As a super busy, single mother of 3, I am always looking for ways to make life easier and still feel like I am giving my best energy and efforts to my children. One of the greatest challenges to this comes around dinner time. Working all day and having to come home to run kids to practices and activities 5 out of 7 nights a week leaves little time for home-cooked meals. Enter fast food and casual dining – the savior for dinner plans of parents on the go. Unless you happen to have an alternate diet, like my family. As vegetarians, you can imagine eating out is super challenging. As a mom, I learned early on to choose my battles, and finding vegetarian drive-thru options isn’t one I’m likely to sign up for more than 2-3 times a year. Instead, I make everything at home. This isn’t bad at all, because not only do I LOVE to cook but because I’ve figured out a few life hacks to make it easier.
First, you have to set aside time to prep and or make meals for the week instead of trying to dash in from work, cook, and make it back out the door in time to not be late for practice. I use Sunday afternoons to make Sunday dinner and prep/cook 3-4 solid meals for the rest of the week. Second and likely most important, you must have your set of go kitchen tools. These are tools that save you time and/or dishes while making meals for your family.
All of my favorite tools come from Pampered Chef. I have been a faithful customer of theirs for 10-12 years and found that not only do their products last FOREVER—they make my life easier. Here are the best Pampered Chef products you need right now and how I use them.
Garlic Press – I am not a huge fan of salt so I use fresh garlic to season literally EVERYTHING and it leaves my dishes flavorful, not salty. Garlic also builds immunity so I am generous with it, for the kids’ sake. My Pampered Chef Garlic Press is so easy to use! I break the clove off and place it in the press (without peeling) and push the handle. Easy peasy! Added bonus—the tool comes with a little brush that makes cleaning easy.
RockCrok Dutch Oven – This is my absolute fav and I use it several times a week. The RockCrok can go in the oven, on the stovetop or in the microwave. I have several recipes that are one-pan dishes with everything being made in the RockCrok and making clean up super easy. Added bonus—this tool makes everything from a full dinner meal to amazing desserts like Smores Cake.
Medium Round Stone – Anyone who is familiar with Pampered Chef knows about their stoneware. It is one of their best sellers and is amazing. I have several pieces of stoneware but the one I use most often is the Medium Round stone. We use it for homemade pizza night on Fridays but also for other items like biscuits, croissants, and/or cinnamon rolls. Added bonus—the more you use the stoneware the more seasoned it gets and the better the flavor of the food. My kids swear pizza tastes better on the stone than it does on a metal pan!
3 Qt Micro Cooker – I pop this tool in the microwave to cook broccoli, rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and just about anything that needs to be steamed or boiled. It’s quick and makes mealtimes easy.
Deep Covered Baker – This tool can be used in the microwave or the oven and is beautifully functional, going straight to the dinner table for serving afterward. Like the RockCrok there are so many one dish meals that can be made in the baker making clean up super easy.
Find these Pampered Chef Products you need right now and many others on my Pampered Chef site!
- The Best Pampered Chef Products You Need Right Now - July 24, 2020