Home cooking is delicious but not many people like to be stuck in the kitchen all night. Here are my top tips for saving you time and effort in the kitchen.
Clean up as you cook: Let's face it no one likes to tackle a massive mess in the kitchen after sitting down for a delicious home cooked meal; washing up all the utensils you use as you go while dinner simmers on the stove or cooks in the oven will save you a tonne of cleaning up at the end of the night.
Be Prepared: Instead of making multiple trips to the fridge or pantry as you're cooking, get everything the recipe calls for out on the bench before you start. That way everything you need is right there and away you go – you'll be amazed how much time this will save you.
Peel fruit the easy way: Instead of blanching soft fruits like tomatoes to peel them, buy a serrated peeler. It peels any soft fruits like tomatoes and peaches so quickly and will save you so much time and hassle.
Use your food processor: Most of us have one sitting in our appliance cupboard that hardly ever gets used. Unless you're a chef you probably don't have the ability to chop food as fast as they do with a plain knife and board. The food processor will chop up everything you need in a flash so have it on the bench instead of in a cupboard and it might actually get some use!
Use your dishwasher: Most new dishwashers will actually save on energy, water and let's not forget time!
Cook enough for 2 nights: Double the quantities and you'll have enough dinner for 2 nights – stick the extra food in the fridge ready to eat again that week so all you have to do is heat it up and enjoy your night off cooking.
Use a slow cooker: I admit I don't own one myself but have friends and family who swear by them. So if you really struggle to find time to cook each night this might be worth considering. Apparently you just throw all the ingredients in, set the timer and come back from work to find a warm home cooked meal waiting for you.
Use frozen vegetables: This can save you heaps of time washing, peeling and chopping up fresh veggies. Plus frozen veggies claim to be fresher than the so called fresh veggies we get in the supermarkets so are just as nutritious.
Get your partner / kids / housemates to help: If you don't live alone then ask your housemates for help either cooking or washing up. Taking turns is good but having an extra pair of hands to help you when it's your turn will save you so much time and when it's their turn you can return the favour.
Ask your guests to chip in: If you're hosting a lunch or dinner party at yours then don't be shy to ask your guests to make something. Most guests want to bring something along anyway so ask them to make a salad or dessert and you can concentrate on the main meal. If they don't like the idea then you know who not to invite next time!