No one likes spending extra time in the kitchen toiling away behind the stove or scrubbing mountains of dirty dishes. But during the holidays when friends and family take over the house, such activities may seem unavoidable. We understand since we spend plenty of time in the kitchen all year long developing recipes featuring our organic fruit. Just because a dish looks like it takes hours doesn’t mean it actually should. From our test kitchen to yours, use these tips to streamline meal prep and cleanup and spend more time doing what your really want to do this holiday season.
When you’re cooking …
1. Start with mise en place. This French term literally translates to “putting in place.” Prepare your ingredients before you begin cooking. That means chopping, pulling out spices and of course designating counter space. Not only is this a great way to save time while cooking but it also makes the process much less stressful.
2. Keep a sink of soapy water. You may not have time to clean as you go, so let a sink of soapy water do the heavy lifting for you. Dishwasher loading becomes a snap.
3. Put away your groceries. If you’re the one cooking, takeover unloading groceries. This is the best way to ensure you know where everything is as you prepare for mise en place. It’s no fun knowing you bought something but having no idea where it is. We’ve been there.
4. Keep valuable utensils handy. Next to the stove fill a mason jar with the tools you most often use like spatulas, tongs, wooden spoons and rubber scrapers.
5. Sharpen your knife. Sharp knives are safer and they work much better. Keep a knife sharpener on hand and use it often.
Easier ingredient prep …
These commonly used ingredients are a snap to prepare with these tips from the pros.
* For easy whip cream, shake ingredients in a cool mason jar.
* Slice avocadoes in the skin to make cubes. It makes them even easier to mash into guacamole.
* Put a dish towel or damp paper towel under your cutting board to keep it from slipping.
* Grate frozen butter straight into flour when make pastry dough for even distribution.
* Instantly core a head of iceberg lettuce by slamming it down on a cutting board.
* Add a pinch of baking soda to onions to caramelize them in half the time.
* To keep cheese from sticking to your grater, coat it with a nonstick spray.
* To get more juice out of lemons and limes microwave them for a few seconds.
* For perfect potato wedges, use an apple slicer.
Do you have any go-to kitchen time savers that you rely on? We’d love to give them a try. Leave a comment below.