5 Quick Tips for Reducing Cooking Times at Home

 Two women cooking noodles - Image Courtesy of Pexels

Reducing cooking times is more than convenient. It can also save you money in the kitchen. Over time, you have probably developed habits that increase your cooking times. So here are a few quick tips to help you overcome long times in the kitchen and save you some cash.

Use Modern Devices

Gadgets in the kitchen, such as electric mixers, are a godsend for saving time when preparing food. Yet there are also many timesaving and energy-efficient devices for cooking. Please don't snub your microwave. It uses almost no energy and is excellent for cooking frozen vegetables and reheating sauces. Also, air fryers (see this recipe for sweet potato fries made in an air fryer) are becoming popular because they cook as well as in an oven for a fraction of the cost.

Cut Chunks into Smaller Pieces

It can be a lengthy process to cook some cuts of meat. And slow cooking will help some things, like cheaper cuts of meat. Still, a recipe could tell you to cook a whole piece of meat or fish. But if you cut the food into smaller pieces, you can often make it faster. Cooking boneless chicken or meat will also cut down on the time it takes to cook. For example, you could quarter a chicken into pieces. If you do this, the cooking time will drop from 1 hr and 20 min to about 45 min.

Use Pan Lids

This is a simple step that often gets overlooked in the rush of making dinner. When there's a lid to keep heat in, your food will cook faster. Make it a point to cover pots and pans unless the recipe says to cook the food without a lid. This will cut down on the time it takes to cook the food. This is also a great way to help bring liquids to a boil, which is a step in many recipes such as cooking corn. And if you don't do this when you boil water for pasta, you'll be wasting money.

Defrost Food First

Adding frozen ingredients to some cookbook recipes makes them even easier to make. There's nothing wrong with this, either. But if you want to shorten the time it takes to cook, defrost the meat or vegetables before you add them to the dish. If you cook something frozen, it will take a lot longer. It can also be risky if you aren't careful. The outside of your meat can look cooked, but the middle can still be raw. This can cause severe food poisoning and illness.

Preheat Pans and Oven

Not preheating the oven and pans is another common mistake in the kitchen. Even though most recipes don't need it, it helps cut down on cooking time. When you put cold food into an oven or pan, the temperature drops in the area. Also, some foods won't caramelize as well, like meat chops. And you will mess up a steak completely. But most foods only need a few minutes to cook on the stove in a frying pan and not much more in the oven if cut into pieces.


Reducing cooking times in the kitchen gives you more to do the essential things. And it can save money. You can use cooking gadgets, cover pans with lids and always preheat.

Nashville Hot Chicken Fried Potatoes

Let me tell you about the tastiest way to make fried potatoes ever. If you like the flavors of Nashville Hot Chicken, then this is the place for you! These Nashville Hot Chicken Fried Potatoes are so good that you are going to crave them all the time. Luckily, they are easy to make and are a cheap and delicious side dish to so many dishes.

My son, sweet Rolf, is 12 years old now. He is only about 2" shorter than I am. His feet are twice the size of mine. He is so beautiful... but he has an appetite like no other. But, he is PICKY. I am always looking for ways to fill him up, and if I can get him to try something new, then that is wonderful. 

I tried this tasty and easy fried potato recipe for a side last week and my family loved it. Even Rolf. He has asked me to make these again already. You only need 5 ingredients to make these and they taste so good! Let me tell you how I made these.

4 tablespoons of Nashville Hot Chicken Seasoning (I like The Spice Lab's version)
1/2 cup - 1 cup Buttermilk 
1/2 cup of flour
1 -2 large potatoes
Oil for Frying

Slice your potatoes using a slicer like pictured above. You want them to be thin.

Pour the buttermilk over your potatoes. If you are only making one large potato, use 1/2 a cup. For more potatoes, add more buttermilk.

Add 2 tablespoons of Nashville Hot Chicken seasoning to the buttermilk.
Gently toss so that the potatoes are completely covered with the buttermilk and seasoning.
Allow to rest in the fridge for an hour.

When the hour has passed (this is so important for the flavor!)
Mix the flour and the remaining 2 tablespoons of hot chicken seasoning.
Dredge the potato slices through the flour.

You can just make a single layer of potatoes on a plate or something as you work your way through the slices of seasoned potatoes.

