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Cooking Tips For Tiny Spaces
You Don't Need A Lot A Space To Cook Great Meals
I live full-time in a 26 foot RV and my kitchen is very small, but that doesn't mean that I can't still cook great meals and so can you.
I absolutely love to cook, so having a tiny kitchen wasn't going to stop me and it shouldn't stop you either. Whether you live in an RV, a dorm room or a tiny arpartment, here you will find lots of great tips on how to use your tiny space wisely & still cook fantastic meals.
I Love My Toaster Oven
You really don't need a gigantic kitchen to cook great meals, but you do need the right appliances. If you're in a small space like a dorm room that doesn't even have an actual kitchen, choosing the appliances that are most versatile & can do the most things without taking up a lot of room will make all the difference.
Microwave ovens are nice to quickly heat or re-heat foods, but it's hard to cook an entire meal that actually tastes great using only a microwave. Crockpots & slowcookers are also small appliances that you can cook a meal in, but there just isn't a lot of variety in what you can cook in them.
If I was forced to choose between all of my small cooking appliances & could only keep one it would be my toaster oven. I can cook anything in it that I could cook in both the microwave and the Crockpot, plus I can cook foods that don't turn out well in the other two like pizzas & steaks.
Microwave Or Toaster Oven? - Small Appliance Wars
I really wouldn't want to have to live without either one, but for a lot of College kids limited space means they have to choose one or the other.
If You could only have one or the other, which would you choose?
Toaster Ovens - A Small Space Cooking Must Have
Enchiladas are a delicious one pan or even one plate meal, that doesn't require a lot of space to prepare. One of the biggest adjustments in learning to cook in a small space is learning to prepare foods one step at a time. When you have a lot of space it's easy to work on multiple food items at the same time. With small spaces and limited counter space, you have to adjust to making one thing at a time, and then putting it all together when you are ready to serve.
Enchiladas are perfect for this. You can cook beef or chicken taco meat and then put it into a storage container in the fridge until you're ready to use it. The same goes for diced onions, shredded cheese & anything else you like in your enchiladas. I usually keep Enchilada ingredients on hand in the refrigerator at all times, because they are so easy to quickly make into a meal for just one, or a group.
All you need for Easy Enchiladas is: Corn tortillas, Enchilada sauce, diced onions & cheese.
I also keep taco meat for when I'm in the mood for a meat enchilada. I keep my enchilada sauce in a storage container large enough to fit the tortillas in, so when I'm ready to make them I can just dip the tortillas in the sauce, fill them with cheese, onions & meat, roll them up, spoon a little sauce on top then sprinkle on more cheese & cook.
Prep Time: About 20 Minutes
Total Time: 2-45 minutes depending on cooking method
Serves: As many as wanted
- Corn Tortillas
- Enchilada Sauce
- Taco Seasoned Meat * Optional
- Dip the tortillas in the sauce, fill them with cheese, onions & meat, roll them up, spoon a little sauce on top then sprinkle on more cheese & cook.
- The beauty of easy enchiladas is that you can quick cook one or two at a time on a plate in the microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Or you can make a whole pan of them and bake them in your toaster oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Either way, they taste great.
Making The Most Of Limited Space
My RV kitchen is pretty small, but a lot more functional than just a hot plate or toaster oven in a dorm room. I actually have a good sized refrigerator and freezer. It's about half the size of the one I had in my house, but much bigger than those tiny mini fridges. I also have a stove with 4 burners & an oven big enough to roast a chicken in or bake a 9x13 inch cake.
I have a full sized microwave built into the wall above my little stove & a double sink. What little counter space I do have holds my toaster oven, so I use my booth type table for most of my prep work. Also, if I do need extra counter space the toaster oven is light weight enough where I can set in on the couch if I need to.
The biggest issue I've found is that when cooking in a tiny space there just isn't any extra room for clutter. I keep my dish strainer in one of the sinks so I can wash each bowl, dish or pan as soon as I'm done using it. I've also become very adept at creating one pan or one bowl meals from recipes that once required lots of dirty dishes to prepare.
The key to cooking in a tiny space is organization.
Could You Live Full-time in an RV?
Are you ready to hit the open road?
Small Space Cooking Tips
1.) Clean up as you cook
2.) Prep in steps
3.) Stay Organized
4.) Learn one dish recipes
5.) Toaster Ovens Rock!
6.) Don't buy in bulk
Toaster Oven Cheddar Cheese Biscuits
Just like at that famous Seafood restaurant
I love to bake, which is another reason I love my toaster oven, because you just can't bake in a microwave.
Here is my quick & easy one bowl recipe for garlic & cheddar cheese drop biscuits.
This recipe only makes 6-8 biscuits, but you can easily double or triple the recipe for more.
Ingredients in the order I add them to a small mixing bowl.
1 1/2 Cups Buttermilk pancake mix ~ the just add water kind
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt ~ or regular salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the powdered kind in the shaker)
1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
Add Milk or water until just moist (about 2-3 Tablespoons)
Batter will be thick & lumpy. Spoon Tablespoon size drops onto a lightly greased toaster oven flat/cookie tray and bake at 400 degrees for about 10-15 minutes. Once biscuits are lightly browned you can brush the tops with melted garlic butter & cook until done.