I love to cook! The thing about creativity in the kitchen is there is no limit to the imagination when it comes to the ingredients to have in a dish. Prep time varies, and therefore can make the heartiest of people shy away from exploring different recipes or cooking meals. However, if you plan well the night of your dinner or party, your time in the kitchen or with guests will be quite relaxing.
Example: My son, Jack, recently planned to propose to his girlfriend. Bianca’s favorite dish is my Pop the Top Wellingtons. He asked if I could make it for a small family engagement party (which included John and I). Hmm, I could have been overwhelmed, as this dish is time-consuming. However, prepping ahead of time made it so I could actually enjoy the party. I chopped my onions, carrots, and celery the morning before, along with picking my thyme. I made the puff pastry disks the night before and put them in an airtight container. And so on.
Prep time would have been little overwhelming if I had waited until actual cooking time. It definitely would have taken time away from visiting with family and guests. So by prepping some of the ingredients day before and then the rest in the morning, I was able to relax and enjoy being with the happy couple.
Onions and black olives can be stored in the refrigerator for 7-10 days. Diced cheddar cheese can last about 2 weeks in the fridge. Chopped peppers can stay fresh in the refrigerator for a few days. Broccoli, chopped celery can last 1 – 2 weeks. Cauliflower 1 – 3 weeks. Chopped carrots will last between 2-3 weeks.
If I plan right, and do most of my prep during free time during the week or on the weekend, then I will not be going crazy running around in the kitchen. I will actually want to be more inventive as I know I already have some things chopped and prep ahead of time. I even save money not buying those already-chopped vegetables in the cold case at the grocery store. Who knows how long they have been sitting there. This helps me to eat well without cringing thinking how I have to dice and chop, because all my prep time has already been done.
Until next time, happy creating.