mealtime bootcamp: timing’s no match for caroline!

February 1st, 2013

Hi all! It’s Friday, so that means Mealtime Bootcamp and the lovely Caroline! She’s spent the last few weeks implementing my tips and suggestions for timing meal prep and I’m thrilled to have her back to report on how it went for her (spoiler alert; she did great!):

Last week when Sheri tackled the “timing” issue of meal preparation, I couldn’t help but think about my husband. That’s because when he cooks, he employs almost all of the techniques that Sheri suggested I implement into my routine. No wonder he makes it look so easy!

In particular, I have watched closely as he chops up everything he will need in advance and separates each ingredient into its own container. He enjoys this process and I always marvel at how “in control” he looks while prepping and organizing his ingredients. Sheri explained that having all the ingredients in place and ready is actually a technique called mise en place.

So this week, I was determined that I would become a master of mise en place, but decided I would start small by (at the very least) having all of the most commonly used ingredients (like onions and garlic) chopped, stored and ready.

One thing I realized after doing this is that it saves a ton of time to have everything prepped and handy. It also totally prepares you for impromptu cooking sessions like a Sunday evening omelette! But mostly, I enjoyed mastering mise en place because I could channel my inner Julia Child while chopping onions! I mean, who doesn’t want to be Julia?

chopped onions

image courtesy of Caroline Urdaneta

Another wonderfully helpful suggestion from last week? The list of things Sheri provided us with that we could do in 10 minutes or less. One such suggestion on the list was to wash all greens then wrap in paper towels and store in the refrigerator. This worked perfectly for me, especially for my cilantro which is an herb we use in so many dishes. It’s amazing how all these little steps really do add up, so it’s a huge time saver. But also, I think getting organized and prepping ahead just makes the whole experience that much more enjoyable!

feta and cilantro

image courtesy of Caroline Urdaneta

So the bottom line? I’m getting there, everyone! I really, really am! And although it’s been a bit scary to bare my weakness with mealtime planning and preparation to the whole entire world, it’s also been a really great motivator for me. So, thank you Sheri for coaching me along the way. Your strategies and expertise have been fantastic and a tremendous help.

Yes! SO excited that Caroline is seeing results! Even better? Meal prep is becoming enjoyable. ENJOYABLE! How about you all? Have you tried any of these tips? We would love to hear from you! And don’t touch that dial; the last installment of Mealtime Bootcamp is just a week away!

New to this series? No problem; you can catch up here!

Mealtime Bootcamp
Meal Planning
Caroline Wins Meal Planning!
Timing Meal Prep

6 Responses to “mealtime bootcamp: timing’s no match for caroline!”

  • You know how big a fan I am of this series! Awesome tips.

  • I love this, and food prep can actually look pretty in the fridge too, as Caroline shows

  • Aww, you two – I love this series! Sheri, ever since you introduced us to the concept of mise en place I’ve been trying to apply it. There are times when I’ve done a pretty good job at it, but I’m so glad to get a little refresher through Caroline. There is more practicing to do! I was always under the impression that veggies/fruit wouldn’t last as long, once they were washed. I like the paper towel idea and will try this with our new round of greens! Caroline, congratulations on your accomplishments this week – you’re an inspiration!

    • sherisilver says:

      Thanks Lisa! Not all produce should be washed ahead of time (especially berries). But sturdier items like carrots, celery and peppers can be “prepped” in advance for sure. And leafy greens can be cleaned early in the day or even the night before. Let me know how it works out! xo

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