Once again we’re dolling out high-fives for the little triumphs that go down in the kitchen, so let’s celebrate another round of kitchen jackpots:
ONE: an organized fridge or pantry
Who has two thumbs and slight OCD tendencies? THIS GAL. I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I put a little too much thought and effort into having things just right, which usually ends up with Ryan getting unfairly yelled at for not following my system. I solemnly swear there’s a method to the madness that is fridge and pantry organization. When everything thing has its place, you can find what you need easily, and proximity / frequency of use are considered it makes your entire kitchen and cooking experience that much better. Please tell me I’m not the only kook that feels this way!
TWO: sticking to a plan
We grocery shop every weekend religiously, it’s oddly one of our favorite errands. Sometimes we hit the market without much forethought, but those are not generally our most successful excursions. We end up buying what we already have, don’t need, or don’t use. . . and this always results in spending too much money. What serves us much better is trekking to the store, list at the ready, backed up by a solid meal plan. Our list tends to start with weekly staples (i.e. bananas, eggs, mushrooms, sweet potatoes) and get rounded out by whatever we need for specific meals that week. We’re most successful when the meal plan is a solid balance of weeknight favorites we make often (like chili, breakfast for dinner, steak + veg, zoodles) and trying out a new recipe or two. Leaving options open for a Chipotle or Whole Foods hot bar night are also factored in.
THREE: zero food waste
Going hand in hand with a good plan, is the fantastic feeling when we aren’t wasting food. This goes for leftovers that become lunches to take to work, produce that’s used before it starts growing funky bits, and never having to smell something before we’re willing to eat it. Not only does this mean we’re saving money instead of throwing it quite literally in the garbage, but we’re also eating food when it’s at it’s best – fresh, ripe, and delicious.
FOUR: perfectly cooked protein
Before we cooked as often as we do now, I always followed the “cut it down the middle to check” method of seeing whether or not my meat was done. Presenting a chicken breast cut in half just doesn’t have the same appeal as an intact bird fully cooked and full of confidence. While I don’t always get it right, when I manage to time things perfectly to have a just right chop or juicy pink steak, a pat on the back is sure to follow. Bonus points if you get it right when you’re playing host to others.
As they say, you can’t win if you don’t play. . . so we’re off to the kitchen with fingers crossed for more jackpots!