Cook Smart by Shopping Smarter

As I prepared lunch, starting with steamed green beans dressed in equal parts soy sauce and toasted sesame oil, it came home to me how putting meals together quickly depends on having ingredients on hand.

sauteeing padron peppers

If the green beans are not there, you can’t cook them. But if you bought them over the weekend, then steamed them Sunday night, and there were leftovers, well, then you have the beginning of  lunch.

It is not cooking that takes time (Sure, it can take as much time as you have to give it. It just doesn’t need to take all that long.), it is planning meals and shopping for them that requires some effort. The secret to efficient shopping is to develop dependable sources for your ingredients. You can make this fun, for instance, by exploring farmers’ markets. Take the family along; promise them a fresh baked roll and a hot chocolate as a lure. Shopping these markets has the added advantage of teaching you–in the most pleasurable way possible–just what is in season.

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Since Penni helped me with my kitchen, I never look in my (now organized) cupboards without thinking of her and thanking her for making my cooking life easier.

-Marilyn Day

About Penni

Over 30 years as a food and wine professional, writer, and editor.

Cookbook author including:
'The Tra Vigne Cookbook' for Michael Chiarello,
'The Basque Kitchen' for Gerald Hirigoyen
and 'BurgerBar' for Hubert Keller.

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