Between tomorrow and next Friday, we will be attending three separate Thanksgiving celebrations, one office potluck, and two birthday parties. ('Tis the season!) And since we enjoy cooking and never like to show up empty-handed, we'll be seriously taxing the oven in the next week. Here's our simple green tip to save time and energy: It's easy. Bake things together.
There is no such thing as "canned pumpkin" in our world (call us crazy), so instead we've been baking a lot of winter squashes and sweet potatoes to make purees for breads, pies, and even cookies.
The charm of this is that all these healthy veggies can be cooked at about the same temperature for about the same amount of time, and used for myriad purposes (use half of that baked squash for a pie, and half for your weeknight dinners). Twice-baked potatoes, sweet potato casserole, roasted butternut squash... all great seasonal sides that can be prepared all at once in the oven.
We have two cakes to prepare, too, and we're going to make sure that the recipes have the same baking temperature. Promise someone you'll bring dessert and a side? The same goes for making a pie and a casserole.
With more coordination, we've learned how to bake things together and then freeze what we don't need right away. The efficiency helps in many ways: it alleviates stress, encourages even more planning, and makes final prep that much faster.
So, spend a few extra minutes coordinating your oven temperatures, and you'll save hours baking—not to mention, save all that energy!
• 10 Tips to Save Energy in the Kitchen
• Simple Green: Two Stovetop Energy-Saving Tips
• Simple Green: Replace the Disposables to Green Your Swiffer
(Image: Amber Byfield for Re-Nest.)