New Year, Smarter Cooking Habits
Shop, cook, eat, clean. Shop, cook, eat, clean. Shop, cook…hold up! Let’s break that monotonous cycle. Promise yourself you’ll have more fun this year—starting with being more efficient about your time in the kitchen.
Let’s face it, whether you love or loathe cooking dinner every night, you could certainly use a few extra minutes to unwind after a long day. And when it comes to making your life a little easier, we have a strategy (or 7) for you. Adopting even one of these simple habits will streamline your week and free you up for kicking back with family, friends or Fido.
DIVIDE AND CONQUER.
Prep and pre-portion snacks for the entire week in a matter of minutes. Have a big crew to feed? Make it even faster by letting the family help. Set up an assembly line to speed up the process and let everyone personalize his or her treats, then store in airtight SNAPWARE® FOOD STORAGE CONTAINERS in the pantry or fridge. You’ll have something to grab each day before work, and the kids will come home to pre-made after-school snacks, such as custom trail mix or their favorite dip for veggies or crackers.TIP: Keep a marker handy for dating and labeling containers—lids have a designated write-on area that easily erases for next time.
PEEL AWAY THE MINUTES.The next time you make a batch of hard-boiled eggs for the week, try this trick: Place cooked and cooled eggs in a plastic container with a lid and give them a shake. Once the shells are cracked, they’re a cinch to peel and rinse. Go ahead and make a big batch—when stored in an airtight SNAPWARE® SNAP‘N STACK® EGG CARRIER , peeled eggs can last up to 5 days.
MAKE A CLOSE CALL.No more digging through drawers for the spatula or wooden spoon. Kitchen ergonomics are a must—you’ll be amazed at the time you can save just by keeping the utensils you use most in a canister within reach.
KEEP A TRASH CACHE.Save on repeat trips to the garbage can and place a smaller designated container next to your prep area for kitchen scraps such as eggshells, peels and empty cans. This not only keeps your work surface clean, it also makes tidying up afterward a breeze.
CHILL OUT ABOUT THE SMALL STUFF.You have a partial jar of tomato paste or a half cup of broth left over. Don’t throw them out! Pour in a SNAPWARE® TOTAL SOLUTION ™ 1-CUP SQUARE GLASS FOOD STORAGE CONTAINER WITH PLASTIC LID, label along with the measurement and freeze. Next time you make that recipe, less prep! And thanks to the glass construction, you can speed up the thaw in the microwave if needed.
ADOPT MISE EN PLACE.
It's French for “setting in place,” or “putting in place,” a simple technique that will change the way you cook. Simply gather all the ingredients you will need and have everything out and ready before you start cooking. If you’ve prepped fresh produce for the week, such as chopped onions or celery, you’ve made things even easier on yourself. Doing this when you get home from the grocery store, rather than every time you cook, will spare you unnecessary dirty dishes and save you beaucoup time. Storing these items in airtight containers is particularly helpful for containing strong odors from onion, garlic, cheeses and meats, and the SNAPWARE® TOTAL SOLUTION™ GLASS FOOD STORAGE WITH PLASTIC LIDS 8-PIECE SET has a handy assortment of shapes and sizes.TIP: It’s also good practice to read a recipe all the way through before you begin so you can get out any additional cooking equipment you might need.
THINK AHEAD WITH BACKUPS.Manic Monday? Frantic Friday? Pull that extra lasagna or beef stew from the freezer, and your dinner dilemma is solved. Start doubling recipes for meals like casseroles and soups, and freeze portions for later. Snapware food storage containers make this practice customizable for any household. With a range of different sizes, you can store individual portions, family-size portions or full recipes.
TIPS FROM THE EXPERTS
- Revive crystallized honey by placing it in a sealed container, then place the container in hot water to gently warm the honey. Give it a stir, and it’s as good as new.
- Soften brown sugar by placing the sugar in an airtight container with an orange peel or a slice of apple for about a day.
- When slicing grapes or cherry tomatoes in half, place them on a cutting board. Use a square or rectangular plastic lid to hold them in place as you carefully run a knife horizontally through the grapes or tomatoes. Works like a charm.
YOUR TURN: What smart prepping or cooking tricks have saved you the most time?