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Old 03-20-2011, 05:18 PM   #1
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Saving Time

I thought it might be fun to share some ideas about what, if anyhing, we all do to save time in the kitchen?
For example, I buy 4 or 5 green peppers at a time, chop them up and put them in the freezer in freezer bags so they're ready to just throw in the pot when I'm cooking chili, spaghetti, or anything with green peppers in it.

Also, when I buy meat I'll usually buy it in bulk packs and separate it into enough to make a meal for my family and put it in freezer bags. I do this when I get home from the grocery store.

So, what do you do to save time?

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Old 03-20-2011, 05:55 PM   #2
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I do the same with celery. After many years of throwing out half the celery that goes bad before I could use it, I finally got myself organized. I take off and wash the outer stalks, cut off the ends and store whole in the freezer to add to soups of stock just for flavor, discarding after use.

The tender inner section, I mince finely and keep in a baggie in the fridge to use up in sandwich salads, chicken, egg, tuna.

The medium stalks, I chop into 1/4-1/2" pieces and freeze to add to soups or stews, to leave in. I can just grab a handful and continue to keep the rest in the freezer.
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:30 PM   #3
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I cook several full meals on my day off and make up my lunches and Shrek's dinners for the week. That way I don't have to try to cook on days I work.
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:36 PM   #4
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I buy hamburger in bulk and brown it up then put it in freezer bags. Then when I want to add it to something like spaghetti sauce, chili, or any recipe that calls for browned hamburger, I just thaw the package in the microwave and dump it in.
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabbur View Post
I buy hamburger in bulk and brown it up then put it in freezer bags. Then when I want to add it to something like spaghetti sauce, chili, or any recipe that calls for browned hamburger, I just thaw the package in the microwave and dump it in.
Ditto!
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:29 PM   #6
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I guess I'm a little strange but I prefer not to do things to save time in the kitchen. I love being in the kitchen. I do however break meat down into meal sized packages for the freezer which in the long run saves time and keeps us from having to eat the same meat for several days in a row. I do freeze some stuff in single portions too so that I can just grab one portion when I come home from work at 11PM. I guess that is a bit of a time saver.
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Old 03-21-2011, 03:35 PM   #7
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I buy lemons and limes when they are on special and (a) zest them, and (b) juice them. I put the zest in a ziplock bag, toss it in the freezer. I put the juice in ice cube trays and then in ziplock bags. When I need a tablespoon of fresh lime or lemon juice, all I have to do is pull a cube out of the ziplock bag and I'm good to go. I chop garlic and freeze that, as well as onions (and a whole lot of other things <g>). In the summer, I prefer to make meals or bases for soups and freeze those, stir fry veggies, rather than the individual veggies.
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Old 03-21-2011, 03:42 PM   #8
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If I have a lot of fat, I make a large amount of roux. I used to follow Joy of Cooking's recommendation and freeze it in wafers and store it in a jar in the freezer. Then I read Julia Child's recommendation in The Way to Cook: Just keep it in a jar in the freezer. It keeps for weeks. Very handy when the gravy isn't quite thick enough or you're in a hurry.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:06 PM   #9
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These are great ideas, working so much now that I have been eating takeaway for 2 weeks through lack of time!

About the only thing I do is I sort out cooked chicken and other sandwich meats into sandwich bags with the right amount so I can just thaw that. It all seems to be about freezing things!
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
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If I have a lot of fat, I make a large amount of roux. I used to follow Joy of Cooking's recommendation and freeze it in wafers and store it in a jar in the freezer. Then I read Julia Child's recommendation in The Way to Cook: Just keep it in a jar in the freezer. It keeps for weeks. Very handy when the gravy isn't quite thick enough or you're in a hurry.
I should have written, "Just keep it in a jar in the refrigerator..." not the freezer.
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