1. Read through a recipe before taking up position before the stove--preferably the day before.
Not only will this ensure you have all the necessary ingredients, but if something needs to be
thawed or marinated, you won't be reaching for the number of a take-out joint.
2. It's almost cliche, but--really!--assemble your ingredients before working through a recipe, and
if it calls for diced onions, that means dicing them in advance so they're ready to toss in when
3. Don't be afraid to substitute ingredients or adapt recipes to your taste (we don't do much garlic
around our house, so that cute little bulb with all its healthy benefits is pretty much a bust).
4. Here's a simple one, though it makes a big difference if you like to linger over and savor your
meal without it growing cold: 15 minutes before plating, warm your oven-safe plates in the
oven (I prefer a temp of 200 degrees).
5. Menu Planning. Ah, the joy of recipe rummaging and list making. Really. That is,
once you have a system. For a look at mine, click on the cute cutlery:
Seventy-seven cookbooks and counting. And that's after purging twenty or so to make room for the new ones that have "mysteriously" landed on my doorstep over the last two years. I'm hooked. Give me a little down time and often you'll catch me with a cookbook on my lap and Post-it tabs nearby to mark the recipes I think will not only appeal to my family but are easily adaptable. You see, as much as I adore my cookbooks, I rarely follow a recipe to the letter. I'm a tweaker. And realistic. Not only are some ingredients hard to come by--and expensive--but there are those that certain members of my family don't tolerate well (no matter how teeny tiny I slice the mushrooms, Junior Too is bound to grab his throat and feign choking). Cooking for my guys is an adventure, but one I enjoy--most times.
To see what's cooking in my kitchen this week and check out recipes I've taken pen and scissors to, visit my blog, The Kitchen Novelist.
I didn't think I was. And, according to some definitions, I'm not. But in the most generically accepted sense, it seems I am.
"a person having an avid interest in the latest food fads" ~ Merriam-Webster
"a person having an enthusiastic interest in the preparation and consumption of fine foods, esp. in restaurants" ~ Webster's
The first part, yes. The "fine foods" and "restaurant" part, not necessarily.
"a person keenly interested in food, especially in eating or cooking" ~ Dictionary.com
1. To save time, use a printed shopping list that
categorizes foods or visit your grocery store's
website to see if they offer a downloadable
list. If you'd like to download my
shopping list, click on the basket:
2. If possible, shop early morning to avoid lines.
3. Cart non-perishable foods first, cold and frozen
foods last to help maintain healthy temperatures.
4. At checkout, group like items as you unload your
cart so they are bagged together. This makes it
easier to put away groceries at home.
5. Consider reusable bags. Not only are they good
for the environment, but they usually have a
larger capacity, are stronger, and are easier to
arrange in the back of the car (I like the ones that
have shoulder straps in addition to hand straps).
6. And, of course, don't forget your coupons!