Before baby, The Wife and I ate out a lot. We ordered takeout when both of us worked late or we’d grab a late dinner. Now that Baby Spawn is eating solids, we can feed her what we eat. I’m concerned about the amount of salt that is in restaurant food so I try to cook at home more often. I also like to prep my own breakfast and snacks for the week so I can grab and go. This is especially useful when I don’t have the nanny and can’t cook or work and watch Spawn at the same time. (I don’t know how stay-at-home moms do everything. They amaze me.)
Time Saving Kitchen Tools
Cold Brew Hack: As you know, I love me some cold brew coffee. I make a giant pitcher of it that lasts me about 4-5 days. This is a time saver in the morning – I don’t have to wait for water to boil and I’ve got just about a week’s worth of coffee before I have to make it again.
I strain the beans with a nut milk bag and funnel, and I pour the liquid gold into a large mason jar. (Cheesecloth works too but the nut milk bag cleans with less hassle.) If you don’t want to follow my directions with DIY, you can use the toddy system that makes a mean concentrate. It comes with everything you need except the beans and water.
Side note: Did you know you could subscribe and save on coffee beans through Amazon Prime? My brother does this and he gets beans every two months. I may try this out because I currently go to Costco for my beans. Why drive when you can get free shipping via Prime?
Baking Hack: Next up are my oatmeal chocolate chip breakfast cups. I eat these almost every day. I make a dozen at a time and they last me about six days. I throw two in a bowl with almond milk and voila- instant breakfast. It’s got protein, oats, ground flaxmeal (for fiber and milk-making) and chocolate chips and a banana for sweetness.
I use this Grazia silicone muffin pan and it has changed my life. I don’t have to scrub it the way I had to with my stainless steel pan. Just a bit of coconut oil on the bottom and each cup pops out perfectly!
Chopping Hack: For snacks, I like to make two things regularly. One is Lindsay’s paleo protein bars. I finally broke down and ordered a mini food processor (recommended by Lindsay!) to chop up all the ingredients. It’s much easier to get the contents out than digging out from the Vitamix carafe. (The dates always stick to the bottom.) I’m an idiot for not buying this sooner.
Smoothie Hack: The second snack, which I can share with Baby Spawn, are green smoothies! I’ve been using my Nutribullet to make green smoothies. This is an easy way to get our daily veggies in. While there are newer versions of the Nutribullet but the standard 600-watt one does just fine. (It’s not as powerful if you’re making smoothies with dates – I’d recommend using the Vitamix to completely demolish the dates and other ingredients.)
Dinner Hack: The best thing to own when you have zero time to cook? A motherfriggin’ crockpot. Throw stuff in there, turn it on low and come back to it five hours later to an awesome dish and leftovers. Start by roughly chopping vegetables (onion, celery, carrots, potato, garlic), throw in two chicken breasts, mixed a can of cream of chicken and chicken broth and dumped everything in the crockpot. Four hours later we threw in egg noodles and more broth. A half hour later, dinner was served. Boom. (Salt and pepper to taste.)
At this point, these are my favorite tools in the kitchen. If I still drank hot coffee, I would have added some sort of coffee maker with a timer. I really want a Nespresso except I kind of wish those little pods were reusable and not a garbage dump filler.
If you’re a slacker like me, tell me in the comments – what other kitchen hacks or tools should I know about?? Come one – I usually only have one hand to cook and prep, so I’ll take all the advice I can get!
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