One Hour of Food Prep

How one hour of food prep saves my sanity during the busy work/school week.

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One hour of food prep can save my week. When the stars align between my hubby able to occupy the kiddos for an hour, grocery shopping completed, the kitchen is clean enough to mess it up, and I have the energy…..I like to commit an hour of quick kitchen insanity.

Food Prep for the week includes: chopping fresh veggies/prepping fruit for snacking and lunch boxes, making freezer waffles for the week, baking a quick bread and cleaning the whole freakin’ thing up at the end. Truthfully it wears me out just thinking about it, but I do appreciate it when I’m running behind and I can just grab a bag of prepped food from the fridge to toss in the kiddos lunches that is actually food and not a processed snack. So here’s my process.

How one hour of food prep saves my sanity during the busy work/school week.First my kitchen needs to be uncluttered. Yep, I’m one of those people. When a room is totally picked up and put together that is when I want to bake/cook (kitchen), craft/sew (dining room), garden (garage), or some other activity that will re-mess up the clean room. It drives my hubby nuts, because it just looked great and 10 minutes later it’s like an explosion went off.

Second, I like to be able to go on this hour long frenetic adventure right after grocery shopping. If I was smart I got the overripe bananas out of the freezer prior to the grocery shopping and the butter and eggs to room temperature.

Ready, Set, Go!

Then I’m off to the races. I start by filling my sink with water and about a cup of white vinegar and dump my produce in to soak. As that’s happening I am most likely getting out the rest of the supplies.

While the veggies are soaking I fire up the waffle maker (or griddle if I’m making pancakes), and start putting the supplies together. The waffle mixing is first. Oh but wait I also have to preheat the oven for the bread. Even writing it out I forget or get lost in an area.

imageOkay back to the waffle mixing. I use the Bisquick recipe with my homemade mix I add in some extra vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon or what ever sounds good to mix in. Once the waffles start cooking, I wipe down the fruit and veggies that were soaking and dry them out. About this time the oven is preheated and I remember I need to mix together the ingredients for the banana bread.

I love having a yummy quick bread loaf available for the week. I tend to avoid banana because Big-C easily gets constipated by it, but today I had overripe bananas so banana bread it is. The other popular alternatives are zucchini bread and pumpkin bread (FYI pumpkin bread has the opposite effect on Big-C).

Once the bread is baking, the waffles are multiplying and the fruit and veggies are dry. I fill up the sink with soapy water, because the used dishes are also adding up. At this time I start chopping and peeling the vegetables and storing the fruit. This week it was peppers, celery,  carrots and blueberries. I save some of the carrot leavings for the bag of veggie parts in my freezer, that’s for making homemade chicken stock, another post another time. Later in the week, we’ll have prepared veggies for our snacks or lunches.

So worth the effort!

imageI’m nearing the home stretch. I like to tell myself this but truly the clean up takes the most out of me. The bread may be close to needing to come out of the oven, and the waffles are cooling on racks. I start the washing and drying activities, yuck, the worst part. Once the waffles are cool and bagged up they get placed in the freezer.

Now is when the kids are dancing around my legs and the oven needs to open up to get the bread out. Send the kids out of the kitchen, the bread comes out to cool and the dishes get done. The bread needs to sit out and then we can have it for our afternoon snack.

I have freezer waffles made. Banana bread ready to eat. Veggies chopped and bagged ready for meal time. Fruit washed and ready for snacking. Two hungry kiddos that are ready for dinner! The kitchen is clean, so now it’s time to mess it up again!image