i've found a great resource - plan to eat. what a genius idea! it allows you to plan your meals using an online meal planner, you can type up meals that you have in recipe books, or import recipes from online sources. it's really incredibly simple, and once you've added a recipe, it's stored in your online file! this is a paid for service, but the first month is a free trial, so there's no risk. i am LOVING it. particularly because we've simplified grocery shopping. we're now doing grocery delivery. delivery in london is very common, and not terribly expensive. plus i'm already seeing a reduction in our grocery bill simply because there are very few impulse purchases. it fits around our schedule and means that i can shop on my lunch hour and have groceries delivered the next morning before i leave for work! so online meal planning, coupled with online grocery shopping is a huge simplification of my life.
the second 'bite' i took on, i did so accidentally. i had meant to try and start a morning routine - but it wasn't going very well, a series of late nights and variable mornings has lead me to putting the morning routine idea to the side for this month. instead, as i read through the book and this just kind of 'happened' i most noticed it over the weekend.
clean as you cook: as my mother and sister will attest, and my husband, while i'm a pretty decent cook, i'm not so great about the mess that is created during the 'creative process.' yesterday was a big cooking day. i made this delicious casserole (chicken and butternut squash and pasta and parmesan cheese? yes please!) but that meant roasting a squash and a chicken, which i did early the morning. a practice run at le boy's birthday cake and then the actual creation of the casserole meant for a huge mess. but actually, i cleaned as i went, putting away items as i used them, gathering scraps in a bowl, wiping up spills as they happened, soaking dishes for easy clean up later, wearing an apron. really none of it was hard, but it made the cooking and the clean up a breeze!
some of the tips from one bite include:
• Place a “garbage bowl” or container for food scraps and peelings on your main work surface.
• If you have a double sink, run one side half full of hot soapy water for hand washing and dish rinsing, leaving the other free for washing vegetables or draining pastas.
• Keep a broom and dustpan handy for flour or sugar spills on the floor.
• Have a few clean dry towels on hand for countertop spills and drying dishes.
i've taken the last one a bit further and adopted a 'side' towel, as explained here. such a great thing to do and so easy. what i've realised is that this will mean i have slightly more kitchen laundry each week, but it also means that i'm not stressed about the state of my kitchen.