I love to cook, it is my favourite hobby after eating!
Over the years I have found some fantastic shortcuts to make cooking much less daunting.
I taught myself to cook after I had my first baby. Before that we used to live off chips and baked beans. I am really not joking, the question was always:
“what are we going to have with our chips and beans today? Pizza, sausages, burger…”
When I had Tom 10 years ago I started to teach myself how to cook. Of course I started with the good old faithful Annabel Karmel. The adults were still eating chips and beans most nights but I was cooking Tom pasta bakes, fish and casseroles and it wasn’t long before he was eating better than me! So I started to cook an Annabel Karmel meal for all of us and it started from there…. (I didn’t serve the pureed version of course!)
Ten years on I have a MASSIVE collection of cookbooks and I cook from scratch every day – apart from Friday … that is the cook’s day off and we have a takeaway.
Cooking Hacks That Will Transform The Way You Cook
- Use Lazy Chilli/Garlic/Ginger. These little pots are amazing they take the pain out of chopping the chilli and garlic. MASSIVE time saver. You can get them from most supermarkets and last ages.
- STOP WITH ALL THE CHOPPING! Use frozen chopped fruit and vegetables. Think onions/peppers/mushrooms etc. Another HUGE time saver. Check out the frozen veg section of the supermarket you will be amazed what you can find. There will be less waste too, as you will only use what you need.
- Get a slow cooker. If you haven’t got one then you need to get one! You can pick them up fairly cheaply on Amazon. Prepping an evening meal can take literally minutes in the morning and means you will have a nutritious meal later on.
- Batch cook. Now I know that you will have heard this before but bare with me! If you have a slow cooker then use it batch cook meals. There will be minimal extra effort and you will only have one bowl to wash up!
- Invest in a good pair of scissors. I use my kitchen scissors all the time. I use them to cut up meat straight from the packet into the pan – this means that I don’t have to use a chopping board and therefore saves on washing up. You can also use them to cut up food for toddlers, pizzas and to cut up long bits of spaghetti, so the kids find it easier to eat.
- Make cleaning up easier. Before you start to prep a meal, make sure you start with an empty dishwasher or a sink full of hot soapy water. That way you can tidy up as you go and make the clean up operation much less painful.
- Bag it up. With clean up still in mind, when you start to cook have a plastic bag at the ready, so you can put all the rubbish in there as you go along. Then you can easily transport it to the bin once you are done.
- Think simple. Master some super simple recipes. Chose some recipes with only a few ingredients. Nothing is going to put you off more than having to buy lots of weird and wonderful ingredients. Plus if there are only a few ingredients it will be easier to remember and you will know the recipe off by heart the next time you cook it.
My Most Thumbed Cook Books:
Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food
Annabel Karmel The Busy Mum’s Cookbook
Ina Garten Cooking for Jeffrey
The Hairy Dieters Eat for Life
The Hairy Dieters Fast Food