Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Preparing ahead in warm weather

It's spring, and if you're a typical frugalie, your windows are open, fans are on and oven is off as much as possible to keep the heat down.  But you still have to provide lunch and dinner for your family.  Oh poo. 

Sunday was a beautiful day, and I still had to cook, so since my kitchen was hot already, I cooked extra to be prepared for the week so I would not have to heat the kitchen up again quite so hot.

Here's a brief list of things that are easy to cook extra of on Sunday afternoon (or any day) and keep for several days in the fridge:

  • Noodles - something fun like penne or farfalle are very versatile, just add a sauce or heat in a pan with some butter and salt.
  • Rice - I'm thinking rice as a quick side dish, added to burritos, fried rice with leftover meat and veggies, etc.
  • Bread - if you're heating up your oven for 1-2 loaves, why not go ahead and make 6-8 and freeze the extras
  • Veggies - if I'm making frozen peas for tonight I can double the amount and have them again a couple of nights from now as another side
  • Potatoes - twice as many mashed potatoes means potato cakes later in the week! Or shepherd's pie topping ready to go!
  • Meat - this one is a little trickier because meat is best on the first go around, unless it's sauced or seasoned for a specific dish, then you can't really tell.  For intance, if you are having meatball subs on Monday and Tacos on Thursday, go ahead and cook all of the ground beef while the pan is hot, ten your taco dinner just took 15 minutes less and you didn't have to heat up the pan or the room all over again.  Chicken can be done similarly if you're heating up your oven for one, can you fit a second one in there if you are having another chicken dish in the near future?
Be creative, use your time wisely and see if you can do little extras that take little to no more time but keep you from having to work as hard another day of the week.  This can be helpful for busy moms

1 comment:

slk2042 said...

We have more green salads in the summer. One night I'll grill some chicken as a main course. The next night we'll slice up the previous day's chicken and serve it over salad.

Grilling outside is a good way to get a hot meal without heating up the kitchen.