Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Pressing the Easy Button in the Kitchen

by M. J. Joachim

The baby is napping again. She seems to really like her room and crib these days. The adjustment of the move is going well for all of us, though that’s not what this post is supposed to be about today. Instead I’m going to share some of my amazing kitchen gadgets with you because, when you have even a little bit of arthritis or any kind of soreness, these tools come in very handy.

The Brand

KitchenAid. Need I say more. I replaced my food processor at least four times before spending the money on my KitchenAid one. Before when I was playing in the kitchen, and now when my projects of slicing, dicing, mixing etc. have become a little larger than they’ve been lately, this thing is everything I need and more for ease, comfort and speed.

We used some of our wedding cash 22 years ago to buy one of those big KitchenAid mixers. Over the years, I’ve been purchasing a few attachments including meat grinder, sausage stuffer and the small pasta maker. A week or so ago I used some Kohl’s cash to get the grater and slicer attachment. I’m saving up and putting the large pasta maker on my Christmas list today, however. I had some Kohl’s cash again, but not the couple hundred dollars required to purchase that attachment. Instead I bought some cute little ramekins that can go from oven to fridge to microwave and even on the stove. I’ve a few tasty recipes I want to make in these little cups.

Still, I’m hoping to get it as soon as I can, because I had some gluten free ravioli in Sedona recently, and I know I can make a beautiful pasta to make my own, especially if I have the right tools.

Playing (I mean, Working) in the Kitchen

As you can probably surmise, cooking is never a chore for me. I’m not a huge fan of eating out except as a treat, and with my dietary requirements, it’s often easier to eat at home anyway. I use the food processor for everything. I use the mixer for almost everything including scrambling my eggs, grating my cheese and mixing my desserts. I don’t use the grater/slicer attachments for veggies or meat at all. It’s much easier to do those in the food processor. But grating cheese in large or small amounts has never been easier for me.

Cooking Ideas

I watch a couple of cooking shows fairly regularly. The Chew comes on during my lunchtime, and it is so much fun to watch. One of the things I learned today was to lightly drizzle salad dressing around the inside edge of the bowl, and then toss your greens into it. This way you never overdress your salad. Genius! They also had a segment on marinading meat - acid and salt marinades tend to cook your meat when it marinades for long periods of time, so you should only marinade meats in this type mix for short periods of time. Olive oil bases can be marinaded overnight.

I also like Chopped and CutThroat Kitchen because the creativity required to cook in these shows is amazing. I love a good coleslaw and after watching these the other day, I made one up with ingredients I had on hand, without even using a recipe. It was really good too!

Of course, tried and true recipes do get really good results when followed correctly. I love my cookbooks and often find all sorts of wonderful dishes in them to serve to my family.

Which begs the questions…

What tools to you like best when cooking in the kitchen? Do you have any favorite brands or must have utensils that make your life so much easier and more efficient? Where do you get your cooking ideas, and do you like to play in the kitchen or do you find cooking to be way too much work to deal with, especially when ready made food is so easy to come by?

Thanks so much for stopping by and joining the conversation today. I always look forward to and enjoy your visits.

M. J.

©2015 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: KitchenAid, GMHofmann, CCA-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License, Wikicommons