We are all busy and want quick, healthy and delicious meals but sometimes we don’t have the time.

Summer means fun, long lazy days soaking up the sun, laughing with family and friends, and fresh delicious food without too much effort.

Here are some tips and tricks to save you time and effort in the kitchen:

  1. An easy way to remove fat from the pan juices of a roast is to add a couple of mugs of ice to the pan. The fat quickly accumulates around the ice and solidifies. Then using a slotted spoon, collect the ice (and the fat) and discard.
  2. For a quick guacamole, mash an avocado in a bowl with 2–3 tablespoons of Italian salad dressing, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust with more dressing if you like. Great with corn chips for an afternoon snack.
  3. Nuts and seeds have many health benefits but best of all they taste great and are an easy way to add extra flavour and punch to a meal.
  4. When roasting nuts for a recipe, roast more than you need and keep the excess in an airtight container for another day. While roasting, set the timer at 1 minute intervals to remind you as nuts can burn so easily. Or give the job to an eager helper, who can watch through the oven window. It doesn’t take long!
  5. Make your salad dressings in a screw-top jar, that way you can make it ahead of time and shake it quickly when needed. Make double the dressing and then you will have some in the fridge next time you need it. It will keep for a couple of weeks.
  6. Adding sesame oil to Asian dressings to help reduce the sharpness for the kids. If you need to, add a drop of honey as well.
  7. Make marinades in zip-lock bags. That way you can shake them around without having to take too much time stirring. Prepare double and freeze half of the marinating meat in a zip-lock bag for a quick meal another day.
  8. Always make bread crumbs with your leftover/old bread (before it turns green) and pop in the freezer. Write the amount of cups on the front of the bag so you know how much is in there for use at a later date.
  9. Keep your ginger in the freezer – it makes grating easy and you will always have fresh ginger on hand when you need it.
  10. Chopping vegies into smaller pieces means they will cook quicker and dinner will hit the table sooner.
  11. Pickled onions are a great way to use leftover onion, as you shouldn’t keep an onion once it has been cut. Using a jar with a lid, mix ½ teaspoon of sugar and salt with a little white wine vinegar, until dissolved. Add the sliced onion to the jar and top with vinegar until the onion is covered. Place lid on jar and shake well. Store in the fridge and use on salads.

Pickled Red Onion

For more great ideas and recipes go here.

Do you have any tips to add to this list? Leave your comments below to share with other mums.

Main image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • Love the breadcrumb tip – we will definitely start doing this.


  • My tip is when using a fry-pan or pots always soak in hot water with dishwashing liquid straight away to help with cleaning later!


  • Love the idea of marinades in zip lock bags. You could also freeze the meat in them.


  • I had no idea about a lot of these. Will give them a try, thanks.


  • the tricks n kitchen


  • fabulous tips in this article1


  • these are my kind of tips – things that make it quick and easy for me – brilliant! Now to remember them when the time comes!


  • this is so great to win


  • Love the quick guacamole recipe. Sounds delicious and will be perfect with savoury crackers as well as corn chips as suggested.


  • Great tips that i will be using as im having a dinner party tomorrow night. Thanks.


  • Some great ideas here!


  • Never thought to store ginger in the freezer!


  • No tips but thank you for your great tips have learnt some things


  • Those sound great!! Especially with the onions and the Asian dressings =D Thanks!!!


  • Thanks for sharing this interesting article and helpful tips; in particular thanks for the ginger tip. My tip; I buy a big bag of onions and use a dicer to dice them and place them in freezer bags. It is such a horrible job; and doing it once, is easier than doing it often. Then I pull a bag out of the freezer when needed.


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