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Kitchen Incentives

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Old 06-22-2009, 09:21 AM   #1
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Default Kitchen Incentives

Hi!

I am looking for suggestions for things that help make it more fun for your to spend so much time in the kitchen. Is there a special piece of equipment that you can't live without? (Or is there something that you regret wasting your money on?) Is there some place where you found an especially wonderful lunch bag or something else that brings a smile to your face when you fill it up each day?

My objective is to set up some rewards for incentive to reach my mini-goals. I am beginning to realize just how much I hate spending time in the kitchen, especially for making lunch to take with me. But, I know that eating out as frequently as I have been is a significant part of my poor eating habits.

Thanks.
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:48 AM   #2
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I've always loved to cook, but one thing I find is crucial is to be organized. Sounds silly, but streamlining things -- having all your lunch tupperware in ONE spot (lids too!), having your lunch bag RIGHT THERE, having a pretty paper napkin to put in, helps enormously for making lunches. And yes, a few pre-packaged treats to toss in when lunch isn't that exciting helps a bit. I'm not a fan of 100 cal packs, but I do have some sugar free jello puddings I'll toss in once in a while. but all the lunch stuff is in ONE SPOT.

Also, when I'm serving dinner, I just make up a smaller plate to take for lunch the next day. What a time saver and MONEY saver!!! instead of me eating those seconds that evening, I save them til the next day Or if we have chicken, I save some to put on the salad the next day - you get the point! You want to make things as EASY as possible to KEEP UP
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:54 AM   #3
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I'm a calorie counter, so I can't live without my food scale and measuring cups!

However, my mom did just give me her older Cuisenart food processor and it is so awesome. I was making a veggie soup and it cut out a lot of the prep time by chopping and slicing veggies for me.

I'm also a big fan of my handheld immersion blender. I love soup and the immersion blender lets me blend my soups right there in the pot which is a lot easier than transferring it to an actual blender. Really a handy device.

Oo, and my airpopper. That is my new best friend for curing nasty late night munchies or letting myself feel a letting indulgent. Air popped popcorn has a lot less calories than the bagged stuff (just don't load it it with butter!).
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:55 AM   #4
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I covet a Bento bag for taking my lunch in.

My greatest kitchen item is a Keurig single cup coffee brewer, that and my 20 ounce stainless steel travel mug. I used to drink A LOT of high calorie coffee beverages from Starbucks and the like, I got the Keurig and now I order flavored coffee cups and use fat free french vanilla coffee mate (25 cal per tbsp) or one of the sweeter coffee mate (35 cal per tbsp) as a treat and I save calories and money. It isn't a traditional cooking item, but as a big coffee drinker I think it is the greatest kitchen item I have ever gotten.
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:02 AM   #5
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Gotta be my mini-chopper/immersion blender (I think it's a krups, but not sure)? It has a couple of attachments so it can be use with a little blade and chopper cup, a whisk and probably something else I haven't used LOL.

I tend to make omelets for breakfast and like to have onions/garlic, so I whip that little guy out, and chop away!!
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:02 AM   #6
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Gotta be my mini-chopper/immersion blender (I think it's a krups, but not sure)? It has a couple of attachments so it can be use with a little blade and chopper cup, a whisk and probably something else I haven't used LOL.

I tend to make omelets for breakfast and like to have onions/garlic, so I whip that little guy out, and chop away!!
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:19 AM   #7
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Besides the other stuff that is mentioned that is awesome- I LOVE my crock pot! If you hate to cook and just want to rest when you get home definitely invest in crock pot recipes!

I just pop everything in the crock pot, turn it on low, come home 8 hours later and tada! Dinner in one pot! You can make all sorts of yummy stews and even if you just want to cook meat. One of my favorite things to cook is meat in a crock pot. I toss in the meat with the seasonings and when I get home I have meat falling off the bone YUM!
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:23 AM   #8
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I love my Keurig coffee maker! I also have a Tassimo, I finally put the Keurig in our camper and the Tassimo in the kitchen. I cant' decide which I like more and only drink coffee a few times a week, sooooo.

My new favorite gadget is the Magic Bullet blender! This is the coolest thing ever!

Oh yeah, forgot my crock pot!!!! I actually have 2 cuz it was always dirty when I wanted to use it so I bought another.
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:36 AM   #9
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The one pan I absolutely love is my Peking pan (like a flat-bottomed wok with a frying pan handle). It has retired my full wok, and I use it for vegetables much more often than I use a regular frying pan. Often, I have meat cooking in the frying pan, and veg in the peking pan. It's so nice to be able to quickly stir-fry some veg, sprinkle it with seasoning, and serve it up, without the hassle of the old wok (which has to be specially cleaned and seasoned, like cast iron).
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:37 AM   #10
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Oh, and I'm another one who loves my immersion blender. I use it for protein shakes for breakfast, and for nice easy "creamy" soups for lunch. It's VERY nice not to have to dig out the blender or food processor sometimes.
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Old 06-22-2009, 02:05 PM   #11
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My favorite has gotta be my crockpot and orange peeler
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Old 06-22-2009, 02:37 PM   #12
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I love my crock pot. I work long hours so I love to come home to dinner already ready. The other thing I love is my food processor. I bought it not long after I started losing weight and it has helped so much. I can't believe I was married 24 years without one. It really helps me get the veggies in our meals.
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Old 06-22-2009, 02:48 PM   #13
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Knives I have some ceramic knives I absolutely love.

Other useful things include toaster oven, crockpot, rice cooker and microwave of course.
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Old 06-22-2009, 02:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melwolfe View Post

Oh yeah, forgot my crock pot!!!! I actually have 2 cuz it was always dirty when I wanted to use it so I bought another.
Crockpot liners are a GODSEND- I hate cleaning mine as well- now I just pick up the liner, toss it out- give the crockpot a quick wipe and it's all clean
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:15 PM   #15
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The best thing you can do for your kitchen is to organize it. I just did this and now I love looking into my cupboards, pantry shelves, and inside the fridge. Clean and organized is the best thing ever!!

I can't live with out is my big "Foreman" like grill. Mine is the kind where the plates come off and go inside the dishwasher. I also have two really great chef knives and a huge cutting board. My digital food scale never leaves my counter and is used for almost every meal. I love my wok for making stir-frys. Today, I just got a new saucepan and a giant saute pan with a lid. I really needed that saute pan now that I think I've become a gourmet cook.

Next on my list is a crock-pot and then a house where I can get a grill. Ohhh the dreams I have for a grill.
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