The reigning queens of kitchen timesavers would have to be the slow cooker. However, these days slow-cooker recipes often have you and your trusty appliance venturing into gourmet territory. And let’s face it, gourmet does not equal quick. So unless you’re going for the gold with the slow-cooker version of Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon, Koenig suggests cutting one time-consuming corner.

Don’t bother browning the meat ahead of time. “Ninety-nine percent of the time, you can skip it with only a small sacrifice in flavor,” she says. “If I’m racing to get out the door in the morning I don’t have time to brown meat before I go, I’d rather have some dinner than no dinner.”