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Tricks to keep your kitchen clean (while you are cooking)

If your family loves to eat as much as mine does then you must be spending a lot of time in the kitchen as I do. When I’m cooking in the kitchen things seem to get out of hand and I can’t stand up the mess. And the mess actually clutters in just a matter of seconds. That is why, over years spent in the kitchen, I have tried to develop some tips that will help me keep things under control.

1. Start in a clean kitchen

My number one rule to keeping order while cooking is to always start cooking in a clean kitchen. This way I only have to worry about the mess I’m going to make. In order to keep your kitchen clean, you can try to clean it each night before you go to bed. I always try to put away the clean dishes, and to put the dirty in the dishwasher, and to stack any leftovers in the fridge. These are some of the main things that I trying to do before I go to bed to have a clean kitchen the next day.

2. Prepare ahead of time

Sunday is the best day of the week that you can use to prepare ingredients free meals that you are planning to cook during the week. I always chop the vegetables that I’m going to use in stir-fries and place them in airtight containers in the fridge. I also make other staples and I freeze them in storage. Basically, what I’m trying to do is prepared all the ingredients that I can which I am going to need the following week to make it easier when I have to go cook for the next 6 days.

3. Clean spills and splats as soon as possible

Whenever I spill something I try to clean it as ASAP because we all know that spills and splats usually harden which makes it harder to clean them later. I’m not saying to clean them with a solution, but just wipe them with a rag to save yourself some time and frustration.

4. Use fewer utensils and dishes

When I bake or cook I try to re-use mixing spoons, measuring cups or bowls whenever it’s possible. It does mean that you need to rinse them quickly and dry them, but it does save time. For some recipes you can skip the utensils and use your own hands.

5. Collect food waste

If you don’t have a lot of counter space, such as me, you can place a large bowl nearby when you’re peeling, slicing or chopping in which you can collect the organic waste. Later you can send this waste into the garbage disposal or, in the warmer months, you can put it in your compost. This trick not only saves space, but it also keeps your counter clean.

6. Cook simple meals

If you want to keep your kitchen clean there are a lot of recipes that do not require a lot of ingredients. There are a lot of meals that can be cooked with only 5 ingredients. Fewer ingredients means that you do not have to prepare ingredients and that you will be left with fewer dishes to wash.

Freshest Bread at Home

What else more captivating having a homemade baked bread at home. With the powerful tricks of a good bread maker, breads can speedily serve with freshness.

I have list of wonderful bread ideas to try with the bread maker at home.

Having a nice bread machine at home, chances are you can experiment with different kinds of bread. I started from scratch, and tried to mix favorite nuts and dried fruits to match the dough mixtures.

My favorite oatmeal strawberry cheese bread, creamy in the inside while very crunchy on top. Once I bake this bread expect a morning spring breeze all over the house. Kids love this bread either.

Banana Choc Bread

Banana chocolate bread, mostly are the bread I baked at least every week. Because we almost have over ripe bananas at the end of the week.

Cinnamon bread and peanut butter bread are also kids favorite. This is a very nice bread to serve for snacks. Good to go with fresh fruits and vegetables mix with a blender.

Almost any kind of breads can be bake in the bread maker. Good choice for me to have different cooking options. I can even adjust the breads softness and crunchiness.

Pulling out fruits and nuts or vegetables available in the kitchen and produce a freshly original taste bread. Even if it’s midnight when groceries are closed, breads can be serve fresh before breakfast. No heavy mixing and messy kitchen at night that will save my energy for the next busy days. This is how a bread maker benefits me and my family.

Having a bread maker at home is an ultimate kitchen helper. Providing the family with freshly baked breads anytime of the day makes them healthy and happy. Thus allowing the kids to enjoy their favorite bread makes them excited to be at home always.

My advice is to check your preferred bread maker well. Analyze how you want it to serve you like the features, functionality and cost. High quality bread makers in the market now provides an outstanding performance when it comes to costumer satisfaction. If you are interested to get the one I’m using check out this review of Panasonic automatic bread machine to see whether it’s for you. Remember, no matter how good it is, it needs to be within your budget and it’s something that you are comfortable buying.

Picture credit: Citrus and Candy

Bakeware For Your Oven

Convection ovens are pricey. Taking care of it while  experimenting various ways of cooking and baking style should matter.

I didn’t know what is the best bake-ware for convection oven. Until I realize after many failed cookies, breads and cakes, even with pies and roast meats that using the right convection oven bake-ware makes a big difference.

Here I have a few list of bake-ware for specific foods. This is based on my experience after several trial and errors:

1. Roast Meats.
Typically I roast beef or chicken just by laying it directly on the pan on a non-convection oven. I was used to it that I do the same procedure with my convection oven. The deal is I have to twist or turn down the meat to allow heat to penetrate evenly. After I’ve learned that the fan that is built in for the convection oven allows heat to circulate inside, I tried this style…

Place the meat in a rack before placing it over the pan. The heat will enable to circulate even beneath the meat without effort and meat deformation. This will also save time on rolling the meat upside down many times.

Banana Choc Bread

2. Dark pans
Foods that needs to be crispier and a little dryness are best cooked with dark pans. Just like summer season wearing dark colors absorbs more heat than warm colored dress are cooler. Same idea when it goes to cookies, pies, bread and pizza crust. Or sometimes, I just throw some parchment paper over whatever pan I found in my kitchen. Convection oven is the best oven for baking cookies, the hot air help to make your cookies dried faster on the outside so that you can still have the inside chewy and goey, yeaahh.

Banana Choc Bread

3. Smooth and shiny pans.
This is best for cakes, cupcakes, brownie, etc. Foods that needs some moist and fluffiness are best cooked with smooth shiny pans.

Banana Choc Bread

I am still experimenting some other foods such as nuts, lasagna and steamed foods as to what is the best way to preserve their freshness and quality. Because I know there’s a lot more to enjoy my convection oven.

Burn That Calories

Struggling hard burning your calories? Not now, there are too many ways to burn your calories. Lots of fitness programs are introduced to help you obtain a perfect body fit.

Before I decide to workout I visit my doctor and seek advice regarding my health. And these are my advice too. Because fitness training programs vary on your capabilities, time, health and goals. Check your health, do you have any health problems? Try to seek an advice from your doctor to avoid complications. Check your available time. How long can you afford to spend time for your training? Is it in the morning? On weekdays?

Although I can do workouts at home I still prefer going to the gym for two reason: I need a professional trainer to check if I am doing it right, and to ensure there are no kids that will disturb so I can concentrate well.

I preferred yoga class an hour a day, three time  a week. I don’t need to much hard muscles, I only want to firm my muscles while I loose weight. Yoga class is calming and relaxing. You exercise not just your body but also your mind and soul. Clear minds helps heals anxiety and depressions. For busy and pressured moms this is a good way to reach out and free your stress.

Plus adding some healthy diet foods makes you burn calories faster. I replace a banana yogurt smoothies over coffee on my snacks. With my homemade baked cereals mix with dried fruits and nuts. I always have this on my bag to pullout whenever I crave for some biscuits or sweets.

There are several ways to burn your calories. You may consider visiting the gym, they have professional trainers and health advisers to guide you with your goals. And too many diet foods for you to try out either. By any means, perseverance and actions are the principal component to achieve any goals.

Picture credit : Ina Todoran lyn tally