As a busy mom, you enjoy preparing meals for your family whenever possible, and you also like watching cooking shows on TV. The only drawback to those programs, however, is you often come away feeling like you don't have enough fancy gadgets in your kitchen, or that you need to make recipes with 25 ingredients.
Actually, nothing is further than the truth. It is very possible to adopt a "less is more" approach in your kitchen and focus on a few key items, as well as cook delicious recipes with very few ingredients that your family will love.
Check out the following kitchen essentials and recipe ideas - you will be pleasantly surprised to see that it's not a very long list.
A hot plate
If your stove is on its last legs and you are saving up to buy a new one, or if you sometimes have several pots on the stove at once and need more space to cook, you can't go wrong with a hot plate. Hot plates are so versatile and easy to use, you will probably end up firing it up every day. As a bonus, if you are using your BBQ outside to prepare burgers or steaks, you can plug in the portable hot plate outside and boil water for corn on the cob or red potatoes.
A Dutch oven
When it comes to kitchen essentials, nothing beats a Dutch oven. When shopping for one, select a Dutch oven that has interior and exterior enamel that covers cast iron. Dutch ovens are well known for their ability to braise, roast and slow cook all in one vessel; you can brown a large pot roast in a Dutch oven on your stove and then put the lid on and place it in the oven for hours to create a delicious and tender roast that practically melts in your mouth. You can also use the Dutch oven for basic tasks like boiling water for potatoes, veggies or pasta. And thanks to its enamel interior, you don't have to fuss over seasoning it like with traditional cast iron pans.
Some silicone spatulas
A silicon spatula is the Jack of All Trades in the kitchen. The heat resistant tool is ideal for scrambling eggs or sauteing onions and garlic in a hot pan. Its pliable surface means it is ideal for buttering toast, frosting cupcakes or putting peanut butter on bread, and you can use it to stir spaghetti sauce and soup. Treat yourself to a cute personalized silicone spatula from a place like Etsy; they offer a rainbow of colors and you can have the handle engraved with a cute nickname like Cooking Warrior or whatever you like.
Simple and easy recipe sources
Now, back to those fancy pants recipes that you see on TV and involve ingredients you have to get from gourmet cooking shops. Again, you do not have to go that route to create delicious dishes for your family. Check out All Recipes and their section devoted to recipes that include five ingredients or less and give some of them a try. The salsa chicken, which is made with chicken, taco seasoning, cheese and salsa, can be prepared in a Dutch oven and is something the whole family is sure to enjoy.
It is reassuring to know that you don't have to spend tons of money on a variety of gadgets to be a great cook. Focus on the essentials that can multi task and you will be well on your way to having a kitchen that is stocked with the best and basic tools.