If there were no mommies in this world, would we ever even know the taste of so many foods in this world? I doubt!
In the past, a lady was just a home maker, but now she holds a relevant position in both the house and the society. She prepares meals, dresses up kids (if there are), shoves the clothes for the laundry and most of all- gives us such comfort foods that we relish at any age.
Got Time? Know About Christmas
Food is somehow synonymous with love, family and motherhood.
Today modern woman has a career to fulfil too and this will take a bad grip on her health too. So, preparing meals after work is mostly a gruesome affair. So, then perhaps, every lady needs to act smart, and cooking cues in mind. If you have these tips mastered, then you can feed a crowd even in the last hour!
So, let’s get Miss Smart Cook talking and sharing some of the practical and easy cooking tips for all. Now, these tips were mostly aimed for the festive season, but if you do have a large family to feed, then these cooking suggestions will deem to be handy at all times of the year.
Cook and Freeze
If you have guests over weekend, and you are working through the whole week, I know it’s hard. Where’s the time to cut, slice and cook? So, instead, shift all cooking plans for the weekend. Make those stews, meatball curries, stir fries, and one pot dishes in advance. Cool them, and box them into frost proof containers. When you need them, just defrost for an hour before your meals and warm them up! So you have variety and hot food at the table always!
Stash Quick Wines
Oh yeah, if it is Christmas time, then you ought to have wine, right! But, if you are the traditional type like my grandma, then home made wines are something you cannot do away it! As per the Christian rituals, household make wines almost a year ahead and there is nothing that tastes better than that. If you don’t have a wine- maybe you need to peek into these one week magical quick wine recipe right HERE!!
Make Non Vegetarian Mince Patties
Christmas is all about roasts, and puddings. It is festive time and yeah, a time when you inevitably add an extra inch to your pot belly! In the case of meats, you can make them ahead of time with small thrifty tricks like mine. Go to the butcher and get those cheap cuts of meat. Get them minced or maybe you can grind them right at home. Now, split them into various recipes. You can shape them into burgers, meat patties, meatballs, kebabs, cutlets and even meat patties. Use the spices that you need – according to the recipe you follow. Pile them up neatly into freeze boxes. Do not squeeze them. That would change the shape of the meat mince that you need to freeze. Of course, you don’t want your burgers looking like sausages, do you?
Dice veggies and freeze
Next, on my list are the colourful veggies. Personally, I hate this part of culinary- the cut and chop segment. It is so boring. Instead, I sit down once a week, and chop up all vegetables and spices I need for a week or so. It includes garlic, ginger, chillies, turmeric, cabbage, onions, potatoes, carrots, beets, cauliflower, squash, and what not! Plus, I store them compartment style boxes, so that I can take them out easily for any dish I prepare. Also, I make garlic paste and ginger paste at this point. If I need to make a biryani, I even slice onions, and fry them and then grind them to a fine sweet golden brown paste. You too can try it! This onion paste is flavourful and acts as a thickening agent in so many curries.
Gravy recipe ahead of time
If you a lover of spices gravies, then you know what I mean! Specially, if you take a look at Indian, Pakistani and Spanish dishes; the star of any dish is the gravy. You can play foul or miss any steps in those gravies. It is time consuming, and wouldn’t a make ahead serve you some extra free time? Yeah! So, prepare those tomato and onion gravies and pour into small tubs. Use them as you need. They will stay fresh for about 4-5 months.
Soups of the Season
If there is a festive time around the corner, that means that expenses will pinch your pockets from all directions, One possible place where you can control a bit- are the foods that need to be prepared. For this, I recommend that you use seasonal stuff. Buy what is in season, like pumpkins, squashes, and fruits of any kind. They are cheaper, fresh from local produce and good for health. Make soups in advance, and then freeze. You can later on, add pasta, or any meta cuts or cheese and make new variations of soup- just before serving.
Marinated Food Items
This is not something every cuisine calls for, but I do like marinated meats and cheese. It does make the grills much tastier. Julienne beef slices marinated in soy, or marinated cottage cheese cubes, chicken thighs in various spicy meat rubs are great for preparing in advance. Try them as they are very flavourful. I prepare small batches of them and defrost them in the microwave for about 60 seconds. Then these juicy babies are ready to deep fried in hot oil.
Frozen dough and stuffed dough
Who says that only veggies and meat can be stashed up? Nope, I have tried, meat rolls, samosas, stuffed buns and even tortilla and chapatti dough. Just make sure your wrpa them securely in a way that no frost gets inside the dough. Once you defrost, they are good as fresh. For samosas, spring rolls, you can straight take them out and deep fry. They will be crispy and fresh. Follow the same for your pu8ff pastry sheets and see how much economical your food budget will become.
If you have guests, or more specifically small children in the house, then appetizers and snacks cannot be put aside. So, you can stock up the freezer with small tasty tid bits of snacks. These are baked, broiled and fried as required. It can be vegetarian and since they are home made-they are definitely healthier.
Slow Cooking Techniques
If you have a slow cooker at home, this will even serve the purpose of good dinner everyday. All you need a good cooker, pile in all your ingredients and leave it to cook at its own pace- from morning. By the time you are back home, your meals are ready and all you need is to lay out the table. Lovely, right? Yep, by all means!
So, this time, get your folks around and serve them some of your old time favs and get a few applauses from all. Happy cooking and have a great festive season this time!