Going back to school is different this year as many schools shift to distance learning due to the pandemic. In addition to other responsibilities, most parents now need to take on their kids’ schooling and ensure that they really understand their online lessons. If you’re already working from home, […]
Going back to school is different this year as many schools shift to distance learning due to the pandemic. In addition to other responsibilities, most parents now need to take on their kids’ schooling and ensure that they really understand their online lessons.
Set a schedule. Preparing a meal, on top of everything else that needs to get done, can be time consuming. Make sure you have a daily schedule that includes the time you will allot for cooking, uninterrupted work, your kids’ school hours, as well as break time and mealtimes. Once you have your schedule, do your best to stick to it so you can manage your time better.
Plan meals in advance. Save yourself from unnecessary stress by planning the meals you will cook for the family ahead of time. By doing this, you get to save some time by getting all the ingredients you need at the grocery in one trip. Just make sure to plan a variety of dishes that are easy to prepare, flavorful and nutritious.
Invest in the right kitchen equipment. Invest in kitchen tools that can help you save time and cook faster, such as convection ovens, food processors, and instant pots. Also consider kitchen appliances that don’t need too much attention while cooking, like slow cookers. Just put your ingredients in them and they will take care of the cooking process. This will give you more time to focus on your work and kids’ lessons.
5 Clever Tips for Decluttering the Kitchen Table
In the morning, our kitchen table is as clear as a bottle of cleaning vinegar. But as the day continues, things happen—meals are made and eaten; we go and we return, emptying our pockets of keys, coins, and hand sanny each time; my daughter Mimi’s toddler things seem to materialize out of thin air—a sippy cup here, a cardboard zebra there. By dinner time, our kitchen table is covered with bits and bobs.
In Paris, where I live, we’ve recently been through a second lockdown that’s only just easing. The amount of clutter that accumulates increases in proportion to the time spent at home. And it’s driving me batty. So I put my feelers out to find advice from fellow cooks, writers, and friends. Here, some clever and creative tips for winning the battle against clutter on your kitchen island or table.
Table Of Contents
- 0.1 1. Cristina Sciarra, food writer, interior designer (Jersey City, NJ)
- 0.2 2. Arati Menon, senior editor, Food52 (Brooklyn, NY)
- 0.3 4. Eric Kim, food writer, author of the forthcoming cookbook, “The Essentials of Korean-American Cooking” (Atlanta, Georgia)
- 1 2. Skip the boring look
- 2 1. Remember that kitchen tiles need to be practical
- 3 3. Don’t shy away from patterns
- 4 6. Be brave with texture
- 5 8. To color or not to color
1. Cristina Sciarra, food writer, interior designer (Jersey City, NJ)
Here’s how I keep the chaos from taking over:
I keep a Lazy Susan next to the range, for the oils, vinegars, honey, and spices I use most. A magnetic knife strip gives me more counter space; it also allows me quickly to see all my knives. Also, keeping my red dutch oven on the range means it doesn’t take up valuable cabinet space, and I don’t have to lug it anywhere. I use it all the time anyway.
2. Arati Menon, senior editor, Food52 (Brooklyn, NY)
“I have a fairly large island (for a New York apartment) that functions as an entryway table, prep counter, work desk, and dinner table depending on the time of day. Naturally, it attracts—and collects—all manner of random objects.
“The second I had my own kitchen (and the space), I bought a restaurant-grade stainless steel kitchen counter to use as my island, for a couple of reasons:
1) I love that I can transfer anything hot directly from oven/stove to surface without worrying about coasters or trivets or anything; and
Tips for Cooking With Eczema
Keep your kitchen space clean.
Nobody likes a crusty kitchen. Dust and grease cling like expired lotion and accidentally brushing an old food splatter with an elbow is like stepping in dog poop.
Pre-pandemic, I slept over at a friend’s, and, in the morning, she called a house meeting. They set a five-minute timer and aggressively tidied their living space. Stray water cups were cleaned. Spices returned to their rack. Physics-worn paper tucked in the recycling bin.
Minimize excessively washing hands.
If it is not necessary to wash with water and soap, try using hand sanitizer instead. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can dry out the skin as well, but it is enough to rid of germs after touching a communal door knob or microwave door without leaving visible impurities like dirt on hands.
