Meal Preparation Tips for Busy Moms


When you’re not working, cooking is one of the things that is much easier to do – especially as you have more free time to do it. However, once you become a working mother, your time and energy becomes all the more limited.


Mouths still need to be fed though so it helps to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Whether it’s ordering in, reheating prepared food or making a quick fresh meal, there are things you can do to make sure you a meal is ready every single day.


1. Order in


This is by far the easiest option and can also be the most diverse. Ordering in is not only cheap and quick, it also comes with a wide variety, making it useful as a treat for the family once in a while. For instance, in any local area you’re bound to find a wide variety of Chinese takeaway menus. This offers a diverse choice that can please any hungry family, without you having to cater to everyone’s needs and preferences.


Another benefit of this is that it allows you to be customizable to the very end. Children can be fussy, with an ability to change their mind on a lot of things, so letting them have a say in the matter can help keep them satisfied. You can always visit a local favorite, or encourage the family to try new things if you want to expand their palate.


2. Cold food


Whilst sandwiches aren’t typically suitable for that after-work dinner, cold food can have its advantages, especially when the weather is hot. Cold salads, for instance, can prove useful and quick to prepare. Likewise, cold meats, cheeses and other selection boards are simple to set up but allow the family to get stuck in and suit themselves.


3. Prepare in Advance


This is best left for the weekend, but having some free time in advance lets you prepare ahead of time. Sunday leftovers, for instance, can prove useful for dinner on Monday. This can be a real time saver, as you’re cooking once but making two days worth of meals, freeing up the time you would have usually spent on Monday.


This also goes well with cold food as, when in doubt, you can usually mix what’s left into a quick and effective salad. Chicken and other cold meats go well with lettuce, tomatoes and other vegetables that can be grabbed out of the fridge for an instant, tasty meal.


Be sure to check out The Fashionable Plate, our cooking and home decor blog, for recipe ideas! Link at the top of the page!



Day 1 – BrylaneHome Stand Mixer ($199)

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

BrylaneHome Stand Mixer with Two Bowls
Value $199.99

A BrylaneHome® Exclusive! This bright red 500-watt stand mixer handles all your cooking needs and provides flexibility. With 2-qt. and 4-qt. stainless steel bowls, it is designed with min-max speeds, stay-put suction feet, retractable cord and turbo speed button for extra power. It’s the only mixer you’ll ever need and it’s exactly what your kitchen wants! Includes: 2 beaters and 2 dough hooks. ETL Listed. 14″Hx13″Wx8½”D.

This is an amazing mixer and would make a great gift or a treat for yourself! Would look beautiful in any kitchen. Enter for a chance to win this beautiful stand mixer from in the rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway will handle prize fulfillment after a winner is chosen. Please leave a valid email address when entering so we can contact you if you win. Please be sure to check your email inbox and spam folder on December 29th and/or come back to this page and check the rafflecopter widget to see if you’ve won. If the winner does not respond within 3 days, we will pick a new winner.

Can Donut Making be Fashionable?

When I got the opportunity to review 150 Best Donut Recipes: Fried or Baked, I jumped on it!

When the book came in the mail, my husband was like “DONUTS?! What do donuts have to do with fashion?!!” I exclaimed, “Donuts can be fashionable! Somehow…

Okay, well maybe donuts can’t be fashionable, but we can MAKE them fashionably… Allright, maybe not that either…. but for crying out loud, at least they were YUMMY!

I corralled my brother in law into helping me make the donuts since he had a big deep fryer and he’s a professionally trained Chef. We flipped through the book and decided to make Chocolate Cake Donuts since it was our first time making donuts and the recipe sounded relatively easy.

We spread out everything we would need to make the donuts, including Dukan Diet Organic Cocoa Powder. (I know, Dr Dukan, donuts aren’t on my diet but I promise I only ate ONE!)

Now, it’s time to make a mess! I whipped out my KitchenAid Artisan 5 Quart Stand Mixer and went to town.

[Read more...]

