my go-to “kitchen” tools


posted by on cooking, Crock-Pot, Oakland, quick

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I realize I don’t have a kitchen. The last few months have been full of creative thinking, problem solving and flat out improvising. It’s almost as if I’ve gone back to college dorm life, but with kitchen experience (also minus the ramen).

The few things I have available to me have taught me you really don’t need much in a kitchen … or sans-kitchen in my case. Granted, I have a Pinterest board full of amazing ideas for my dream kitchen with storage and beauty galore. Until then, I refuse to let that mean I can’t cook what I love.

I thought I’d share the important tools I use on a daily basis. I have a microwave, a single hot plate, mini fridge and a crock pot. I was spoiled when we lived in Phoenix and loved that fact that I had an oven, four stovetop burners and so much counter space I could bake Christmas cookies all day. Now I have very limited storage space so life in the “kitchen” is all about shortcuts and experimenting.

Here’s the important stuff!

Spend a little money on a good pan with a lid.
This will be a major player and probably the most versatile. My favorite that I purchased at Target is my Green Pan. Honestly, Target had a huge selection of the Green Pan items but this big guy has been used for everything from quesadillas, burritos and even my one-pot pasta recipe. Did I mention I’ve even reheated pizza (lid on) in this thing? Just for a few minutes on low-medium heat and the pizza crust was perfect next-day.

Green Pan

This is from the Paris range from Green Pan. The nonstick surface is amazing.

Microwave tools are a must.
I know. Nightmares of ramen noodles comes back to me every time too, but I promise this is a short cut you must rely on if you’re going to live without a proper kitchen.

Again, at Target, I ran across a tiny section of microwave tools from Nordic Ware (go America!). Inexpensive and super handy, you’ll find yourself coming up with all sorts of crazy ways to use these. A couple of my favorites that I use on a regular basis:

Vegetable and Seafood Steamer

Love this veggie and seafood steamer. I have yet to cook fish in the microwave (seems completely wrong, even with my current situation) but veggies do amazing in this thing!

Microwave Rice and Pasta Cooker

I use this EVERY day. Cooks rice, pasta and is easily my go-to shortcut when I’m making dishes.

The options at Target weren’t as amazing as what Nordic Ware’s website offers. Those of you attempting this way of living may have better luck ordering directly online.

Add in my coffee pot (a must), some seriously basic cooking utensils and I’m not going totally insane without a full kitchen. I will admit, I would love to throw a batch of cookies into a warm oven but I suppose I’ll have to wait on that.

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