Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Meal Planning: Takin' it easy

We've got a lot going on in these next few weeks.  I'm keeping things nice and easy when it comes to dinners.  By planning simple meals, cooking and prepping ahead, and making good use of leftovers, I hope to keep things in the kitchen under control.

One of my time-saving strategies is to work ahead.  This weekend was a big cooking weekend.  On Saturday afternoon I made cookie dough and bread dough.  I made a whole roast turkey on Sunday.  While the turkey was cooking I cut up all of the veggies I need for my turkey noodle soup and the veggie egg bake and stored them in the fridge in reusable containers.  After the turkey was out of the oven I baked cookies for the charity bake sale at my hubbie's work on Wednesday.  I scrubbed up a few potatoes, sprinkled them with kosher salt, and wrapped in aluminum foil into the bottom of the oven to bake at the same time as the dozens of cookies.  Those baked potatoes made for a quick and tasty dinner last night.  While I was working on the cookies, I took the turkey carcass and leftover roasting veggies and made stock for the soup.

A lot of my power cooking and prepping is done on weekend afternoons while my kiddos are napping or in the evening after they are settled in bed.  I find that listening to my favorite radio stations and sipping a cup of tea or a nice glass of wine makes for a relaxing time even though I'm getting things done.

How do you make cooking fun and relaxing?


  1. I'm an early riser, so relaxing and cooking is often done in jammies with music and coffee. And, if we aren't going out on a Saturday night, I might do a might little extra cooking while I prep.

  2. Love the idea of baking potatoes and cookies at the same time.

    We spend a lot of the weekend making food for the week. I love to make brown rice in big batches until it's almost done. Then freeze it. You only have to thaw it in the fridge. Then mix with the rest of your meal and it takes hour out of making brown rice!

  3. Great idea about the rice Mary!