Multi-Tasking Meals (How to Cook When You Have Kids)

October 22nd, 2011

I’ve still got the harvest cooking bug.  Today I made another batch of homemade applesauce (which is absolutely outstanding on waffles, if anyone is curious), a no-bake pumpkin pie, and a batch of sweet potato chili.

I’m learning that the keys to cooking when you’ve got kids are: figuring out ways to multi-task and learning how to most efficiently use your time.  A few examples:

When I made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins a few days ago, I prepped the dry ingredients while Miss Mouse was having her bath.  After hugs and kisses, Josh took her up to bed while I finished mixing everything together.  I threw the muffins in the oven and raced downstairs to the elliptical machine.  I did a twenty-minute workout while the muffins baked, finishing up just as the timer went off.

This morning, I peeled and chopped a million apples while the kids were having their morning snack.  Buggie was strapped into the high chair and Miss Mouse munched on apple slices.  Josh hung out at the table too, so it was good family time in addition to being productive cook time!

The pumpkin pie literally only took 10 minutes to put together so I just waited until the kids were both engaged in some sort of activity, then popped into the kitchen.

Finally, I took advantage of nap time to make the chili for a church potluck supper tonight.  It’s kind of a weird recipe, which is why I’m making it at a time when my family doesn’t have to eat it all!

It’s easy to feel like you don’t have time to cook when you have kids.  And it’s definitely more of a challenge, especially now that Buggie is a bit big to wear like a backpack while I cook.  But if you plan ahead, multi-task, and time your cooking right, you can still do it!

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