The Fashionable Multifunctional Halogen Oven

Being fashionable is hard work. The less time you spend in the kitchen, the more time you have for polishing your nails and other fun things! So we set out to find a multifunctional product that would make the “Housewife” part of your day a little easier.

Say hello to your new best friend – The Halogen Oven.

Easy-to-operate and easy-to-clean, this multifunctional cooker from BrylaneHome makes healthy, juicy meals. Cooks evenly with air circulating around the food… sears food on the outside, seals juices inside. Compact design bakes, grills, barbecues, fries without oil, steams and defrosts. Amazing automatic cleaning function as well.

Easier than heating up your whole oven, this little unit doesn’t take up too much counter space, yet is big enough to roast a chicken in. Perfect for apartment living or even dorm rooms!

We decided to try something quick and easy our first time out with the Halogen Oven. I decided to make some little personal pizzas for my kids. I had a pre-made ball of pizza dough in the fridge, that I separated into two chunks of dough that I rolled out and put into greased cake pans. Then I proceeded to make the pizzas as usual (sauce, cheese, feta, pepperonis).

Here they are, ready to get cooked…

I pre-heated the Halogen Oven and when it was up to temp, I put one of the pizzas in.

Now doesn’t that look pretty?!

Here is what it looked like after I put it in the oven…

And this is what it looked like after about 5 minutes…

And then I left it in the oven too long (and apparently too hot) and voila! I burnt my pizza! LOL

Not really, it just LOOKS really crispy. It actually came out perfect. I would imagine that turning the temp down a wee bit and leaving it in for a couple more minutes would have made a prettier pizza. However, this one tasted fantastic and I was pleased with how fast it cooked.

I will post again when I try another recipe! Let me know if you have any questions about the oven, I’d be happy to answer.

Hungry For Something New? Get Cooking!

I’m not exactly a master chef (just ask my brother-in-law – the master chef)… so I was pretty excited to check out Sam Stern’s new cookbook, Get Cooking.

samsternSam Stern is a famous teenage chef! He was raised in Yorkshire, England, with three fantastic sisters and one brilliant brother — until they went to college and he was left to his own devices. It is not unusual that a high school student loves to eat but his ability to cook and write sets him apart. He describes one of his first memories cooking with his mother, Susan, making her famous treacle bread and opening the oven to see it and says “the smell was great!” This appreciation for cooking led him (when he was a bit older) to write Cooking Up a Storm: The Teen Survival Cookbook with his mother.

He wanted to write a book “for kids like me who enjoy cooking or who want to learn to cook. It’s full of simple tasty recipes — the kinds of things that my friends and I like to eat.” Their second book, Real Food, Real Fast is an effort to lure all those time-pressured teens away from their fast-food fixes.

And finally, since no one is harder to please than your friends, Sam took on the challenge of creating stylish and healthy meals based on their favorite ingredients in, Get Cooking.

About the book:
With two cookbooks under his belt, Sam Stern was up for a new challenge. So when seven of his friends asked him to conjure up great-tasting recipes based on their one favorite food, he went for it. The result? GET COOKING — one fabulous cookbook with eight sections (including one for Sam), focusing on tomatoes, cheese, pasta, vegetables, meat, potatoes, sweets, and chocolate. Feeling healthy? Try out the Leek and Onion Soup. Eating on the run? Boil up Spaghetti with Oil, Garlic, and Chili.

Augmented by helpful tips from Sam as well as nutritional advice, these slightly more advanced recipes, from tasty appetizers to delectable deserts, are sure to offer something for everyone.

I was really impressed (and slightly depressed) that this kid can whip up such delicious looking meals! The recipes looked a little complicated, but once I tried a couple, I found out they actually weren’t. His recipes are just fantastic and easy for a non-chef, like me, to easily create and serve to my family.

If you have kids over 10 years old who like to cook, buy them this cookbook! They’ll be doing all the cooking for you in no time…

ISBN: 9780763639266

Price: $17.99 (paperback )

Please see Sam’s website for more information, recipes, downloads and to access his blog: