With more time on my hands, I’ve become more creative in my culinary adventures. Have you? My husband has been so patient with me and all my experimenting. Thankfully, he will try just about anything, and he loves leftovers! (Yes, I really did marry the perfect man.) Today, I’m sharing some of the empty nester kitchen gadgets I’ve either discovered or rediscovered in this stage of life. They make empty nest cooking easier, help you right-size your portions, and make cooking for one or two lots more fun. Forward this post to your hubs if you want him to give Santa the scoop!
After you guys asked me to post more about cooking in the empty nest, I posted about how much I was using this little slow cooker. (Priced under $15!) It’s the right size when you’re cooking for one-three people. I also linked to a couple of cookbooks specifically geared toward cooking for two in that post. (I’ll also link them here in case you’re interested.) They’ve really helped me not overcook.
Since that post, I’ve discovered a couple more kitchen gadgets that I just love! The first is this little rice cooker. It only makes 3 cups of cooked rice, but I’ve found it’s the perfect size for us. While I do use it for rice sometimes, I’ve mostly used it to cook quinoa. With a non-stick interior and a removable bowl, clean-up is a snap.
The second is one I’ve put on my Christmas list. (Okay, I’ll ‘fess up. I already bought it and put it on Bob’s side of the closet so he can give it to me! Do you do that too?) It’s a mini-food processor, and it’s just the about cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I’ve been totally into making homemade guacamole lately, and I think this is going to be the perfect tool. (Avocados, I’m coming for you.)
The next kitchen gadget I’m going to try? The instant pot. This one is the perfect size for cooking in the empty nest. Have y’all gotten in on the craze? If so, please leave me a comment and give me some advice on how to get started. Do you think I should just go ahead and get this for myself for Christmas? Ya’ know, to help Bob out and all. Thoughts?
I’ve also fallen hard for a few other empty nester kitchen gadgets. I use this Handheld Spiralizer by oxo to make veggie noodles. (If you substitute veggie noodles for pasta it’s the equivalent of a nutritional home run.) This Immersion Hand Blender is just the best for making smoothies in the morning or frothing up some milk to top off your coffee. Finally, this Herb Mincer makes mincing cilantro (my favorite!) or other herbs super simple. You can also use it to make homemade salsa, which is the next thing on my list to try. Now if I can just have the self-control not to snag my mini-food processor from Bob’s side of the closet. Sigh.
The apron I’m wearing in the photo above was a gift. My friend had one monogrammed for me and also a matching one for Bob. What a great gift idea for couples! It’s on sale right now and under $15. Since it’s red and white striped, it not only looks festive at Christmas, but it works for July 4th, Labor Day, and Memorial Day cookouts too.
What kitchen gadgets do you love? Leave me a comment and let me know.
P.S. BTW, since we’re talking kitchen gadgets—my college-aged kids are crazy about this quesadilla maker and this panini maker. You might want to check them out if you’ve got kids that age to buy for this holiday season. Oh, to be young and have a high metabolism once again, amirite?
SHOP THE POST
(Click the images for more information.)
Photo by Megan Weaver.