Time Saving Small Kitchen Appliances
How I save time in the kitchen
Do I love to cook? Yes and No. On a good day, yes, I do. I'll go through phases where I'll look up new recipes for every day of the week on websites like allrecipes.com. But I have a special needs kid to take care of, and a lot of my time needs to be spent taking care of him. So cooking needs to get done in a timely manner at my house. And in our family, that responsibility falls on me. Anything that can save me time and get me out of the kitchen faster is a good thing in my book. Here are the three small kitchen appliances that I have bought over the years that have saved me loads of time.
My Kitchen Aid Food ProcessorClick thumbnail to view full-size
Appliance #1: My Handy Dandy Kitchen Aid Food Processor
This is my number one tool in my kitchen. I have to be honest and say that I didn't buy my food processor for cooking, but rather to puree my son's food. Having severe special needs, he can only eat food that's been pureed. But it has turned out to be my favorite small kitchen appliance for cooking as well. You can even wash it on the top rack of the dishwasher.
You can buy cheap food processors in the store for as little as $30. But if you plan on shredding hard cheese with it, don't waste your money on the cheap models. I've owned more than one and stripped the gears shredding cheese or pureeing meat. If you want a food processor that will last you indefinitely, buy the Kitchen Aid brand. I've owned mine for 10 years, use it every single day to puree my son's food - meat and all, and it works as good today as the day I bought it.
The food processor that I bought has both the large container and the smaller container. It also came with the shredding and slicing discs, which I do use. You can shed an 8 oz. block of hard cheddar cheese in about 5 seconds with this baby. And making scalloped potatoes is a snap with a food processor.
I haven't bought it yet, but have you ever heard of Jerry Seindfeld's wife's cookbook Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food? It has recipes for adding pureed veggies to recipes. She steams them, but a pressure cooker will work a whole lot faster - and of course you've got to have the food processor as well.
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My Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer
Appliance #2: Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer
My second small kitchen appliance that has saved me a lot of time is my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. I use this to quickly make meatloaf (mixes up everything in under a minute!), biscuits, pizza dough, bread dough, home made flour and corn tortillas, and of course, cookies. I can't imagine making cookies without it! This sweet small appliance will cut in that butter in just a minute or so. My stand mixer came with a whip, dough hook, and flat beater. I even have the shield that goes around the top of the bowl to keep the flour from flying all over the place.
If you plan on making a lot of cookies with your stand mixer, I recommend buying one with a powerful motor. My mom burned out the motor on hers making her famous cookies- it wasn't the better model. I find that you need to keep it going at a high rate of speed once there's a lot of flour added. Don't keep stopping, add it while it's running. This is when that flour shield comes in handy!
The Kitchen Aid stand mixer comes in different colors and in either a bowl lift or tilt head. Mine is the bowl lift.
Oh, and you can get all kinds of attachments that go in that little hole in the front on the top. I don't have any (wish I did!). There are attachments for grinding meat, shredding, and there's even one for making pasta!
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Check out the videos for stand mixers
My Innova Pressure Cooker
Appliance #3: Pressure Cooker
There was a day when you wouldn't really consider a pressure cooker to be a small appliance. But now you can buy electric ones. The one that I have isn't fancy like the new electric pressure cookers. I did a little research on the electric ones, and boy, do I want one! Unlike the stove top variety, you can set it to cook for a certain amount of time and then have it keep the food warm for you until you're ready to eat it. Too cool! But I still love my stove top variety...
Food cooked in a pressure cooks in up to 70% less time, locks in the flavor and moisture, along with the vitamins and minerals. And if you have a friend or relative that is or will be living in a College Dorm, an electric pressure cooker would make a great gift!
As an example, when I use my pressure for making potato salad, I cook the potatoes on the rack (not in the water) for just 3 minutes once the top starts rocking. That's it. Same goes for carrots that I puree in my Kitchen Aid Food Processor. Mashed potatoes didn't come out so great in the pressure cooker though. I don't know why....
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Cooking beans in an electric pressure cooker
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