by Staff Reports
In many homes, the kitchen is the busiest room of all. It’s a place for cooking, eating and conversations. But, how efficient is your kitchen? Here are some ideas for making your kitchen more usable.
Are you purchasing your spices in little jars from the grocery store? Buying your spices in bulk can save a lot of money, and they will be so much fresher and fragrant. The problem is, what to do with all the little plastic bags of spices when you get home. They leak, they’re difficult to organize and you can never find the one you want when you need it.
We’ve found the perfect solution. Do a search on Amazon for magnetic spice containers. You’ll find a wide variety in glass and metal. The metal ones frequently will have built-in shakers and sifters with clear lids so you can easily see if you’re running low on a particular spice.
The containers typically will hold between 2-3 ounces, come with pre-printed labels and can be magnetically attached to your refrigerator. If you prefer not to attach it to your refrigerator, you can also purchase wall plates and stands.
Are you still using a slot toaster? Consider swapping that for a toaster oven. These are quite versatile and can do so much more than toast bread. They bake, toast and broil, and some even have convection oven capabilities. Cook pizzas, small batches of cookies and frozen meals. You can also get special baking pans and pizza stones to fit. A toaster oven usually doesn’t need pre-heating, won’t heat up the kitchen much, and you’ll find you use the big oven a lot less. Plus, when making large holiday meals, having an extra oven handy will be appreciated.
You’ll want to do some research on what features are important to you and then shop around to find the best price.
Do you do a lot of baking and wish you could make large batches at once? You might want to consider getting a Bosch Universal Plus Stand Mixer to replace your trusty old stand mixer. The motor is powerful, and you can triple your recipes. Imagine making 34 dozen cookies — all in one batch. Or mashing 10 pounds of potatoes at once. How about 14 loaves of bread?
Of course, you don’t have to do superhero-sized batches, the Bosch mixer can handle smaller quantities quite nicely.
The design is unexpected — you can see through the top without obstruction. More than 20 attachments are available, including an ice cream maker, a food processor and a slicer shredder.
Be warned, however, the units are larger than your stand mixer and will take up more space on your countertop. They can also replace other appliances such as your blender and food processor, which might even out the space issue.
Food Processor & Blender
Do you need both? That’s a good question. Blenders are usually better for liquids, whereas food processors can be used for bulkier tasks such as shredding large amounts of cheese quickly, slicing veggies, chopping nuts or even for kneading bread dough.
If you have the counter space for both, each does their own task quite well. If your counter space is limited, you might want to consider getting attachments for your Bosch or other mixer that will fulfill the same purpose.
Slow Cooker or Instant Pot?
Well, the Instant Pot has a whole range of functionality and can be used as a slow cooker, too. It shines, however, as a pressure cooker, preparing food much faster than any other method. What is really nice is that with a few accessories, you can even prepare more than one thing at a time. With a trivet and a couple of stacking pots, you can place meat in the bottom and then veggies in a pot and rice stacked on that. Within about 45 minutes start to finish your meal is hot and ready, juicy and tender.
Sometimes you want to just toss ingredients in the slow cooker, set the timer and leave, knowing that when you return eight hours later your dinner will be ready. Slow cookers are awesome for that.
Saves Time, Money and Energy
Even if you love to cook, getting the tedious tasks done faster is a win. All of these items can make your life easier in many ways: spices that are fresh, fragrant and easy to find; a toaster that bakes; a mixer that allows you to make large batches at once and will even knead your bread for you; a blender for smoothies and food processor for quick and easy food prep. Then once everything is ready, put it all together in either your Instant Pot or your slow cooker.
It’s worth purchasing better quality appliances. They’ll last longer and step up to the challenge. Budget out your purchases, watch for sales.
Wondering whether you’ll use these items, or how to use them efficiently? That’s where YouTube comes in. Videos can help you with research before purchasing the new gadget and finding new recipes once you have it.
Your kitchen muse will be highly inspired.