Unless you’re a complete whiz in the kitchen, making sure that dinner is on the table by 9 o’clock can be stressful. Kitchens get extremely chaotic and trying to perfectly time all the components of your dish can take years of practice and dedication. However, there are some tricks of the trade that can help guarantee a flawless mealtime – all whilst keeping stress levels at an all-time low.
Decide What’s for Dinner a Night Early
The most efficient way to ensure a stress-free dinner time is by organizing all of the elements of your meal beforehand. This starts the day before when you decide what you will be making.
Find a relatively simple recipe or take a quick look in the fridge to see what you are working with. This way you won’t have to rush to the shop to buy all of your ingredients.
Keep Some Essentials in the Freezer
Time is of the essence when you are cooking for a large number of people. Save yourself time in the kitchen by stocking up on some essentials and keeping them in the freezer.
For example, if you cook with homemade broth, freeze this into portion sizes with an ice cube tray and use them when needed.
Sharpen Your Knives Before You Start
You should never underestimate the power of cooking with the right utensils. A large part of cooking involves preparing your ingredients.
Having to use a blunt knife to chop up all of your protein and veggies can be a nightmare. If you invest in a high-quality sharpening stone, you will instantly notice a faster turnaround.
Have All Your Ingredients Ready
Another part of being organized in the kitchen is making sure all of your ingredients are ready before you start. This will help you stay focused whilst cooking all the different components of your dish.
This also involves things like pre-heating the oven and bringing water to a boil before you begin preparing your ingredients.
Involve the Kids in Meal Prep and Clean Up
Finally, a great way to lower stress levels during mealtimes is by asking for a bit of help. If your kids are old enough, ask them to help you wash the veggies or clean up any mess whilst you get on with the cooking.
Don’t be afraid to give your kids some responsibility, getting them involved is a great way to teach them important life skills related to cooking and nutrition.
Being a super-parent is difficult and, no matter how hard we try, it’s not always realistic either. We’re bound to feel tired, make mistakes, and sometimes even burn dinner, but it’s all part of the process.
Settling everyone down for mealtimes is stressful, however, there are certain ways you can make this process more streamlined and efficient. Don’t get frustrated, it’s a matter of trial and error. The more meals you cook, the easier it will get. Stick to simple recipes and let the food do the talking!