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Welcome to Homemaking Organized where I talk about keeping the home life organized.
It's amazing how much time home life can take but I love to cook. I have since I was a little girl. I made my first cakes about age 9 with an Easy Bake Oven I received for my birthday one year. I quickly graduated to the big oven though and started cranking out the extended family birthday cakes when I was in college. I even started filling requests for my friend's families.
Now I'm no chef or expert by any means (but I would love to be) so my cooking is limited to family and friends.
Like many of us I'm attempting to make do in, what I feel, is a small kitchen so through the years I've compiled some tools and tips to help my time in the kitchen be fruitful and fun. And now I'm going to share thy list with you. Some things you may already have on hand and some ideas you may already use.
1.) Start With a Clean Slate
If you start cooking in a messy kitchen be rest assured that cooking will not be as pleasant. Cleared off countertops, empty sink. These little things can make a difference when you start preparing your dish.
I learned this from the chef too. Have all of your ingredients and tools ready to go. Bringing you meal together will go in a flash. Combine you salts and pepper in a small bowl ready to sprinkle your meat. Measure out your flowers, liquids, and spices etc. Have your chopping board, and a bowl at the ready. Place pans on the stove and blenders on the counter. And last but not least fill your sink with hot soapy water so you can clean as you go.
3.) A Good Sharp Knife
When we were married 13+ years ago a family friend, who was a chef at the time (retired) blessed us with two primo knives from J.A. Henckels.
4.) Dough Scraper
I don't know how I did without this little baby for so long. If you do any sort of baking you will want something like this. A silicone dough scraper helps you clean up sticky flour messes quickly.
5.) Pyrex Measuring Cups
We received this wonderful set of Pyrex Measuring cups as a wedding present eons (okay 16 years) ago. I use them daily. To mix and melt (oven). 3 sizes means that when I'm making big mixes I have a large enough measuring cup.
6.) Immersion Blender
I purchased this set after watching Leslie Sansone of Walk Away The Pounds fame make a quick smoothie with one. Truthfully I don't make smoothies with my Immersion Hand Blender but instead use it to puree soups, make quick breadcrumbs,
I wanted one of these after I saw the chefs using them on all these cooking shows. It was hard to decide on one but then I went with the best reviews. A Mandoline is very sharp so I purchased some kitchen safety gloves to go with it. I must use this thing every day. It easy to clean and it makes quick work of my veggies.
8.) Conversions Cheat Sheet
I picked this up at a Dollar Store years ago and weather and beaten still refer to it quite a lot. I can transpose (is that the right word) a recipe on the fly with this and increase or decrease the number of servings. This works well if I want to double a recipe or cook a small recipe for a big group of people.
I don't even know when or where we got this shredder but this stand up version works much better than our previous flat version. I can shred cheese, onions, apples, cabbage. I can get some lemon zest and make little slim shavings of carrots or more. Having on that stands on end like this is easier on the hands and easier to use. Besides all the shreddings collect in the center of the shredded making it easier to collect them all in the little measuring cup attachment or any other dish I desire.
10.) Good Set of Cookbooks
Where would I be without good cookbooks? Do you use a cookbook? I do. I have several that I turn to time and again for trusted advice depending upon my cooking needs. Some I've received as gifts and some I'm purchased myself. Lately I've been purchasing some for my Kindle. But here's my lengthy cookbook list.
- The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook (my main go t0)
- The Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet (Kindle)
- Saving Dinner:: Menu Planning at it's best. Season recipes that are tasty and actually reduced our grocery bill.
- Foods of the World Series: Out of print books on the ways of cooking all over the world. These just make good reading.
- Make-A-Mix Cookbook For those bulk cooking times.
- More Make Your Own Groceries
So what kitchen tools can't you do without? Or better yet what home tools can't you do without? Leave me a comment and let me know.
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