One thing I like to do in the kitchen is to save time on the boring dishes, those that freeze well or those that need a lot of prep. So what I do is I literally cook extra for the freezer.
Although I haven't bought a pre-prepared anything for a long time, I do like to have a little standby stock of things in the freezer I can throw together quickly.
Just like everybody else, there are days when I simply don't have the time to make everything from scratch. If I've been out for lunch that stretched out longer than expected or included one glass of wine more than anticipated then I have a small reserve of scrummy food, (cooked by myself so I know exactly what is in it) to put in the oven or heat up in a pan. The house smells delicious, husband gets a home cooked meal and thinks I've been a slave to the kitchen for the afternoon because I love him so much - everybody is happy!
On a practical note, cooking for the freezer also allows me to take advantage when meat is being reduced in the supermarket. This is particularly important here in Switzerland where meat is incredibly expensive. Last week I managed to buy some cubed beef and chicken breasts that were reduced to less than half price, as they needed to be sold that day.
I made a big pan of Beef Red Thai Curry and another pan of Chicken Tikka Masala. We ate one portion of the beef curry and I froze the rest. I divided the chicken up and froze that in portions for another day.
I've bought myself time to have a day out and about in Switzerland while dinner for that day defrosts....
I usually have a stock of home cooked bolognese, a lasagna, the filling for a beef pie, a couple of curries and potato gratin in small oven to table dishes.
I also have a great biscuit dough that I freeze in rolls so I can simply defrost, slice and bake. Fresh cookies almost on demand !!
A little organisation, sticky labels to write on and Tupperware are all that is needed to turn yourself into a domestic goddess (even when you are out having fun).
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