Making dinner with a toddler in tow isn’t always easy. Sometimes it can be down right tough.
Sure, there are good days. Some days are easy. Some days she just happily entertains herself. Sometimes, every once in a while, her dad will hang out with her while I make dinner.
Most days are nothing like that, though.
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Most days consist of screaming, crying, tears, and some part of her body getting stepped on or smashed (I swear I’m not a bad mom…).
She can’t really talk yet. I mean, she thinks she can and she rambles on as if I speak 1 year old, too. I don’t have to deal with the questions and pestering like I will when she’s older. But I still have to deal with her being a complete, well, pain in my ass.
All I’m trying to do is make food. Food for YOU! Come on! Give me a break!
I’ve come to learn that certain kitchen tools are complete lifesavers now that I’m the mommy to a walking and almost talking toddler. There are a few little gadgets that I can’t imagine life without anymore! If it wasn’t for them, I’m not sure how either of us would survive that hour before dinner…
(I’ve also come to learn that my mom had way too much patience. Every time I make dinner, I find myself questioning how I made it through my childhood alive and not murdered.)
I’d honestly be shocked if every mom didn’t already know how amazing this is. I LOVE my slow cooker. I use it at least once a week. In the fall and winter it definitely gets more use. I like to prep all my ingredients the night before while Bee is sleeping. Then I just throw the ingredients in at 9am and ignore it while it cooks the food and fills my house with super yummy scents for the next 8 hours! Bee is always really happy at 9am, so she isn’t begging for my attention when I’m getting it ready. If you’re not going to be home 8 hours after you start it, that’s okay because there are fancy shmancy slow cookers with TIMERS on them like this one! Oh, and if you use slow cooker liners, clean up is a breeze. Just throw the bag in the garbage and you’re done!
Do you have any idea how much easier it is to chop stuff up when you have a food processor? I didn’t until this year! The food processor is an amazing invention. I just throw all the veggies I need to chop up into the processor and away it goes. Chops the veggies up into big chunks or chops them super fine. Whatever I tell it to do! There are even small food processors like this one, so you don’t have to pull out the big guns for 2 tomatoes.
While we’re discussing chopping up veggies, let’s talk about the mandoline slicer. It’ll slice up pretty much anything you ask it to. Tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, radishes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, apples. It cuts meal prep time down significantly! Which is always a plus when you have a kid (or kidS!) whining, crying, screaming, yelling, running around the house or getting in the way.
I remember my brother and his wife got one of these as a wedding gift 6 years ago. I’d never seen one outside of a store before, so I was really intrigued. My brother got an elk that year and I remember him telling me about how great it was cooked on his indoor grill.
I’d been telling Hubby it would be a neat gadget to own, so he got one for me on my birthday this year. I was pretty excited to try it! And, although it’s just this little guy and one day we’ll need to upgrade, it’s officially become the only way I want to cook chicken breast! It takes about 10 minutes to cook 2 breasts (which is all I ever make) and clean up is super easy. The icky-ness wipes off of the nonstick surface without much of a fight!
Not only does it cook chicken breast & elk steak, I found this list of 17 things I didn’t know I could do with an indoor grill… like bake cookies and grill peaches!
I have an 8-ish year old version of this griddle and I LOVE IT. Just this last weekend I cooked 8 pieces of french bread at the same time.
I’ve used it to cook pancakes, chicken breast, steak, grilled cheese, quesadillas… pretty much anything I’d normally grill on the stove. I can cook large amounts of a specific food in the same amount of time that it would take me to cook 1 or 2 on the range. The electric griddle is definitely a lifesaver any time I have to cook dinner for company! And I’m sure if our family grows larger than just the three of us, this thing will become invaluable.
What kitchen appliances or gadgets could you not live without? What tools make making dinner easier? Let me know if I’m leaving anything out!
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