Countdown to dinner

I’m trialling a new layout for my recipes: Countdown to Dinner.

It annoys me when cookbook recipes give you a cooking time, but half the ingredients already need to be chopped or prepared in some other way. So when I try a new recipe, I note  takes and write out a schedule to get it on the table by 6pm (two kids under 3 need their dinner on time!). So in my dinner recipes, I’m going to include the time left until the meal is ready, with a space for you to write down the time you need to start each step.

My recipes include all preparation time from store-bought ingredients. The times are based on my own cooking. I’ve taught myself how to chop things quickly (but not TV-chef super-fast!), and I’ll share my techniques with you, but I’m just a home cook. I think the preparation times are realistic for the average home cook (once you know a few tricks). There may even be a little bit of extra time to allow for cuddling a whingey baby or sort out a fight between the kids!

Countdown to Dinner recipes also include a list of all the equipment you need at the start – no suddenly digging around for tools, or realising half way through that you can’t actually cook the meal because you don’t have a food processor.

I’m working on getting them in a printable format in the near future.

My first recipe in this format will be posted later today. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you like the format? Do you have any other suggestions? What annoys you about recipes?