My daughter is a perfectly capable cook. In fact, I hear she is a fabulous one, but I couldn’t really say, since she’s only ever cooked for me once in her entire life. As you know, I enjoy cooking, but clean-up? Not so much, so we’ve fallen into the habit of my cooking, and her clearing up whenever she visits. She has evidently convinced her boyfriend to do the same for her when they are at home in London, and complains that both Aaron and I are messy cooks – soooooo, Tatjana has asked me to write (and follow) three tips to keeping your kitchen from looking like a bomb went off when you finish cooking.

Kitchen roles date way back for mothers and daughters

Kitchen roles date way back for mothers and daughters

1). Start with a clean, well organized kitchen: I always keep my kitchen spotless in between cook dates, but I’m not always as fastidious about organizing my pantry and fridge. When everything is in it’s place, cooking multiple meals at once runs much smoother, and you’ll be less likely to make a mess rifling through a cupboard looking for that tablespoon of flour you almost forgot, or spilling orange juice all over the fridge looking for that container of grated Parmesan you threw haphazardly back onto the wrong shelf. It’s also a great idea to double check the expiration dates as you do this, and be sure to toss anything out of date.

Mis en place

Mise en place

2). Mise en place: Prep all of your ingredients before you begin cooking. This is an invaluable time-saving tip for the Personal Chef Approach™ in general, but it will also help you avoid making unnecessary messes. Read through all the recipes you intend to prepare that day – then cut and marinate your meats, clean and chop all the herbs and vegetables, measure your liquids and dry ingredients etc., portioning everything out as you go (while keeping everything that should be refrigerated stored properly).

Be sure to clean as you go

Be sure to clean as you go

3). Clean as you go: Wipe up any spills as they happen, keep your work station clean, and try to clean your pans as you finish cooking each item. Let’s face it, the PCA™ makes cooking more pleasurable because you do it less often, and it does save bundles of time and money, but it can be exhausting to be on your feet cooking for 2-3 hours at once – none of us relish having to face an overwhelming sink full of pots and pans at the end of it all! Keep it manageable, and remember the rest of the week will be pots and pan free! Dinner goes from fridge to table in minutes, and the plates get thrown into the dishwasher even faster when your done.

The one and only time Tatjana ever cooked for me

The one and only time Tatjana ever cooked for me

Okay, I wrote the tips, and promise to follow my own advice, if Tatjana promises to make her yummy tofu recipe (the only meal she has ever cooked for me), so I can get a better photo of it than the one below. In the meantime who does the cooking and the clean-up in your home?
Tatjana's Tofu dish

Tatjana’s Soy-Chili Tofu with Portobello Mushrooms & Zucchini

My ex let slip that Tatjana is a really good cook – no doubt she was hiding this skill from me deliberately, because she loves for me to make all her old favorites when she comes home. She also loves being pampered. I’m not big on New Years celebrations, so we made a bargain… if old “Scrooge of New Years Eve” would accompany her to a party, she would make dinner for me on New Years Day. It was MY turn to be pampered!

Still a team in the kitchen today

Tatjana and I are still a great team in the kitchen today

Want to experience how the Personal Chef Approach™ can save you time and money, help you stick to your New Years resolutions to eat healthier, and make it possible to enjoy dinner together in the comfort of your own home again? Like me on Facebook, and click on the  FREE SAMPLE app to get your first month’s membership free!

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