Pour your oil into a saucepan. 
Heat over medium heat for a few moments until the oil is hot enough to fry. I am sorry, I have no idea what temperature I had this oil. I just know how to fry potatoes in oil after all these years in a kitchen. HA!
I guess, I would say, I treated it just like I would fried chicken?

When the potatoes were nice and crispy, and golden brown, I pulled them out of the oil to drain on a paper towel. Use a slotted spoon!

Repeat with remaining potatoes, and these are the end results.

They have that whole spicy chicken vibe, but they are just potato slices. 
They are SO GOOD! 
These would be great for satisfying a fried chicken craving on a potato budget.  But, they are also just a great way to make potatoes super enticing on the side of any meal.

If you try this recipe, I hope you LOVE it! Be sure to save this to your pinterest food board. It would be great if you would share this recipe on social media.

Find more of my tasty food ideas here:

Unique Nacho Recipes

 Are you looking for some easy meal ideas to get dinner on the table in a flash? Lately I have been LOVING nachos! The whole family will eat them without complaint, and there are so many ways to prepare them. You could serve nachos every week without repeating a recipe if you really wanted to!

I don't know about you, but just thinking about all of the cooking I have ahead of me in the coming weeks is enough to leave me overwhelmed. I like Thanksgiving; who can resist pie and turkey with all of the trimmings? But. Hear me out. I am over cooking these epic feasts already! I never want to eat it after cooking all morning, and the mess is enough to make me want to cancel dinner and stay in bed.

This year, I am going to give myself a BREAK before Thanksgiving and take the easy out for as many meals as possible. My meal plan for the month includes some very basic plans like soup and grilled cheese, crock pot chili, and of course, we are going to have nachos a few times.

I gathered some of the recipes I want to try the most to share with you. These are unique and easy. I am sure your family will love them all. 

Blackened shrimp nachos by Ask Chef Dennis 

I really want to try this recipe because I love shrimp and often keep a bag in the freezer for easy meals. With the price of everything being so high these days, I love that I could make these with what I have on hand, switching out the veggies for what I have in the fridge. 

Waffle Fry Nachos by Dinner at the Zoo

This is a delicious twist on fries and nachos! I have a feeling my kids would love to mix up the toppings to get all of their favorites in there. 

Mexican Street Corn Bacon Nachos by The Forked Spoon

This recipe mixes up so  many good ingredients like corn, tomatoes and avocado to make a really delicious nachos that your family will gobble up!

Green Chile Nachos by Homemade for Elle

These are colorful and just the thing for someone, like me, who LOVES green chile flavor! I would probably add some olives and maybe onions to the mix too!

Loaded Cauliflower Nachos by I Hacked Diabetes

These are perfect for eating a lighter, yet totally satisfying meal. I don't know if my kids will love this recipe, but my waistline will thank me for taking a lighter route at dinner a night or two when I am faced with all of the epic holiday desserts to come my way.

Crispy Loaded Jalapeno Nachos by Crayons and Cravings

If you love jalapenos, then you are going to want to dig into this recipe! Crispy jalapeno nachos look incredibly appealing to me. I LOVE spicy food!

Nachos Deluxe by Ann's Entitled Life

This recipe is loaded with good things! And it looks just messy enough to be fun to eat! I would add some fresh veggies to the top of this plate!

Which of these nachos would you try first?

While you are here you might like to check out 12 Lasagna Recipe You Will Love or My Copycat Cracker Barrel  Chicken and Dumplings recipe.

How To Click Baby Photos Like A Professional Photographer!

Today, we all see parents uploading beautiful pictures of their kids on social media accounts, which receive the opportunity to be monetized as influencers. While children are adorable and can lighten up all of our social media timelines, parents have a way of going overboard! If you have considered hiring a professional photographer to capture your child’s day-to-day growth and journey in their life, you’ll probably break your bank account. Professionals are expensive and can easily put a dent in your budget, which is why we’re here with a better alternative! What if we told you that you could click your child just as professionally? Follow along to understand our photography tips!

  1. Find aesthetic backgrounds in your vicinity: What do you find in common with all social media pictures that gain over a thousand likes? The background plays a major role in improving the quality of your pictures! Yes, the subject matters the most, but what creates the mood is your background. Scope your home, backyard, and neighborhood for aesthetic-looking spaces that can be used as great backdrops for your kids’ pictures. The key is to keep switching between these places and experiment with the lighting of indoor and outdoor photography.