Cook with air circulation.
Growing up in an Asian household, my parents always open the doors and windows and turn on their vent hood. They shut bathroom and bedroom doors, so the scent of ginger and garlic does not linger in our sheets.
9 tips to help you choose your best kitchen tiles
2. Skip the boring look
Even the most devoted minimalist surely wouldn’t opt for an all-white kitchen. Add some character and detail by trying soft grays or warm creams instead of a look that can be deemed way too clinical.
1. Remember that kitchen tiles need to be practical
Who wants to spend hours and hours getting their cooking space spotless? Not you, and that’s why you’re going to opt for a gloss- or satin-effect kitchen tile to help make the cleaning and wiping of spills that much easier.
3. Don’t shy away from patterns
The right pattern can ensure a stand-out design for your kitchen, whether it’s for a focal wall, your island, or the flooring. Depending on your kitchen style (modern, classic…), try playing with vertical, smaller metro tiles for a super contemporary vibe. Or flaunt a fun and charming look with picturesque Mediterranean tiles, perhaps for your backsplash?
6. Be brave with texture
If you’re not one for a subtle and clean kitchen look (which most kitchen cabinets already offer), you may want to try textured tiles. These can be added to inject some strong detail and contrast, for example, a kitchen with an eye-catching floor design which perfectly complements its cabinets’ clean and serene style.
8. To color or not to color
What mood are you looking to create with your kitchen? Serene and relaxing? Sociable and inviting? With the right color, your kitchen tiles can instantly create an ambience of restful relaxation (neutrals and soft naturals like greens and blues), vibrancy (warmer tones like reds and oranges), or just a simple neutral space with the odd color popping up here and there via accessories.
Personal chef shares kitchen hacks you can use over the holidays
Take control of your kitchen, and your health, this season with these holiday cooking tips
It may seem impossible to believe, but the holiday season is nearly here. In this most unusual of years, Thanksgivings and other holiday gatherings will be limited. Some will celebrate with their families; others may partake alone; and others may forgo traditional festivities entirely.
But one thing is more than likely sure: most, if not all, of us will probably spend a good amount of time in the kitchen these next couple of months, especially as a new wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic starts to surge. And, whether or not you are cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving, a ham or feast of seven fishes for Christmas, or a rack of lamb for New Year’s Eve, it is important to follow food safety guidelines and practice good kitchen etiquette to ensure you and your loved ones are safe.
“Clean, clean, clean and sanitize,” she says. “You cannot wash your hands too often and regularly wipe down all counter tops and food contact surfaces. Wash all fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consuming.”
Speaking of bacteria, it is important to remember the “danger zone” for high bacterial growth in food items. This occurs between 40 and 140 degrees, so foods should be stored below or cooked above that range.
“Use a meat thermometer, as appearances can be deceiving,” Davee advises.
“Never put warm stuffing into a chilled, uncooked turkey,” Davee cautions. “This is a perfect medium for bacterial growth. Cook the stuffed turkey well making sure the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.”
“Use separate cutting boards, platters, and utensils for raw meats, poultry, and seafood than you use for fresh fruits and vegetables,” she says. “Store raw meats, poultry, and seafood in a separate drawer or at the bottom of the refrigerator so that they don’t drip on ready-to-eat foods.”
Thanksgiving cooking tips: gravy basics, pumpkin basics and kitchen space [Front Burner]
The recipe that follows calls for less pumpkin, which I think will help with density issues, whether the pumpkin is fresh or canned.
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups neutral oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- 2/3 cup milk of choice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Optional: 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
- Optional garnish: 1/4 cup pepitas
Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease the loaf pans with oil or butter.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
Using a handheld beater or a stand mixer, beat the sugar and oil until well blended and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, plus the vanilla extract, blending until the mixture is thick and somewhat viscous. Add the pumpkin and milk, beating until incorporated.
Gradually add the flour mixture, being careful not to overbeat. If using, add the nuts until evenly distributed.
Divide the batter among the two pans. If using the pepitas, arrange on top as you wish.
Bake until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool for 10 minutes, then invert and finish cooling on a metal rack.