...Streamline and Strategize
When cooking for the family turns chaotic, take a cue from Zora O'Neill and Tamara Reynolds, authors of Forking Fantastic: Put the Party Back in Dinner Party. While compiling your to-do list, also list what you've already done; tape it to the counter. When you're frazzled, it'll help to see how much you've accomplished.
Cleaning out the kitchen is a daylong chore, but one shelf of the pantry? You can do that while a pot of water comes to a boil. Lori Greiner, host of Clever & Unique Creations by Lori Greiner on QVC TV, suggests doing one row at a time, weeding out every can and box past its expiration date. Add what you've tossed out to your shopping list.
...Grab a Snack
It's a cruel irony: Cooking can leave you starved. Next time your tummy rumbles, try this quick nosh from chef Sefton Stallard of NYC's Forty Eight lounge and restaurant: Smear toast with raw honey and thinly sliced aged manchego. The honey's nutrients combined with the cheese's protein will curb the munchies and keep you cooking.
The oven is preheating, so warm your hands, too. Dr. Amy Tiemann, author of Mojo Mom: Nurturing Your Self While Raising a Family, suggests keeping intensive hand lotion near the kitchen sink -- voilá, downtime becomes massage time. A quick moisturizing session will undo the damages of dishwashing and still leave you time to finish dinner.
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