How many of you choose what to cook for dinner based on the number of ingredients?
If there are too many steps do you skip to a different recipe?
We are ABSOLUTELY guilty of doing both!
Whether you sit down on the weekend and plan out menus for the entire week, or log on to our website (shameless plug, I know!) at 4 p.m. on a Tuesday, most of us are looking for 3 things:
1. What will my family eat?
2. How fast can I make it?
3. Is it X amount of ingredients OR LESS?
The number of ingredients and the number of recipe steps can make us feel like we’ll never have the time or energy to make a recipe, no matter how delicious it sounds!
But can I let you in on a little secret? There are great tips for conquering a recipe with a long list of ingredients and steps. If you follow these tips not only will you conquer the recipe, but you just might start seeking out recipes with more than 5 ingredients and more than 2 steps!
TIP #1: It all starts right when you get home from the grocery store.
*Wash all your veggies
*Wash and spin dry (or pat dry with paper towels) lettuce and any fresh greens.
*Fill a glass half way with water and plop your fresh herbs in the glass. Store the glass in your fridge.
*In a food processor, chop parsley and store in your freezer.
TIP #2: If you buy your meat at bulk stores (like the one that starts with a C and ends with an O), take out the meat and package individually in freezer ziplock bags. Store the bags in your freezer and defrost as necessary.
TIP #3: When you read through a recipe, pick out what you can make ahead of time. Marinades and salad dressings can be made beforehand and stored in your refrigerator. A bonus of making these early — the flavors have a chance to really meld and blend together.
Many times a recipe has a long list of steps because there are steps to do before you actually start cooking. Marinating meat and making salad dressing are just 2 examples.
TIP #4: Cut up veggies and store in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them.
TIP #5: Dice up an onion (or 2) and store in a container (tupperware, mason jar or other sealed container) in your fridge. Mince garlic (I usually like to mince an entire clove) and store in a sealed container in your fridge. Use your food processor to dice and mince the onion and garlic to save time.
I don’t recommend storing garlic and onions in a ziplock. Your fridge will be consumed with their pungent fragrance — and, unless you’re attempting to chase hungry teens away from the fridge (it doesn’t really work – I’ve tried!) — this may not be an aroma you want to smell every time you open your fridge door.
What are your tips for making a complicated recipe easy to follow? Leave them in the comment section!
Donna and Lisa