cooking

7 expert kitchen design tips to make cooking a delight

“WE SPEND SO much time in the kitchen,” says kitchen designer Marie Browne. “But we don’t ask ourselves, how are we using this space? How could we be using it better?”

For most households in Ireland, the kitchen is where life happens. Not just cooking, but everything from the morning scramble to afternoon schoolwork; from lazy lunches to late-night conversations. 

We asked Marie – a designer with Cash & Carry Kitchens – for her tips on designing a kitchen that makes life easier, not harder. Say goodbye to cluttered worktops and make awkward storage a thing of the past with her expert advice. 

1. First, make your ‘must-have’ list of appliances

The first step, says Marie, is to look at the things that you really need. “That’s where the design process really starts,” she says. And it’s crucial to be realistic. “If you’re a family of four, you don’t want an under-the-counter refrigerator. You need a tall larder fridge, or there’s just not going to be enough space.” 

A good starting point, says Marie, is to look at your daily routine. “Are you only using the kitchen for breakfast and a pizza when you get home? Then you can say, one single oven. But the family that is constantly entertaining, or is multigenerational with parents and adult children also in the house – then you probably need two ovens. And maybe also select a combination microwave oven as a third.”

If you do this, rather than just including the ‘standard’ appliances, you’ll avoid missing any essentials – or overspending on appliances you don’t really need.

2. Then, imagine yourself in your new kitchen

To begin orienting the room, and to ensure that it reflects your needs, Marie suggests visualising yourself in it. “I would be saying, you’re standing at the

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Hints from Heloise: Thrifty cooking ideas | Columnists



Heloise 9.28

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Dear Heloise: I am thrifty in the kitchen. I rarely discard cooking water from any vegetables and even save pasta and potato water. In the fall, I make tasty vegetarian soup from all these liquids; add tomatoes, vegetables, beans and or grains/pasta.

When my carrots got a little too old, I cooked them in enough water to cover, drained and pureed them in a blender, using the cooking liquid to get consistency. I froze the carrot puree in ice cube trays. I added several cubes to soup, stews, sauces, etc. Other things to freeze in ice cube trays: pesto, pimentos in their liquid, mashed bananas for smoothies, broth and tomato paste. — Reader in Ohio

CRUMBS

Dear Heloise: After family gatherings we find ourselves with small portions of various crackers, pita chips, etc. I grind them up in my blender and use them for breading pork chops, chicken or topping on casseroles. There is generally enough salt and spices for a great taste. No more waste. — Marlene P., Riverside, Calif.

Dear Marlene, using those leftover bits of snacks for breading, etc., is a great idea. — Heloise

SPICED TEA

Dear Heloise: I used to make your spiced tea and loved it in the evenings while I read a book by my fireplace. It was so relaxing for me. When we moved to a cooler climate again, I remembered how much I enjoyed those evenings, but in the move your recipe was lost. Could you reprint that for me and for people who enjoy tea? — Rita in Nebraska

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Ina Garten gives a tour of her kitchen, shares design tips for optimal cooking

It’s the perfect time of year to cozy up with some comfort food, and Ina Garten has some tips to make your fall and winter cooking as easy as possible.

The Barefoot Contessa, as she’s known in her popular Food Network show, stopped by TODAY’s fourth hour on Tuesday to show co-hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager around her East Hampton kitchen and offer some design advice.

“When I’m designing a kitchen … I think of setting the stove, the sink and refrigerator in a triangle so you can move around really well,” she explained, adding that in her own kitchen, these three appliances are “really close together, but they also have a lot of workspace in between.”

“I always like the sink to have a really nice view,” Garten, 72, continued. Her kitchen sink points to her beloved garden where she grows fresh produce and hosts outdoor dinner parties.

The “Modern Comfort Food” author also showed how she leaves her everyday items out on the counter but arranged “in a neat way.”

“I’ve got all the utensils … I have silver spoons for tasting and stirring, and whatever ingredients can just sit out, and knives,” she said.

But her design genius doesn’t stop there: The former White House budget analyst also provided some know-how on putting together a stunning cheese board — with the ingredients she had on hand.

Ina Garten’s Cheddar and Chutney Grilled Cheese by Ina Garten

“You can go into your pantry and see what you have,” Garten said. “I always like something right in the middle as a block, and then I put things around, colorful things like apricots. I’ve got two different cheeses, one creamy, one blue.”

“I think very often people put apricots everywhere and then they put figs everywhere, but you

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OUR NEIGHBORS | Job Corps kitchen duo says cooking for others can be form of love | Features

Barbara Bishop and Carol Laster believe cooking food for others can be an expression of love, and when you cook for hundreds of people a day, there’s a lot of love to go around.

Bishop, 63, and Laster, 61, both of Manhattan, have each worked in the Flint Hills Job Corps Center’s kitchen for more than 20 years.

Bishop began working part time at the Job Corps, a technical education training program, in 1997 after she retired from the military. She and her husband became stationed at Fort Riley in 1991, though both are from Arkansas, and have stayed in the area over since. Over the years, Bishop eventually worked up to becoming the kitchen manager.

Laster, the lead cook, initially began working at the Job Corps around 1993. The Baltimore, Maryland, native said she initially moved to the area in the early 90s to be closer to a family member. There were a couple years in between that she worked elsewhere, she said, but she returned to the Job Corps afterward.

Bishop is responsible for overseeing the overall management of the kitchen and helping where needed, and Laster executes the ideas and day-to-day cooking with the help of four other kitchen staff.

“We have students here from all walks of life and most will tell me what they like to eat or what they eat in their country, and they just give me a recipe,” Laster said. “They just give me an idea for it and I just research and make it.”

Before the pandemic, the kitchen staff served about 600 people a day for breakfast, lunch, dinners and snacks. Now, however, they serve about 75 because fewer students are living on campus. While Bishop said she can’t wait to reopen fully and see everyone, she is taking advantage

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Enthusiasts suffer cooking burnout 6 months into stay-at-home life, look for fresh ideas | Pune News

Pune: After participating in various social media challenges that gained momentum when the lockdown began, enthusiastically baking, plating and taking ‘Insta-worthy’ images, people are at their wit’s end trying to keep things interesting in the kitchen.
Six months after staying home, people are going through a cooking burnout. “I love to cook, but thinking of what to make has become frustrating of late. We’ve tried many different recipes from various cuisines — Mexican, Spanish, African, and so on, to shake things up between regular Indian home food. But even that has become boring now,” said a cooking enthusiast in the city.
Chef and restaurateur Rachel Goenka said, “It’s unfair to burden one person with deciding what to cook. We usually plan a menu in advance for the week. We think about splitting up the week into vegetarian and non-vegetarian days or deciding on what day you would like to cook certain protein. At my house, Sundays is always about biryani.”
A meal plan can also help a person alternate between carbohydrates — rice and roti. Introduce variety by adding ground oats, ragi, buckwheat, grated paneer or vegetables to the dough, the play of colours and textures could spruce up a meal.
Chef Irfan Pabaney added that sticking to a weekly meal plan takes effort. “And the family isn’t helpful at all,” he said, adding, “The key is to be fairly well-stocked so you can wing it. Challenge yourself to make three things a week that you’ve never made before. Make a heavy-ish lunch with Indian food and a lighter dinner that could be anything from a stir fry, pasta or a salad. Cold cuts, sausages and eggs help tremendously. Finish your dinner prep between 4-6 pm so that putting everything together doesn’t take time,” he said.

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