Tuesday, February 08, 2011

the simple successes of suzy-wannabe-homemaker

One of my new year's resolutions was to change my attitude when it came to cooking. This is never something I've particularly enjoyed, favoring going-out-to-eat any night over eating-in. But with two babies on the way, I knew this was going to have to change...and we could either go the easy route...or the painful hard route.

So, I'm in the process of changing my ways...and earning the nickname 'Baby Crocker' from Edgar. Three things have really helped.

Number 1 : The Crockpot
I've always enjoyed the turn-a-shoe-into-a-filet-mignon-quality of this fine piece of kitchenware...but now that I work exclusively from home, I love to smell dinner all day long.
orange apron
Number 2 : A Cute Apron
Do I really need it? Probably not. Does it make me feel like I know what I'm doing. It certainly does.
bread maker
Number 3 : A Glorious Breadmaker
I've been baking bread like a machine....or rather my machine has been baking bread like a machine. Regardless, I love it, Edgar loves it, the two babies-to-be love it....and perhaps more than anyone, Pokey and Reilly love it. No treat would ever encourage them to come back in from a sniff outside the way a pinch of freshly baked bread crust can. I think they might be addicted.

Any other tools of the kitchen you'd recommend?!?


Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

I would recommend a little food processor or blender for smoothies and or pureeing soups. I love mine. And after the baby comes, throwing yogurt and fruit into a blender may be the only way you'll get good nutrition for a few months!

PS - I wish crockputs and bread machines came in those prints!

What I Say Matters! said...

I love kitchen utensils!! They always seem to have some odd shae that makes them seem otherwordly to me! Potato masher? apple corer? those are some of my favorites to use.

P.S. My best friend bought me a apron for a housewarming gift a few years ago.. I laughed... but it really does give you that "serious business in the kitchen" aura!

MaryBeth said...

I would strongly recommend a KitchenAid mixer! You can bake cakes, blend dough ... everything with it! And you can buy attachments that let you make all sorts of pastas and juices. Definitely a good investment. I LOVE mine.

Tim said...

"I've always enjoyed the turn-a-shoe-into-a-filet-mignon-quality of this fine piece of kitchenware"

hahahaha. You're extra clever lately.

Barbara Campbell Thomas said...

I would recommend a cookbook called Simply in Season (green, spiral bound)--really good recipes that are easy and healthy! I'm something of a simple cook myself and this is my absolute favorite book because people think I'm a cooking genius!

Malinda said...

A Zojirushi rice maker (the Japanese style) - The are really, really handy. wash the rice, put in water and hit a button. Exactly my style of cooking.

eileen said...

cute oven gloves Suzanne help ease the pain :) Check out these ones from Dutch design company very popular over here - and very girly!!


suzanne cabrera said...

Y'all are great!!!! LOVING the suggestions! Now, I just need some more counter space.

Tim--I do what I can!

Eileen--Thanks for such an inspiring link. I LOVE the products!!!!

Keep the ideas coming!

donna said...

I just got a crockpot for Christmas so I have been cooking more too! My husband is happy and it really is easy.

Next up for us using the "Artisan bread in five minutes a day" book. I have been hearing great things about it.

Addie said...

my kitchen tools consist of a skillet and a spatula... so there's not much inpiration there.... but i am dying over your vintage fabric illustrated cookware! If only they sold them in prints like that... i'd have to spring for a collection.

Pat said...

I like my pastry blender, which I bought specifically for my favorite scone recipe. Just a stupid little $5 gadget for cutting butter into flour, but it does its job oh so well. As a matter of fact, my roommate uses it for making biscuits, and I may have to search her for it when she moves out.

Danielle said...

I will never change my attitude about cooking & we have a crockpot & bread machine. Lol. But I believe that if anything would maybe help me it would definitely be a cute apron!

imagine:joy said...

A hand blender! I love using mine for homemade soups and applesauce.



TRACEY KAY said...

I don't know that anything beats the crock-pot, even Corey loves to cook with it. However, i do believe my favorite appliance would be the handy dandy waffle maker, yummmm, and i have a feeling your boys will love them too.

See now i want waffles

MoolyBee said...

I came from a line of microwavers, so cooking wasn't a big priority until after the boys came along. When we moved here and I wasn't working full time, I cooked for budget reasons first, entertainment second. Now it's switched around - I love to cook!

My favorite tool is my 5.5 quart cast iron enamel cookpot. Got it on amazing sale and have used it for everything from soup to roasts. I love it because I can sear the meat on the stovetop and then toss it into the oven for an hour and a half, and I look like a genius when dinner's ready.

Same principal as crock pot, but I don't have to think a full eight hours ahead of time - because I'm a Last Minute Louise, this is a good go-to.

Have fun!

Wendee said...

I love (LOVE) my crockpot, and yes, having a cute apron makes a huge difference. I had to give away my breadmaker two moves ago and am still missing it. You seem to be on the right track.

As a total kitchen gadget geek, I also suggest: whatever fun OXO gadgets catch your eye, a good set of knives, one of those high-temp resistant silicone spatulas (I use mine almost daily), a nice spoon rest, pretty/fun/handsome towels, pretty/fun/handsome oven mitts (I'm quite smitten by mine --> http://thefridgedoor.blogspot.com/2006/02/puppy-love.html), and lots and lots of fresh produce/herbs.

Have fun!

Meghan Kaufmann said...


This is seriously my bible. Hundreds of delicious recipes and it teaches you how to cook :)

Amy H-R said...

Definitely grab a silicone spatula and a food processor. The food processor can be a small one. You will use it to make your own baby food (no need to buy pre-made packaged items). The one item I wish I had is an apple corer/slicer. The girls love apples and it is an easy and cost effective way to make a lot of baby food without the hassle of peeling/coring by hand. You can find them for less than $20. Don't forget, with your bread machine, you can make the dough and transfer to other containers for baking. Recently, I have been making lots of rolls for mini sandwiches/sliders. Yum!

Inger Carina said...

Lovely illustrations!! You should start to produce this fabric appliances. I would be you best costumer :D
/Inger Carina