If your kitchen is anything like mine we have a love hate relationship.
I love to be in my kitchen cooking up a storm and trying new recipes but sometimes I feel like my kitchen is not on my side. For example the other day I was in the middle of sauteing onions (trying my best to make them translucent) when in my feeble attempt to grab a spoon I hit my head on the corner of the cabinet.
I cried out in fury and pain “dumb door”. In reality, it was my fault for not organizing my kitchen in a way that is customized to me and my habits in the kitchen. Although I would not have thought so rationally as my head was throbbing nor would I want anyone to be that rational at that moment either.
I learned a valuable lesson that day: It’s Your kitchen make it work for you!
Here are my 10 easy steps to make your kitchen work with rather against you.
Step 1: Organize Your Spices.
If you have can’t remember when you bought the spice do yourself a favor and throw it away. My husband very fondly called me a “Spice Packrat” but I am recovered now. Buy new spices and put them in an airtight container. I have found that by using an airtight container the flavor of the spice stays vibrant for much longer. I couldn’t believe the taste of freshly stored pepper! I wanted to shout my discovery from my roof but I didn’t.
Step 2: Don’t be afraid to Ditch the George Foreman.
I have a million different types of kitchen gadgets some are amazing and I love them but there are some like the begrudging waffle maker that sits its very wide appliance butt in my cupboards just taking up space. If you don’t use it donate it to the thrift store or give it to a new cook (they will think the world of you). Or if you are worried about throwing it out and then needing it, give yourself an ultimatum. For example: “If I don’t use this in the next six months it is going in the donation box!”
Step 3: Clean out the Fridge!
I would advise you to do this weekly so that you know what you have and therefore can be efficient when shopping for things that you really need. I usually start by checking all the dates on the products. Toss the expired items, obviously. I move the products whose looming expiration date is coming near to the front of the fridge (my hubby is more likely to eat it that way). I also keep a list notepad on the fridge so that I can write down things I need as I need them. In addition to keeping things up to date in the fridge I am also a stickler for cleaning the inside of my fridge at least once a week sometimes twice a week.
Step 4: Keep Things Labeled
I have about 3 types of flour in my pantry and about twice as many lentils and beans. Keep everything labeled and dated so that you can be sure you are working with only the freshest of ingredients.
Step 5: Keep Your Dishwasher Empty when cooking
I clean while I cook and the best way to do that is to make sure that your dishwasher is empty BEFORE you start cooking so that way all you have to do is rinse the dirty dish and stick it in the dishwasher. TaDa you look so fancy!
Step 6: Keep Your Spoons and Dish Towels within reach.
I don’t like dirty kitchen floors (weird pet peeve) but it is inevitable if I am constantly dripping a spoon with cookie batter on it over to the sink. I have learned my lesson (after mopping my floors more than once a day). I now keep my spoons and dish towels by the area that I am cooking in.
Step 7: Cookbooks in your work station
Have your cookbooks organized in a drawer or cabinet near your kitchen so that way they are easily accessible.
Step 8: Clean your oven
Don’t wait until the last-minute (when the dough is on the cookie sheets) to clean your oven. Nothing is more uninspiring than having to clean the oven! Be prepared and clean the oven BEFORE you make your masterpiece!
Step 9: Make a Mess Bowl
When I am cooking I don’t like to make countless trips over to the trash can, so I nipped that in the bud real quick. Enter my fabulous new trash bowl. My trash bowl’s primary function while I am cooking or baking is to put hold all scraps and trash so that way at the end of my culinary adventures I can make one trip to the trash can and I am done.
Step 10: Dance, Sing and Be Happy!
If you were to spy on me while I was cooking or baking you will see that I am always dancing and singing while I am baking. My philosophy is that it makes the food taste better. This has not been shown scientifically yet but I am sure they are working on it.