Sunday, February 13, 2011

Saint Valentine's Day Menu Made Fast

People are often very busy to spend time in the kitchen even for special occasions like Saint Valentine's Day, but everyone would like to have a lovely dinner with candles, roses and no too much time in the kitchen, so we can have time to look pretty and get romantic; because we are not tired.

I come from a family where at a point of time everybody was working. I remember my mother making lunch very quickly every day, and I do not means  sandwiches. In places like Venezuela lunch is the most important meal of the day so people expect to eat chicken, beef or fish, rice, fried plantain (I love it), salad and some beans. Believe me that with some good ideas and the right ingredients you an get fresh and tasty food everyday.

With that background you cannot expect from me to spend more  than 45 minutes in the kitchen to make a whole meal. Now for Saint Valentine's Day I plan to stick with my plan, a wonderful meal for two, wine, roses, candle and a lot of time to do my hair, my nails and look beautiful for my date...

The secret to make meals fast for this holidays as wll for the everyday is become a smarter cook which means that you'll spend less time in the kitchen but still preparing a delicious dinner or lunch for your family or guests. Here some tips to make your Saint Valentine's menu made fast:
  • Keep your pantry well stocked as well as your refrigerator.
  • Plan your menus in advance and do your groceries with those menus in mind.
  • Save time keeping  in the refrigerator already cut onions, sweet paper, garlic, etc. Do as much in advance as you can. Keep it in  airtight containers in the refrigerator until needed.
  •  Read your recipes twice before start cooking and take out everything you need one time.
  •  Have a food processor.
  •  Keep your knife sharp.
  • Prepare ahead, create the habit of preparing your ingredients the night before, ei. chopping vegetables, prepare marinade, etc.
  • When you start a recipe, take out all ingredient and measure all your ingredients to avoid time consuming trips for the refrigerator or pantry.
  • Clean as you go. Start cooking with a clean kitchen and end with a clean kitchen. Put away the ingredients after you use them. And while you are eating leave the fried pan filled with hot water, by the time that you finish eating everything will be easy to scrub off.
  • You do not need to cook everything from scratch, take advantage of the ready made products like, cooked sauces, beans in can, or any veggie in can or prepackaged like broccoli. This will save you a lot of time.

These are just some ideas to help you to save time when you cook. In the meanwhile here my Saint Valentine's Menu, it is very fast to make following the tips given above and remember, you can start cooking the day before.

My Saint Valentine's Menu 

Boneless pork loin seasoned lemon, pepper and served on a bed of vegetables and lemon slices

Braised Chicken with Mushrooms
Bone-in chicken breast with mushrooms and tarragon

Sauteed broccoli and   Baby Carrot finished  with a delicious butter and sugar glaze 

Rice cook in the oven automatized with onions

Cake made with biscuits  dipped in coffee  layered with cream  and flavored with liquor and  cocoa

Get the recipes in my next edition... I'll see you around

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