Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Kitchen Tip: Cooking-at-Home Made Easy - Pt. 2

A rotten cold has been making its way through our household and today, it is my turn. I feel pretty yuck right now and I'm not thinking very clearly, so this post will be short and hopefully it will also make sense, lol.

Last week I shared about how keeping my kitchen clean helps to make it so that I can cook at home without feeling overwhelmed. This week, I'm going to share some thoughts on organizing a kitchen to make baking easier. Sometimes we don't bake because the thought of rounding up all the dishes, utensils and baking supplies from their various resting spots can be a pretty big chore. I know that sounds silly, but really, if you have to open up every cabinet in search of measuring spoons, bowls, mixer, measuring cups, baking pan, ingredients, etc, then once you make finish, return everything to its place again, it can overwhelm to the point of preventing you from even starting.

My tip is to make centers in your kitchen, much like the centers in a preschool or kindergarten classroom. Take a cabinet and put all of your baking items in it - bowls, measuring stuff, mixer, flours, baking powder, chocolate chips, cinnamon, vanilla extract, etc. And try to locate the cabinet right over the space you will be working. That way, you can open the cabinet and get right to work with out having to drag things across the kitchen. You can even keep smaller things together in a plastic bin inside the cabinet to keep things neater. It may sound silly, but it is psychological - the fewer things you have to move to do something, the more likely you will be to do it. Think of it as a mis en place like in a restaurant kitchen. And you can do this with other tasks you do regularly in the kitchen like a tray with all of your oils and vinegars neatly arranged near your stove or all of your aromatic veggies kept together in a container in the fridge (or on the counter or pantry) so that you don't have to search the whole fridge to make a onion and garlic saute.

I hope that made a little sense. Now I think I'm going to go back to bed and try to get well so that I can check out all of the other tips at Tammy's Recipes.


Brandi Cannon said...

I actually do this and it does make baking and cooking in general so much easier. Getting organized in the kitchen makes it more fun to cook. Thanks!

Rebecca said...

Amen! Now if I could just get those who put away dishes to put the *baking* utensils in the jar near my *baking* section and put the *cooking* utensils in the jar by my *stove* I'd have it made!

But what am I doing complaining?! I have them trained to put away the dishes!!!

The Book Lady Online said...

Thanks for the nice comments :o) I guess my next step needs to be to train my kiddos to put away the dishes :o)

SFeldt said...

When we redid our kitchen ourselves I spent a lot of time thinking about zones because my kitchen is long and skinny. The only thing I couldn't fit close to everything else was the fridge because the door blocks the path. Almost everything is at a hands reach away.