5. What are your favorite gadgets?I find box graters tremendously useful. I use it for shredding potatoes, cheese, carrots, cabbage, etc.
I also like a:
- good pair of stainless steel kitchen tongs,
- carrot peeler,
- funnel (I use the funnel to get grains into glass canisters without spilling everywhere) and sharp kitchen scissors
I use a garlic press almost daily but have yet to find a good, fast way to clean the darn thing. If you ever come across a tip for that, let me know!
6. How do you feel about appliances? Too many or never enough? How do you organize your appliances?Too many. I think it makes more sense to invest in a great set of pans and knives than in a bunch of "X-cookers/makers."
There are a few exceptions, however. I love Crockpots and mini-preps. Last spring I bought a really fancy blender and it's awesome but very space-consuming and a little hard to clean. My sister bought me a Cuisinart hand held immersion blender for Christmas and I haven't used the fancy one since (and I cook, a lot!).
If you like popcorn, I also recommend buying an air pop machine. My grandparents used to pop corn for us as kids and I remember getting the biggest kick out of the swirling kernels, melting butter and mountain of popcorn. Popcorn machines are fun and microwave popcorn is the epitome of over-processed, over-packaged, easily-prepared, chemical-laden junk.
Since I don't have a lot of appliances I can keep them all either on my counter top or in a single cabinet. I keep the coffee maker and mini-prep on the counter along with the toaster and microwave. The popcorn machine, Crockpot and blender are stored in a lower cabinet and the immersion blender goes in a drawer next to the stove along with the aforementioned kitchen gadgets, measuring cups and spoons.
7. What products do you recommend for a healthy kitchen?Muffin tins can be used for more than muffins. I make mini-casseroles, fish cakes and turkey meatloaves in them all the time. They're a great portion control tool.
8. What's your favorite kitchen organization tip(s)?Healthy food spoils fast and it's never a good idea to have large quantities of packaged cookies and crackers on hand. Plan a little. Buy healthy food. Cook it. Eat it right away. If you want a cupcake, go to the best bakery in town, buy one and enjoy it.
Meal Planning 101
Tips, tricks and products to help you meal plan and grocery shop more seamlessly.