If you can find a way to “cook for the fun of it” and “prepare for people you love” your time in the kitchen doesn’t have to feel like a chore.
Flip through a cookbook, magazine or your pins on pinterest to find new inspiration. Take some time to plan your recipe and shop for necessary ingredients.
Next I like to start off with my kitchen as clean as possible. I find if I remove the clutter from view I don’t get as easily distracted from the task at hand. Sometimes I think my husband gets worried after he cleans the kitchen. To me the wide open space on the counter is an invitation to bake the things I love, especially on a weekend afternoon.
A few key cooking tools can make your kitchen even more enjoyable.
Here are my favourites:
- A cast iron enamelled dutch oven or braiser is a heavy duty pot that retains heat well and cooks evenly. Perfect for stove top to oven recipes. Great for soups, stews and stir fries. A large size close to 5 or 6 litres will work for many family meals.
- Stainless steel mixing bowls of various sizes to help organize your prep work.
- A selection of measuring cups and spoons. Make sure you have both dry measure cups and glass liquid measure cups. I like to put mine in a storage bin and I keep at least 2 or more of each measure so there is no need to wash until the end of the preparation.
- Heat proof silicone spatulas are ideal for stirring on the stove as well as baking. Find fun colours that make you happy or give these as gifts!
- A good chef knife as well as a selection of smaller versions. When kids are starting out they can use “crinkler cutters” to chop vegetables or small steak knives.
- A microplane grater is my go to for fresh ginger and finely grated (snow) parmesan cheese needed for meatballs.
- Because I bake often I use a kitchen scale for flour to increase accuracy and save time on spooning and leveling in measuring cups.
- A garlic press and garlic roller. My press is from pampered chef and works like a charm when you need to distribute a small amount of garlic into your food – especially for uncooked items like salad dressing. My garlic roller peels the skin easily and is a fun task for the kids.
- A wire and a silicone covered whisk – perfect for cheating on the sifting of dry ingredients and using in your non-stick pan.
- A fine mesh strainer which I often use for thickening mixtures added to hot food – no clumps allowed.
- Small and medium “ice cream type” scoops. These work well for pancakes, muffins and cookies. My favourite sizes are 3 tablespoons or 45 ml and 4 teaspoons or 20 ml for cookies.
- Finally a gift for the cook who has most everything – herb scissors. Super sharp they finely slice herbs without the bruising that can happen with chopping. The covered choice is best for cleaning of herbs without risk of cutting your fingers.