Kitchen Timesavers

I love cooking. Babies don’t always allow you to savour the process though. It becomes a chore. Meals must be provided and in that case, provisions must be made to cook quality food…on a timer.


When you are pregnant and planning before the big event, you try so hard to be ready for what is to come. People give advice both frightening and sensible, generous of spirit and some judgmental. Taking it all in is overwhelming. It is not until babies are here however that you really know the merits and demerits of various gadgets and gizmos and what works for you.

doodle-1070322_640I have blogged before about cutting yourself some slack when being a parent is tough in Surviving Unexpected Toddler Bugs  but if you are like me and really don’t want to overuse the ready meal (only when illness has taken over) then these few tips might help. I am going to write about my kitchen time savers. Small, often obvious and yet somehow not always utilised, maybe someone might get a good tip from this little list!

  1. Frozen Chopped Herbs and Vegetables. I mean, I knew these existed. I use frozen bagged peas and corn. I once visited my friend who has three children under five and she was multitasking like a demon whilst I hobbled about, heavily pregnant with my first, aimlessly attempting to ‘help’ while she actually achieved. I remember she made shepherd’s pie and threw in a bag of mixed (frozen) veg. I was always an advocate of fresh in my pies but now I know. It is better to serve your family home cooked, hot with a bit of a fast track than nothing! These days I am loving frozen chopped herbs and garlic. Who has time to peel garlic?? Jamie Oliver doesn’t even do that anymore! Frozen bag and off you go. Happy days!!20160609_163547-1.jpg
  2. Sharp Knife (mine is an Ulu knife). I hope most of you are wondering what I am talking about became I hadn’t a clue what this was until we were on our trip to Alaska! We bought one as a souvenir from Juneau. It is a type of knife used to gut fish with, efficient and sharp. I never expected to use it but after giving it a shot, I was hooked. This wonder slices everything in seconds with minimal mess. I now wonder whereabouts in Ireland I would get a replacement if the time came! Really I am saying that possession of  a sharp knife is a kitchen essential for efficiency.  I just happen to have an ulu knife!20160614_170442-13.Kickass Vegetable Peeler. Of course, you must think, we all have these. It is important though to have an excellent one to avoid time loss and frustration. It is also the best way to shave your cheese and keep an eye on the amount if you are calorie counting!vegetable-peeler-613142_640

4. One Bowl Baking. I like to bake with Gigi at least once per week and she loves it, ‘mixey mixey’ as she calls it. If we have something edible at the end, great. Therefore those baking recipes where I can put all in one bowl and then pour into buncases rock. We occasionally cheat with a Betty Crocker

Cheat day! I prefer to bake fresh so Queen Cakes or Banana Breads are popular in our home. One bowl bakes!  (The trick is to have melted the butter in advance).

Banana Muffins. Using up overripe bananas with yummy results. One bowl, mixey mixey.


5.Pasta Sauces. Make a big pot one day  (when you can) and let it simmer away getting more yummy. Tinned tomatoes, garlic, onion, herbs and a few chopped cherry tomatoes together make a lovely sauce especially when seasoned. If you like, make a cheese sauce (combine milk and your cheese choices, melt slowly and season as you wish). If making a cheese sauce, it comes off the hob fairly quickly and requires watching. When your tasty sauces cool, add ladles of the mixture to freezer bags (ones that seal well) and pack them FLAT in  your freezer, saving space. You could break the sauces up before you pour, adding chili to some or bacon pieces to others. Don’t forget to date and label! Someday, when life is tough, you can have a decent dinner in ten minutes and not rely on prepacked. Batch cooking meals is often advice given for new parents and I agree but this takes up whole Saturdays! So I reckon batch cooking just sauces is a quicker way of doing the same thing.

6. Gadgets. We don’t own a microwave so am I justified in talking about gadgets? Yes! I see no harm in trying out the latest time saving advice on occasion and if it doesn’t work out we part ways speedily. If it works out, we have a winner!

Apple slicer and a hand juicer. Great gadgets and also an aesthetically pleasing burst of colour.
I really cannot get the idea of this at all.  It has hidden away in my drawer sneakily  avoiding being evicted for months due to its size and ability to conceal itself.
Three inch grater. Love it. Perfect for parmesan toppings etc.

7. Food Scissors. Invest in a decent scissors for the kitchen especially for food and you have another winner. Cut meat in seconds.scissors-1332795_640My blog readers will know that I have found mothering tough lately, see Why is Everyone Crying? if you fancy a look. This post is to help me stay positive and realise that I am achieving something. My children are eating healthily and we are all surviving. That is a pretty big deal, all considering!

Good luck saving time in the kitchen!


26 thoughts on “Kitchen Timesavers

  1. How do you heat leftovers without a microwave! I hear you on cooking ahead, do you have the crockpot gadget? Dump in the morning, yum by the time you are home. Our big cheat is frozen breaded chicken; 25 min from freezer to table.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We bought a steamer oven when moving in and it has a reheat function- longer than a microwave but does the job. Meant to buy one bit haven’t needed it yet! My husband has spoken about the crockpot lately so we have actually thought about getting it.😊


  2. Frozen veg is seriously a great invention, I don’t know what I would do without it. Granted I don’t have kids, but we all have long days and need to cook rather quickly. x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am jealous that you have frozen herbs at Tesco! I’ve never seen that here in the U.S. It sounds like an excellent timesaver and perfect for adding flavor that isn’t salt. Also, the awesome Ulu knife looks amazing. The garlic card is a head scratcher (maybe it’s good for scratching one’s head??).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved this!

    I’ve never used frozen herbs from a packet, but that is genius! At the moment I end up freezing some herbs anyway if we don’t use them fast enough!

    I use that teeny grater thing for nutmeg. It s the perfect size.

    If your ulu knife ever dies, look into Japanese knives. They are so, soooo good for cooking, and they are often really beautiful too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha…I’m assuming these are all great tips. I try to stay out of the kitchen as much as possible. As far as I’m concerned, men cook. Although I do make a pretty mean Dump It cake. There aren’t even bowls, just one pan.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s so easy. Take a can of crushed pineapple and spread it across the bottom of a regular baking pan. Then spread a jar of apple sauce over the top. Then spread one package of yellow cake mis over the top of that and you can put crushed walnits on top of that if you want. Do not stir the layers together, each thing is just spread over the top of the last. . Younish by pouring a half cup of melted butter over the top and then bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

        So easy and yet so freakishly delicious. Especially with some whipped cream on top.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lol. I’ve seen recipes where they substitute cherry pie filling for the applesauce but I prefer the applesauce. This was one of my go to bring along for picnics, buffets and parties at work. Then I married a chef and gladly let him do the food.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s