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Tips for Making Kid- and Mom-Friendly Dinners
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Tips for Making Kid- and Mom-Friendly Dinners
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Hi, I'm Nancy Newcomer - mom, cook & food blogger with www.NancyNewcomer.com.I'm here today for About.com to share my Tips for Making Kid & Mom Friendly Dinners. As a busy mother, nothing is more mom-friendly than saving time. Here are a few of my ideas for how to save time during your dinner prep process, so that when you get home from work, you're not frantic while pulling together a last minute meal.Cook Once, Eat Twice. I'm a big fan of this one. If you're cooking and already dirtying up the kitchen, cook a double portion. You can always eat it for dinner the next night or freeze it for another meal next week. You can also use leftovers from different meals for a Family Buffet night. Make it fun, like you're going out to a restaurant and everyone can go through the line. Your kids can help you set it up too – they'll love it!Pre-cook Meat and Poultry and Freeze it. Cook up ground turkey, chicken, or any kind of meat ahead of time and store in freezer Ziplocs. I measure into 1-cup portions, which makes it easier for cooking a future meal. These come in handy when you're making soups, stews, casseroles, spaghetti, tacos, & fajitas. You can also do this with leftover meat from dinner. It's a great habit to get into because it prevents waste and saves money.Use your Crockpot. Is yours in the back of your cupboard gathering dust? Time to break out that baby! There are SO many great recipes for the crockpot. Get it ready the night before or in the morning before you go to work, and turn it on. It's so fun to come home at night and walk through that door and smell that dinner cooking. The crockpot still feels like magic to me!Ice Cube Trays are not just for Ice. You can save a lot of money & future cooking time by freezing leftover minced garlic, fresh herbs, lemon juice, chicken or veggie stock in good old fashioned ice cube trays. After the cubes are frozen you can stick them in a labeled Ziploc freezer bag for future use. I can't tell you how much chicken stock I used to waste before using this method.Foil is your Friend. You can save tons of clean up time by simply lining your roasting pans with foil. Whether I'm making pork tenderloin or roasted vegetables, I put a layer of foil over the pan before I put my food on it. After cooking, simply lift the foil off and throw it away. You might still have a little washing to do, but at least you won't have to let your pans soak overnight in a greasy kitchen sink.
Clean as you Cook. Once you've dirtied a dish, rinse it out and stick it in the dishwasher. Done with the chopping? Wash up the knives and put them away. If you spill on the counter, wipe it up. Designate a large bowl for kitchen garbage - wrappers, trimmings, scraps of food. As you cook, throw everything in there so it's not in your way while you're cooking. This will keep your mind clearer as you cook and it will make for an easier after-dinner clean up... and don't forget to have your kids help you out!
I'm Nancy Newcomer - to learn more, visit online at About.com. Thanks for watching.
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