Holiday Prep Tip #5 - Chop, Chop, Chop

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Now is when you really earn your sous chef stripes.  (Say that 10 times fast!)  I chop, cut, slice, dice, ribbon, julienne and more about once a week.  I think about my menu and cut accordingly. I often have carrots 3-ways in my fridge: in coins (for roasting and snacking), julienned (for stir fries and starchy sides) and ribboned for salads.

I filet my bell peppers (includes washing and removing the seeds and ribs) and slice them into strips so I can easily grab a bunch and use them as is and/or quickly dice without having to wash and clean.

Fresh chopped parsley lasts in the fridge for at least a week if not 10 days (fab for cooking and garnishing!).  As do sliced onions.  I always have a container of red and container of yellow sliced onions ready and waiting.   Cucumbers in my fridge are both coined and in sticks (easy to dice from, if needed) and grape tomatoes of many colors are always washed and halved, lengthwise.

I keep all of the above in the fridge, separately, in sealable containers, because they each have different shelf lives and combining them only shortens their longevity.  More delicate herbs like basil I pre wash wrap in a damp towel before putting in a sealable container in the fridge.  Most everything should keep for about a week.

Use this tip not just for holiday cooking but for year round as well.  When you get home from shopping, wash, check, peel, cut, and prep all your veg.  Seal and store until you are ready to cook tomorrow, or later in the week.

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