Part Two: 3 MORE Essential Items for Any Kitchen

The last post covered three items I think are essential for any kitchen – but since that post I can’t help feeling I only scratched the surface.

That’s why I’ve decided to create part two, including three more items I couldn’t live without in the kitchen. These are appliances that save me time and stress on an almost daily basis, so are worth spending some money on.

Slow Cooker

slow-cookerIf you want to eat healthily but don’t have time to cook in the evenings, a slow cooker is an essential purchase. These handy little gadgets are really cheap, and you can just chuck some meat, sauce and vegetables in and let it cook all day.

For most meats, especially beef or chicken thigh, the longer you cook the more tender it will be. The only exception is chicken breast, which I’ve found tends to dry out in the slow cooker.

Cordless Vacuum

This might sound a strange one, but buying a cordless vacuum has made my life MUCH easier. Cleaning up after cooking is always an unappetising chore, and it feels like an effort to get out the main hoover just to clean up small messes. That’s why a cordless is such a breath of fresh air – they are lightweight, don’t need to be plugged in and are surprisingly powerful.

I spent a lot of time researching the best models, and ended up going with the Dyson V6 (click here for a list of the best cordless vacuums – it’s the site I used to help me decide). It’s a great little hoover that makes kitchen clean ups much easier, as you can use it on the worksurfaces as well as the floor. I highly recommend it, because it has a lot of suction power – although the dust container fills up quickly.

Quick Paleo Cookbook (Slow Cooker and Regular)

Most people on paleo can list off a set of their favourite cooks and cookbooks, but I’m not too fussy about which book I use. All I want are recipes that are simple, relatively quick (especially for weekday meals) and don’t cost a fortune in ingredients. If a meal takes longer than 30 minutes to prepare, I’m probably not going to make it – so I look for cookbooks with lots of positive reviews that also specialise in fast recipes.

I’ve also got several slow cooker recipe books in my kitchen. It’s true that you can just throw ingredients into a slow cooker and see what comes out, but you’ll get better results if you follow actual recipes. And there’s nothing better than a piping hot beef stew with tender meat to eat on a cold winters evening! I also found the following video helpful when I was first learning to use a slow cooker:

What I’ve Been Cooking Recently

I thought it would be a fun feature to give a quick run-down of what I’ve been cooking in recent days. I have to admit, I’ve been really busy at work, so I haven’t had a huge amount of time. Even so, I’ve managed to put together a few meals, and all have turned out very nice.

  • Beef and sweet potato casserole – this was AMAZING to eat after a long day of hiking in the cold. I highly recommend it.
  • Apple chicken – this was an easy meal to make but very tasty. It gives a sweeter taste to chicken that works really well.
  • Chef salad – if you need a quick salad, this is a good option. It just contains simple ingredients, like an avocado, hard boiled egg, bacon and chicken.

I’d also love to hear what you’ve been cooking. Make sure you link to any recipes so I can try them out!

 

 

3 Essential Appliances for any Kitchen Worth its Salt

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s cooking in a kitchen that isn’t properly equipped. Like any craft, cooking relies on having the right tools for the job. Poor quality tools (or even no tools at all) can make it impossible to cook tasty food in a reasonable amount of time.

Aside from the obvious items, like an oven, good set of sharp knives, pots and pand and so on, there are some essential items I think every kitchen needs to have.

I’m also an impatient person. If I want something from the kitchen, I want it now. So with that said, here are three items I believe everyone needs in their kitchen.

Water dispensers are faster to boil and more energy efficient.

High-Quality Kettle

I don’t understand why people are so reluctant to pay a bit extra for a great kettle! It doesn’t make sense to me – especially if you drink a lot of tea. The best kettles boil much faster, leaving you more spare time to drink your delicious tea.

Even so, I like to go one step further and look for one cup dispensers. These are like the dispensers you find in waiting rooms, and can provide hot water REALLY quickly (far faster than a regular kettle).

I recently bought a Morphy Richards Red Accent, and haven’t looked back since. It reduces energy bills, because you’re only boiling the water you actually need, and it boils water in less than a minute. If that doesn’t sell you on it, I don’t know what will!

Combination Microwave

Microwaves are bad for cooking – at least most of the time. They often make food soggy and unappetising, which is the opposite of what we all like.

What most people don’t realise is that you can buy microwaves with grills and convection ovens included. This means you can cook crispy bacon, baked potatoes and more without worrying about sogginess. That’s why my kitchens always have a combination microwave.

They call it a nutrient extractor for a reason...

Juicer

It’s hard to get all your vegetables, isn’t it? Especially as we apparently need TEN a day, not the 5 we’ve always been told.

To get my nutrients, I use the Nutribullet. Yes, it’s over hyped (it’s really just a food processor, not the secret to eternal life), but it makes it so easy to get your 10 a day. Just chuck in some fruit and veg, mix it up and drink it. Job done.

So there you have it, my three recommended appliance purchases. Have a I missed something? Or do you think I’m an idiot? I want to know in the comments form!