15 Nov
2016

As a beginner, when I began shopping for my house I always made a mistake in making my grocery list.

Rather spending time in the kitchen cooking I’d spend hours in the grocery store simply purchasing fruits & veggies for the whole week. But eventually I learnt some useful tips like the ones I am sharing below. Life will be much simpler and faster.

Know your needs

In the urge and greed to pick things from the attractive deals, discounts available at the store most of us end up over shopping which is definitely a bad bargain. Shopping coupons on the other hand will definitely will save you a few extra bucks.

Many a times my shopping list has just been left in my handbag, without even giving it to pop out of the bag.  The attractive discounts on products have tempted and influenced me to make the same silly mistakes of over shopping bursting my budget.

The well-known budget expert Catherine Alford’s advice is that we should look at our list and the deals that are available. Does the discount benefit if we spend or can just push the purchase for the next month / week? A comparison will definitely help in saving your expenses and would help you stick to your shopping list.

groceries

Go Solo

Personally I find this a little monotonous and rather have a buddy or my partner along but from a financial and time saving point of view going solo is simply ideal. Wondering why? That’s because at times the decision making is faster and neither will you be spending time on products you do not need.

List all your stuff according to categories

An organized time saving shopping can only be done if your list is prepared systematically. My list begins with all the food times like cereals & pulses and then the dairy products followed by the frozen items. This helps me to move to one floor or section at the same time and move to the other section. So if missed out a loaf in my list I don’t have to run the stairs up and down plus also the frozen and dairy stuff tends to stay fresher for longer when bought last.

 

grocery-list

Stick to one store

Some stores are an all-time favorite. One of the reasons is because you know the stores as well as your kitchen, you need not wander around from floor to floor or seeking for sign boards. Don’t you think such favorite stores save your energy and time? The other best part is that the store’s staff are familiar. I at times just talk to the stores staff and have made friends with them now they are so very helpful.

Try an stick to the same timing for shopping as the staff on duty remains there at the scheduled time. The other best thing to do is to stick a particular brand of the products which really helps in saving time.

6 Nov
2016

soup

Irrespective of what the weather outside is the one food that is loved all year round is the soup but only if cooked right. So here are a few tips to help you get it right.

Pick the right stock

Plan to add chicken stock? Well it’s usually the go to choice but if you’re looking for more creaminess and richness for your soup you can use Beef broth like I do.

Chowders & stews are best made of Fish or vegetable stocks especially tomato soups as it adds  flavor and stimulates the appetite with its mouthwatering appearance and aroma.

For vegetable stock I usually stick to the readily veggies such as kale, onion, mushrooms etc. and also often add to a my various non-veg soups as it can be the most flavoring ingredients in soups and even some curries.

Though the canned stocks and broths are readily available in market and are handy if in a rush none stand even close to the taste of homemade stocks and broths.

Be generous with the spices

To get a luscious and earthy flavor I would just reach out to the Turmeric powder and add a dash of it and if the season availability is there just add some fresh turmeric roots which would  give it a hint of the exotic and great healthy benefit.

A tablespoon of spice is never too much as it loses a lot of punch when dissolved in liquid. Cumin is added to meaty soups like Chicken Chili Verde which is cooked very slowly.

It adds to the punch of taste and fills the house with a wonderful smell. Adding cumin to tomato soup tones down the tomato flavor. Similarly Coriander added to vegetable soups gives it a rich refreshing flavor and adds depth to its presence.

spices

Don’t forget the salt

Like building up a a house or a an office etc. requires you to monitor it at every step so does your soup. Keep in mind that it needs a pinch of salt and pepper at each stage.

Whether you’re adding sauteed veggies or meat, to get the best of the flavors throw in a pinch of salt.

Salt and pepper make a huge difference; soups taste more alive and vibrant. Salt helps to extract flavors and adds some fullness to the flavor.

Avoid over boiling it

Soup is not a flavorless pulpy mass served in a bowl. Soups are a delicacy and needs to be cooked in with a little tender touch and patience.

While bringing the soup to boil the flame should not be high. Bring the soup to boil on low flame and then quickly simmer it down.

This slow process of boiling or bubbling movement helps in maintaining the shape of ingredients like vegetables and meat pieces.

The flavor of ingredient also combine together better. High flame cooking of soups normally loses the texture and over cooks the mead to a hard mass.

 

Few soup recipes for the fitness freaks

 

24 Oct
2016

Monday morning chaos is the worst as there is always a crunch of time and brunt of it is often faced by our diet. That’s why I spend some time a night before to just to make my following day peaceful.

Let my husband help me out

Got a spouse who can cook? Well you’re blessed. This way whoever gets up early can always manage the dinner or lunch considering you’re already done with all the chopping & marinating the night before. This will truly improvise on your lifestyle and make things simpler than ever.

I Have an on the go breakfast

One good thing I learnt from my Grandmother is to set the milk to ferment to yogurt before tucking your self into your bed and you would have healthy exemplary yogurt ready for breakfast. You can also prep a few cupcakes or muffins as breakfast just make sure you store them in an easily accessible place.

Event Fruits and chips or nuts can be put on the table for the morning. Here’s a few more on the go breakfast recipes that are healthy and yet yummy.

 

I Thaw frozen foods beforehand

We all store food items especially non-veg in the freezer section and in case you need to cook any of the items from the freezer you need to start you’re thawing hours ahead of cooking time. So my suggestion would be to move the required portion to the the storage below.

I Keep the kitchen tidy

Soaking the dishes in water before washing reduces the time and strain in cleaning them up. The work area needs to be left empty by putting away all the clean vessels and equipment used during dinner. This way it’s easier and faster for me to look for them early morning.

My breakfast items like cornflakes, cereals or even butter and bread are all set out at night. And if I still have the energy I just lay out my table with coffee and milk mugs, plates and even my husband’s medicines at night. Yup, ain’t I best? 😛

tidy-kitchen

I Pre-mix the ingredients

My this breakfast trick works wonders for me. If I want to bake a cake or a pancake all I do is pre-mix all the dry ingredients like flour, baking powder, coco powder etc. in a bowl and put an airtight lid on to it. So the mornings are easy going as I need to just add in the wet ingredients like egg, butter and fold it into the bowl with my dry ingredients and leave it to cook.

 I take hydration seriously

To restore or maintain the balance of fluids for the day I squeeze a slice of lime throw in a few mint leaves and add a slice of cucumber in a bottle and put it into the fridge a night before. This keeps me going the for the full day and thus saves me ton of time.

cucumber-water