Saving Time with Char
In My Kitchen
I live in an old home, something constructed in the 1930’s. It is charming, and has served us well. If you’re a realtor, you know that the word “charming” translates to “small.” It has four bedrooms, and one of them is also known as “my office.” My other office is the kitchen, where I am always creating fun recipes for plantstrong meals. Our home doesn’t have central-air, and yet it stays cool. My husband and the Home Depot guy figured out that a window unit (the size of a Smart Car) would do well for cooling off the downstairs.
I am in the kitchen a lot. And somehow, my neighbors are always complaining about how they can’t cook in the heat (they central air, mind you) because it is too hot. They do take out while I am eating delicious Novick Burgers. But, there I am, very early in the morning, cooking up a storm. No pots are boiling, the oven isn’t even on, but I am cooking up a storm, while I stay cool! I thought that I would share some of my “summer” time saving tips, because not only do they save you time, they can keep you cool.
Time Saving Small Appliances for Summer Cooking
- Toaster Oven: Frankly, a toaster oven is perfect for baking Mighty Muffins, veggie burgers, etc. Save the “pans” that come with the oven, they are ideal for baking burgers. As for Mighty Muffins? Well, get silicone pans, and cut them to size. I can make a dozen mini’s without any trouble. Veggies burgers come out nice and crispy, just how I like them. You use the same settings as you would in an oven.
- Waffle Iron: I do make oatmeal waffles all the time. But, my waffle iron also doubles as the source for grilling Portobello mushrooms, heating corn tortillas, or making a grilled sandwich. One of the reasons why I enjoy using these small appliances is that the house still smells great.
- Rice Cooker: Aside from making rice, it makes amazing quinoa, oatmeal, even farro. My rice cooker also has a basket for steaming veggies. It can “over steam” (in my crisp opinion), but if you allow the veggies to cook full term, they are perfect for mashing into veggie burgers, which I do. Last week, I attempted to make a cake, and I am on my way to perfecting the recipe. First go-around needed more flour. Look for pictures soon!
- Immersion Blender: I got my Immersion Blender after I returned from my first Engine 2 Immersion more than three years ago. It seemed like a fitting gift. It has many purposes, but its best use is for “creaming” hummus. Without oil, I have found that the consistency of hummus is almost perfect if you use the Immersion Blender. It gets extra creamy. Can’t live without it!
- Food Processor: It slices, grates, shreds, mixes, blends and more. I use it for prepping veggies that I will use in meals that require “minced” or finely sliced veggies. My garlic is always perfect, and finely grated veggies are just right for burgers, loaves, and say, filling for stuffed collards. I like this kitchen helper, because it is easy to clean. That is key.
A few years ago, I treated myself to a Vitamix®. Many great things come from Cleveland, Ohio, and you can add the Vitamix® to that list. I use it for grinding my own flour. I use it to make hot, creamy soups, “ice cream” and more. I use it all the time. It is my favorite small appliance, but not the easiest to clean. But, I still love it. I really love it.
Notice that I didn’t list the microwave. The microwave has its role in the kitchen, but it isn’t the focal point of mine.
As we speak? Well, here’s what’s going on…
- I creamed a can of beans with the Immersion Blender that I needed for Novick Burgers;
- The food processor was used for prepping all the veggies;
- They are presently baking in the toaster oven;
- I am making more brown rice in the rice cooker, as a side dish for tonight;
- Think of “ice cream” for dessert, and I will be using the Vitamix®
And, when it is time for dinner, I will heat the rolls in the waffle iron. Clean-up is a breeze. In general, clean-up from plantstrong prep is a very easy. Without oil or animal product involved, cleaning merely requires rinsing and drying. There’s no steam, no heat from the oven, just a cool place to hang out and make beautiful food.
Dinner is still delicious. The only problem with dinner in the summer is that I have to speak loudly so that I can be understood over the “Smart Car” nestled in the living room window.
These work for me, and I hope they will for you, as well.