#202 Meal Prep

People who are more organized are less stressed. People who are less stressed – are happier. People who have more free time – are happier.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#202

Meal prep

Hundreds, if not thousands of blogs in recent years have been dedicated to different ways of meal prepping. This is not one of them. I’m writing about it because when we have taken the time to do a little meal prep our lives become a little easier, happier, and ultimately… more productive. Yes, it takes a little time and commitment but if that’s how you spend a rainy day then on a nice evening when all you want to do is sit on the deck and enjoy a summer evening – your meal will be almost effortless.

Menu

Perhaps the most important element and the first step in doing a little meal prep is deciding what you’d like to eat this week and get the grocery shopping done. Thinking ahead means that those decisions won’t have to be made day by day – sometimes the most challenging thinking after a long day of work. Grab your family members and make it a joint venture or… kick everyone out of the kitchen to other tasks, turn on some jam music, pour some wine and go to town!

Sides

If you know that you’ll be grilling in the evenings then plan your ‘side’ dishes in advance. Boil a big batch of potatoes so that you can throw together a potato salad, smashed potatoes, or potato casserole (make that ahead of time and freeze).  If you’ll be having corn on the cob, cook a few extra on the evening that you want to eat them fresh and then shave the kernels off the cob for a corn side dish later in the week.

Stock the freezer

Don’t forget the endless opportunities to set aside pasta dishes, casseroles, and soups or stews! Most of them freeze really well and if you pull it out in the morning, it’s ready to bake when you get home – no thought or real effort involved! You’ll be able to come home, change, and spend 5 minutes making dinner rather than the 30 or 45 minutes it might  have taken to get dinner on the table.

Time efficiency

What’s clear in the study of happiness is that when we use our time efficiently, we feel more organized. People who are more organized are less stressed. People who are less stressed – are happier. People who have more free time – are happier. So, it stands to reason that you’ll be happier overall if you step away from binge watching HGTV or ESPN on the next rainy day and make an effort to …

Meal Prep

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#240 Sharpen Your Knives

In my (average) experience, it’s not so much the knives but the ability to sharpen them that counts. Thankfully, these days we don’t have to resort to a whetstone or a honing rod.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#240

Sharpen Your Knives

It’s tomato season here in the mid-Atlantic which means that tomatoes are consumed almost daily in some capacity. Trying to cut through the skin of one with a dull knife is frustrating enough to rile any temper. When attempting to cut paper thin uniform slices, it’s imperative that one has a sharp knife. In fact, a sharp knife in the kitchen is perhaps, one of the most essential utensils. It’s one of those things that we don’t even know we need until we experience the frustration of not being able to cut our food.

Average knives are OK for most of us.

There are thousands of knives on the market, many touting their perceptual ability to sustain a sharp edge. Individual knives can go for hundreds of dollars each but I think the average household has pretty basic cutlery. In my (average) experience, it’s not so much the knives but the ability to sharpen them that counts. Thankfully, these days we don’t have to resort to a whetstone or a honing rod.

Sharpen it.

Electric knife sharpeners are easy to use and relatively inexpensive. Keeping one in a kitchen cabinet where it is easily accessible means that if you can’t quite get through that tomato, with just another minute or two you can run your knife across a couple of wheels and get back to slicing. There’s something quite satisfying about being able to go from dull to razor sharp with just a few slides across the sharpener and then the simple success of cutting through your food with ease.

Happiness from the simple things is sometimes quite easy and only a reach away. You can start by making the effort to …

Sharpen your knives.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#314 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Food is often a neutralizer of gender, age, and differences. It can open people’s hearts and consequently, their minds to new experiences, ideas, and conversation.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#314

Make dinner for your neighbor

What a special treat it is to come home in the evening and not have to worry about making a meal! Demonstrate a gesture of kindness by doubling a recipe tonight and taking the extra to a neighbor so they won’t have to cook tomorrow!

We are generally good about supporting the dining needs of our friends and neighbors when they are sick, have a baby, or a death in the family but why not… just because? Not that I think we should be feeding the whole block or that our next door friends can’t take care of themselves but why not treat them to something completely unexpected?

For practically no extra effort and very little expense, duplicating a pan of baked ziti or an oven roasted chicken might just make the day for a family with very little time or a single dad exhausted after a long work day.

If your neighbor is single or elderly, invite them over to share the meal or offer to stay and provide company while they eat what you delivered. Food is often a neutralizer of gender, age, and differences. It can open people’s hearts and consequently, their minds to new experiences, ideas, and conversation. If nothing else, it is an extension of generosity that might just also make or fortify a meaningful, connection. Give it a try. The next time you’re making a crock pot or casserole type meal, double the recipe and …

Make dinner for your neighbor.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.