One area of being a family manager I have always enjoyed is the Kitchen. :) Now mind you I do not have a big kitchen it is tiny, but I try and always make sure that a lot of love comes out of that little kitchen. My hope is that someday when my children are grown they will think back and have fond memories of Mommy's kitchen.
I love to create new menus, try different recipes, find ways to sneak more veggies into my kiddos, make our food budget stretch, and make healthy easy to prepare meals. Here is some of the tips I have for doing that. These tips are in no particular order just a mix of different ones that I use for cooking, meal planning, and healthy meals.
~ to get more veggies in kids...put vegetable purees in sauces. It is an easy way with no fuss from the kids. Using a blender puree whatever vegetable you want with some water and presto you have a puree to stir into food.
~some of the purees I have used for different things are: squash in macaroni and cheese (this is one of my favorites..the kids think I make gourmet mac n cheese), pureed carrots, squash, peas, green beans, even beets (just a little it can be overpowering) stirred into spaghetti sauce, or other tomato based sauce.
~ homemade smoothies is a fantastic way to get more fruit in kids, especially if you freeze the smoothies into popsicle molds!
~ For easier meal prep try and do as much as you can ahead of time, a few ways to do that are: When I get home from grocery shopping I take all meat and do prep work before I freeze it.
-For steaks, pork chops, ribs, chicken ...I put it in a ziploc bag and then add my marinade to it and then freeze, when you thaw it out it will already be marinated and tenderized for you.
- For ground turkey, ground beef...I will first make any meat balls, hamburger patties, meatloafs ahead of time and freeze so all I have to do is pop it in the oven after it thaws. The rest of the ground beef,turkey gets cooked and seasoned and then frozen. On a night when we are super busy I can take out the cooked beef and make tacos, nachos, taco salad, soup whatever half my work is done already.
-Cheddar Cheese can be frozen after being grated.
~ This is a tip that Fly Lady taught me...always shine your sink before you go to bed. It really is nice to come down to that in the morning.
~ I also line my crisper drawers with paper towels for easier clean up
~ 1 cup of water in a microwave set on high for 3 minutes makes cleanup a snap.
~ Menu planning is key to staying on budget, I usually make up a list of enough meals including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for 2 weeks (since I go shopping once every two weeks for big shopping) Then instead of assigning days to each meal..I just make sure I have enough ingredients for that many days worth of meals so I don't wind up running to the store because I am out of something.
~ I love to make homemade potpurri to put on the stove on low so the kitchen always smells good...especially when hubby comes home from work. I want him to feel comforted walking in the door.
My goal is to make my house a haven for my family.
What is your goal for your kitchen?