on the way home from work, it helps to know ahead of time. If you don’t have what you need, you can always choose a different meal.

~Fill the sink with hot soapy water. If you are going from cutting raw chicken to making a salad, it saves so much time to just dunk your hands in the sink and move on.

~Get everything out on the counter before you even turn on the stove or oven. That includes all measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls, cookware and cutting boards along with all ingredients needed. If you have everything right in front of you, it will cut down on time spent looking around the kitchen grabbing things as you go.

~Get an apron with pockets. They may make you think of June Cleaver, and you may have taken a vow to never where an apron because they are outdated and unnecessary, but aprons are great tools for cooking! Especially if they have pockets. You can keep measuring spoons, small towels for wiping up spills or the recipe card in them. They help keep your clothes clean while your sauces are bubbling and splashing. I don’t know how many times I had to quickly whip off my shirt, toss it in the wash and find something else to wear. I use one corner of mine to dry my hands and the other corner to wipe food off my hands. It is one tool that I have found I can’t do without.

~Recruit you children to set the table. If you have younger kids, you can get everything together on the table and they can lay it all out. If you have older kids, they can find everything for themselves.

~Don’t get stressed or flustered. Sometimes a great new recipe can be more difficult than it looked in the cookbook. It may not turn out the way you though, but you have just learned a new recipe and next time will be so much easier. Accept that it is OK to make mistakes.

~Finally, sit down and enjoy your meal.

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One Response to Tips to Help Cut Down on Preparation Time in the Kitchen

  1. Rachelle on July 28, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Cooking takes on whole new dimensions with small children in the house. I started rethinking how I did a lot of things. And I’m still rethinking.

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