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Tips for saving time in the kitchen

Published:Thursday | October 30, 2014 | 12:00 AM

If you're doing more cooking at home, make the minutes count by working smarter in the kitchen. If you feel stressed when you try to prepare a meal, having a battle plan and some frontline assistance can mean the difference between a disaster and a triumph. Remember, cooking can be a creative as well as practical talent, and beefing up your approach, sometimes literally, might make your forays into the kitchen a lot more entertaining and successful.

6: Get Organised

There's no better way to save time in the kitchen than to have easy access to all of your tools and ingredients. Imagine how much more smoothly your culinary efforts will come together if you never have to fumble around looking for a measuring spoon, spatula or potato peeler.

One good organisational strategy is to put like items together. That way, you'll have an intuitive grasp of the first place to look for a little-used gadget, like the nutmeg grater.

5: Keep the Basics on Hand

Creative cooking extravaganzas can get to be a real pain if you have to run out and buy groceries every time you want to try a new recipe. To support your creative efforts and make life a little easier at mealtime, keep the basics on hand in your cupboards. Staples like flour, sugar, herbs, spices, grains and oils store well and are used again and again in both sweet and savoury recipes. Keeping your fridge stocked with milk, butter, ice cubes and other often-used refrigerated items couldn't hurt either.

4: Make Some Space

Over time, you lose precious counter space in the kitchen. Appliance creep starts innocently enough with the addition of a toaster and then slowly grows to include the food processor, mini mixer, can opener, toaster oven, and on and on. Before long, you're trying to cook in a postage stamp-size space only large enough for an egg cup. Reorganise your counter space to give yourself some much-needed room.

3: Buy Tools That Are Easy to Maintain

Those cheap aluminum pots and pans may look like a great deal, but chances are you'll spend more time scouring them than they're worth. Instead, go for quality cookware that is reliable and easy to clean. You'll save money on scorched food and dishwashing liquid. The same goes for knives and many small appliances.

2: Buy Packaged Goods

To save time, you can always buy prepared entrées and microwave them. Along the same lines are packaged mixes to which you just add water, and meat and frozen mixes that you can heat up on the stovetop or in the oven.

1: Cook in Batches

If you want to save money as well as time in the kitchen, try consolidating your efforts by cooking large batches of food and freezing what you don't use right away. Another advantage to cooking in bulk is that you can eliminate some waste.

LASCO Vanilla Latté

1 sachet LASCO Vanilla Food Drink 120g

1/2 cup LASCO Whole Milk

1 cup rum cream

3 tsps Jamaica Mountain Peak Instant Coffee

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 cup White overproof rum (optional)


Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly either in a blender or with a whisk. Chill and serve.

Makes 2 servings.