As the Recipe Development Specialist for Stonewall Kitchen, I spend a lot of my time cooking at work – developing new recipes using our products, testing potential new baking mixes, preparing food for photography and more. One question I get asked all of the time is, ‘Do you ever cook at home since you’re always cooking at work’? The answer is YES! I love spending time in the kitchen, whether it be creating meals at home or at work. With a husband in the restaurant industry and a 4 year old and 6 year old at home, time is precious and keeping organized in the kitchen allows me to be as efficient as possible when cooking. Here are my top 3 tips to keeping your kitchen organized and ready for cooking!
- First and foremost, keep your knives organized and protected! Having good quality, sharp knives can make all the difference in the world.. Now, good quality does not have to mean expensive. There are many knives available at low price points that do the trick. In fact, one of my favorite go-to knives I use at home is on the less-expensive side but I love it because it fits my hand well and stays sharp. We have a plethora of options at our home due to our careers, but I suggest making sure you have, at minimum, an 8” Chefs Knife, a serrated and a small paring knife stored within reach of your prep area.
- Keep your cooking essentials within reach! There are many people that hate having items out on their counters. I am one of them, however I do always keep my cooking essentials within hands reach of the stove. For me, that includes a quality olive oil, a high-heat cooking oil (such as avocado for searing), fresh garlic, plenty of kosher salt, a pepper grinder and a few vinegars I find myself using often. Other things that often make it to my essentials are flavored oils (truffle and garlic are my favorite), flavored salts, seasoning blends and honey. Having these nearby to grab as needed will cut down the time spent searching through cabinets to find what you need.
- Keep your cleaning area clean! This sounds counterproductive, and even slightly impossible sometimes! But ensuring you have an organized, clean area to do your dishes is so important. I store my kitchen towels right next to my sink for easy access. I also always make sure to have a bottle of hand soap, dish soap and lotion nearby. All of the washing that goes on makes for dry hands - so I always make sure to put on lotion when I am done doing the dishes to prevent that. With 2 small children, we do a lot of dishes - so organization is key!
I find that having an organized kitchen helps make cooking and baking much more enjoyable. You have more time to focus on what you are doing and spend less time searching for the things you need. Happy Cooking!!