Batch Cooking with Amy- A Guest Post

Today I’m participating in the Ultimate Blog Swap. You’ll find me posting over at Happy Little Homemaker about Blogging, and I’m excited to welcome Amy  from The Finer Things in Life to Dominique’s Desk.

If you’re gonna make a mess, may as well make a big one, right? That philosophy has saved my tail on many a busy day.

Although feeding my family is one of the ways I most enjoy loving on them, the craziness of life sometimes gets in the way. If I can plan ahead and employ a few batch cooking techniques, The Crazy doesn’t get in the way of good, home-cooked meals. Also, batch cooking tasks help to keep my kitchen a frugal one! Here are a few things that help me make the most of my time and money.

Process produce in bulk.

Several weeks ago I came upon some organic onions with reduced price tags. I bought 3 big bags. Knowing we wouldn’t use them all before they went bad, I chopped up two bags and stuck them in the freezer. It’s a fabulous thing to have chopped organic onion at my fingertips for our favorite recipes. I do this with green peppers and zucchini from the garden, too. Makes me more apt to add veggies to sauces and soups during crunch time.

Make more than you need.

It takes only a little more effort to brown 2 (or five!) pounds of hamburger than it does to brown one. I try to thaw and cook several pounds at the same time. I’ll use one for supper and either freeze the others as is, or go ahead and make them into taco meat, spaghetti sauce, sloppy joes or whatever, and be that much closer to supper on the table when I need it another night.

Start supper early in the day.

For me, the worst time of day to be cooking supper is right before supper when everyone’s cranky and hungry, the phone’s ringing, and I realize I’m missing an ingredient. Our calmest evening meals are enjoyed on the days when I have my act together in the morning. If I can brown some meat or start the crockpot while making or cleaning up from breakfast, it’s smooth sailing at the witching hour.

Prepare convenience food at home.

A mom’s gotta have a little convenience in life, right? Living 16 miles from the nearest fast food drive-thru, I’ve learned to keep fast food at the ready in my freezer. A few hours making these favorites is time well-spent when we need to grab and go.

Double recipes for a night off.

When preparing a freezer-friendly dish for supper, it only makes sense to double up. Bake the first one and freeze the second for a planned (or emergency!) night off in the kitchen.

Life brings The Crazy, but being prepared for it in the kitchen can reduce the stress in your day. That, my friends, is certainly a Finer Thing!

Amy is a Tiny Town high school coach’s wife and mom of 4 who is certain that the best things in life aren’t things! You can find her Embracing the Extraordinary in Every Day at The Finer Things in Life.

Visit Life…Your Way to see all of the Ultimate Blog Swap participants!