  1. Always keep your device updated: Your phone is capable of working wonders when it comes to photography. The camera specifications they are built with today are far more advanced than ten years ago and can rival professional cameras. If you wish to take stunning pictures of your baby, all you need to do first is have the right applications and keep them updated for optimal performance. It can be a good idea to make sure that your camera apps are always updated to click the best pictures. Ensure you automatically update apps on iPhone models so their cameras have the latest integrations for color depth, aperture, and in-built motion stabilizers.

  1. Bring out the best of your child’s personality: You know your child well, and that can be a superpower in photography. Bringing out the best quirks and features of your child requires a study of their personality, which you have had more than enough time doing! So all you need to do is get some props and let them be themselves while you capture your babies in their element. Not only do parents make the best child photographers, but also are inherent experts at it! 

  1. Try new filters and lenses: Today, photography has become a breeze because of how advanced your phones are. You can download innumerable filters, templates, and lenses to help you create masterpieces without the help of a professional. If you learn the basics of photo editing on applications like Photoshop, you can create interesting pieces no matter how unrefined they look initially. The key is to know your color schemes and work with the raw file rather than go all out!

Wrapping Up:

With these nifty tips, you’ll have the skills necessary to capture the best photographs of your shining little star! Hiring a photographer may seem like a good option, but with growing expenses, you can become a DIY expert with just a decent camera. With these hacks, you’ll be able to find your creative sweet spot and make the most of your time. The biggest advantage here is: you know your child the best and can highlight their beauty through a personalized lens!

Tips for Keeping Your Family Healthy While on Vacation

 It's customary to celebrate the holidays with friends and family. But frequently, the constant eating and drinking might have a negative impact on our health. Why not make an effort to maintain your health over the Christmas season this year?

Maintain Hand Sanitation

Keeping everyone's hands clean is a simple approach to protect your family's health throughout the holidays. Use hand sanitizer frequently, especially before meals. Bring some with you. It's also a good idea to refrain from shaking hands with strangers.

The next best thing is hand sanitizer if water and soap are not available. Choose a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol in it. One hand's palm should be used to apply the hand sanitizer, and both hands should be thoroughly covered with it until they feel dry.

One of the easiest methods to avoid getting sick over the holidays is to wash your hands frequently. So make sure that soap and water are accessible to everyone in your family.


Create a snack kit

Packing snacks is one of the simplest methods to keep up healthy eating habits when traveling. This will both save you money and help you avoid bad temptations.

Pick restaurants wisely

You must pick your restaurants wisely if you want to try to eat healthily while on vacation. Look for eateries that have a choice of healthful options and use fresh, local foods. Find out which restaurants are available, and whether they serve Mexican food or anything else that will suit the needs of your family.

Limit alcohol consumption

While on vacation, it's crucial to unwind, but you should also keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum. Alcoholism can cause dehydration and insomnia, both of which can be harmful to your health. Drink plenty of water in between alcoholic beverages if you plan to drink.


Use sun protection.

Wearing sunscreen is among the most crucial things to remember when traveling. Even if you spend a brief amount of time outside, the sun can harm your skin. Therefore, make sure to regularly apply sunscreen and reapply as necessary. Skin cancer is a result of sun damage.

Be Active

Staying active is important, even though it can be enticing to spend the entire vacation reclining on the beach or relaxing at the hotel. You'll not only feel good, but you won't be as susceptible to illness. So take a stroll along the beach, cool off poolside, or go exploring. You'll be happy that you did!

Keep hydrated.

Making sure everyone drinks enough water while on vacation is among the most effective ways to keep the family healthy. Avoid sugary beverages like sodas as well as juices and drink lots of water instead. Drink much more water if you're traveling somewhere hot to avoid being dehydrated. To keep everyone hydrated and at their best, you may also bring electrolyte-rich foods like sports drinks and coconut water.

Undesirable insects

When you're outside, especially in wooded regions, it's a good idea to put on long-sleeved shirts, trousers, and socks. To prevent mosquitoes from getting close to your skin, tuck your trouser legs into your socks.

Additionally, you ought to stay indoors at dawn and nightfall, when mosquito activity is at its worst. Wear protective gear and apply repellant if you plan to be outside during those times.