Monday, 17 March 2014

Food Preparation

Hello lovely people! I hope that you have had a wonderful weekend. The weather here was lovely and balmy (it might be heating up now) and if you ask B the surf was pumping. B, the little ones and I usually start out weekend with a Friday night BBQ by the river. We have created a little tradition with some friends to meet on a Friday night and slowly but surely, the group has been growing in size. As you are aware now I have been getting my groceries delivered (I'm terrified of the prospect of 3 under 3 at the supermarket). I LOVE that I can select my delivery times and the ease of the purchase. However this Thursday when I did my grocery shop I had clearly removed my brain. When it cam to selecting the time for delivery there were only two times available (and closing soon) and I thought "sweet, they have 6-9 available" so sure enough I clicked on it and didn't give it another thought.... Stupid Lauren! In the morning when I went to "track" my delivery it said 6-9 PM I nearly had a heart attack. Especially when I realised that it was Friday night and I had to be there for the delivery. So sure enough the BBQ got moved to our place (whoo hoo). Sadly not everyone could make it but that took the pressure off a little. My two gf's were perched on my breakfast stools watching me unpack my groceries... Then came their entertainment...

I admit that my organisation and cleaning is a little OTT but I truly find that without it I am in chaos and I don't feel like I ever get back on track and I am constantly chasing my tail. My food preparation is the same.

I have mentioned in my meal plans post that by 5pm my little ones are tired, hungry and wanting all of my attention, doing food preparation is something that induces stress and anxiety. I really love cooking too so I had to find a way to bring happiness back into my cooking. This involves being organised.

When I get my groceries I put everything away except the groceries that go in my fridge. Usually the first thing that you would do is put away the cold stuff but I keep my veggies, fruit and cheese out. Why? Because I go all OCD on this stuff. :-)

I have to credit The Organised Housewife for the cheese cutting idea. I have followed Kat's blog for years and although my cutting veggies has been something I have always done, Kat has certainly assisted me in refining these skills (incredible lady!!!!!) So as you can see I usually buy a big block and then cut it in half and chop half the block and grate the other half. The reason that I both grate and chop is that I usually use grated cheese for recipes (and those bags of grated cheese add up) and the other reason is that the girls LOVE cheese. I like to be able to go to the fridge and grab out a few containers and know that the girls have a quick healthy snack (plus I am far better of grabbing a cube of cheese that a packet chips or chocolate.

Grapes. Mmm. I have always loved green grapes but found walking around with them on a stem inconvenient but it always took time to pull them off. As the girls have gotten older they have shared my love for grapes but I have been finding the stems everywhere (and I think in shoes counts as EVERYWHERE!) so I made the call that well, they are in the fridge so they can go in a container. So I just pick them off the stems and into the container they go. This has been great and I know the girls are loving it (sneaking into the fridge and taking off with the container).

My carrots are another obsessive thing. I have done this for years now and whether you are a peel or not to peel lover doesn't matter... I want to add here that when I store these I do place a piece of paper towel in the bottom to absorb some of the condensation that seems to accumulate in the container. I do these for all my veggies (pumpkin, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots) as no one likes soggy or slimy veggies.

I just want to add here that B and I found THE best veggie peeler ever at Ikea. It is heavy for a peeler but has stayed sharp through all it's usage. I love this so much it have invested in some "spares". I have been known to accidentally throw out my peelers (and teaspoons- go figure).

As you can see here I usually cut watermelon, mushrooms (or I cheat and buy them precut- whatever is most cost effective that week), broccoli, caluiflower, pumpkin, carrots and cheese. 

I use the Sistema range of containers for my fridge and as mentioned above I do place some paper towel in the bottom of the vegetable ones to absorb some of the moisture. My veggies are usually good for at least a week and in some cases up to two. If you do pop over to Kat at The Organised Housewife you will see that she has trialled a few different containers and at the moment is working with some of the Howard's Storage World containers. It really is a case of budgets. As long as the container you use is air tight and unusable in the fridge you are onto a winner.

Not only do I find that prepping my food frees up some of my fruit and veg crisper but it makes it so much easier to go for a healthy snack (that is already pre cut or pre prepared) but it saves time and takes some of the the stress out of cooking.

Have fun and go wild!

Keep smiling


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