Make memories and save money with home cooking

4 Secrets of Home Cooking

by Leanne Ely

Home cooking. Those two words alone evoke memories of mom's delicious dinners, learning to keep your elbows off the table and trying to figure out how to hide the broccoli on your plate.

We all have distinctive food memories that are uniquely ours. Do you remember how your mother's home cooking smelled and how you couldn't wait to dig into her pot roast? For most people, those marvelous aromas seem like a bygone era, almost like the "Leave It to Beaver" days when moms wore girdles and pearls and vacuumed in high heels.

I'm all for ditching the girdles and other entrapments of martyred motherhood, but definitely not the home cooking! Food will never go out of fashion, but the way we prepare it has definitely changed.

Making dinner quickly is what I'm talking about and here are four easy ways to make that happen:

  1. Take advantage of the ready to go stuff. The produce section is swimming in convenience these days. Don't have time to chop? You can buy all kinds of chopped veggies ready to go from acorn squash to zucchini.
  2. Try commercial spaghetti sauce. It's excellent and useful for other things besides pastas like soups and stews for added flavor.
  3. When making something more time intensive than usual, double your recipe and freeze one for a latter date. Don't forget to label your freezer bag and date it!
  4. The most important tool in your belt though is having a weekly plan. Like the old saying goes, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." We all know how awful it feels when everyone's asking, "What's for dinner?" and we have no clue (or groceries!).

The world has changed a lot, but the strong connection to home cooking will never change. So get yourself to the grocery store this week with your plan and make your own home cooking happen. And while you're at it, make some new family memories.

Leanne Ely is a New York Times best selling author of Body Clutter and the popular Saving Dinner cookbook series. According to Woman's Day Magazine, she is the expert on family cooking.

Leanne's syndicated newspaper column, The Dinner Diva can be found in 250 newspapers nationwide and in Canada. Her vast broadcast experience includes media satellite tours, QVC several times as well as guesting on several national television shows, including HGTV's Simple Solutions, ABC Family's Living the Life, Ivanhoe's Smart Woman, Small Talk for Parents and Talk of the Town. She has guest chef-ed on the cooking show, Carolina Cooks and has taught cooking classes all over the country for Bloomingdale's.

In addition, she is a seasoned radio personality. Leanne's own radio show, Heart of A Woman aired during drive time in two major California markets, Los Angeles and San Diego. Her current show, The Dinner Diva is one of the top Blog Talk Radio shows on the Internet.

On the Internet, she pens the Food for Thought column for the immensely popular,, with over half a million readers weekly. She has been featured in Woman's Day magazine, the Chicago Tribune, St. Petersburg Times, Orange County Register - to name a few. Additionally, she is a sought after speaker and has spoken all over the country, with keynote addresses to corporate and non-profit entities. Visit Leanne Ely on Google+.

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