Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Failing to plan is planning to Fail!
Back in the 7th grade I won the state oratory contest for a little speech I wrote about succeeding in life through preparation. I remember this speech so well and especially the quote, "Failing to plan is planning to fail." I use that little gem on my kids all the time when they just "happen" to run out of time to do the things that they need to do or want to do. It's all about the planning. As I have talked on previous blogs, I usually lay out my dinner plans for two weeks. This past week, I just didn't make the time. The day I usually make out the list was on the night of my bread class so I was busy. It just didn't happen after that. So, each night I stand in the kitchen with a look of puzzlement of what I am going to make and a quick run to the store to get the ingredients if I don't have what I need. Consequently , my week has not run too smoothly. My lack of planning has really cost me lots of time. I get asked quite frequently how much time I spend in the kitchen, with all of the cooking that I talk about, surely I must live there 24/7. Well, to the contrary, because I plan, I probably spend less time on meals than those who think they don't cook. This past week reaffirmed this for me. My meals have been a lot less creative and I have spent a lot more time in the kitchen. We have eaten dinner late each night and I still need to go to the store, again! The moral of the story, No plan of action= wasting time. Wasting time=still laundry to fold, still shower to clean, still tired. What a little lack of planning has done to my night time schedule is amazing. I can't wait to write my list again.
On that note of saving time, I wanted to fill you in on one of my favorite time saving tools. The George Foreman grill. A few years ago, my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I really didn't know so just to give her something, I told her the George Foreman. I really didn't understand what I was asking for but it was something for the kitchen that I didn't have yet. Little did I know how much I would fall in love with George. George has delivered me beautiful cooked chicken from frozen tenders to cooked tenders in 4 minutes. He has given me perfectly cooked steaks, pannini's , grilled veggies and burgers. The time to cook is so quick because it cooks from both sides. It is also great because you don't need to add oil. Everyone needs one of these.(Go for the bigger & better one, they work better.) I am a huge fan of the chicken tenders because you get more marinated flavor with them since they are thin and they cook really fast. Always have a big frozen bag in your freezer for dinners in a pinch. Everyone has 4 minutes to make chicken. While it is cooking, tear your lettuce, cut some fruit, toast a bagel and have a great chicken salad all in under 5 minutes! You can't even get through a drive thru in that time.
My point is this, you don't have to spend all day in the kitchen to eat a home cooked, healthy meal. You just need the tools and the plan.
Here's a little marinade recipe my sister-in-law passed on to me. It is great for salads and any southwest type dish.
Southwest Chicken Marinade
2 T. olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
1 t. chili powder
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. dried oregano leaves
1/2 t. salt
1 pound chicken
Combine all ingredients, coat both sides of chicken. Marinate in fridge a couple hours or just go ahead and grill on the spot if no time! Still tastes great.
Remember to make extra and freeze some for the future dinner!