The cooking method I've developed for our home has streamlined my entire day, reduced stress in all of us, and allowed us to continue eating frugal, well-planned, healthy, and from-scratch meals with seemingly very little effort. The goal of my plan is to take advantage of the little free snatches of time that pop up throughout the day to prepare dinner so that you can have a healthy, form-scratch meal on the table with no more effort than opening a box.
This also enables you to avoid that dreaded dinner rush hour when everyone needs you and everything seems to go wrong. This process grew out of necessity. As we've had more children, my desire to serve my family meals made from scratch has only grown, as my time to spend in the kitchen has decreased.
To sum up, my cooking during stolen moments method means dinner is done by noon everyday and I can pretty much shut the kitchen down until dinnertime if I choose. You can spend all day preparing delicious and nutritious food for your family (in 10 minute intervals here and there) without feeling like you've spent any time in the kitchen at all; or you can take advantage of the night before and the morning hours to have lunch and dinner completed by 10 am.
This method has been tweaked and reworked, and tweaked again over the past few years, and I must say we (the method & I) are now in a pretty agreeable and enjoyable place. I love that dinner time is no longer the hectic mess it used to be, as do Eric and our children.
However, there are always days when last minute preparation is a necessity. Those meals are saved for the weekends when Eric is home to help corral the kids while I cook. As I've spent more time cooking this way, I have learned that there are a surprising amount of dishes that lend themselves to this preparation method. It isn't all casseroles every night. It doesn't have to be.
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