Tag Archives: Cuisinart

Grill Master

In addition to the relaxation which comes from a managing a minimal family schedule, I find cooking meals easier during the summer months. Hearty, and often complicated meals are replaced by quick burgers on the grill accompanied by an ear of corn. The stress of “what am I going to make for dinner” is lifted because I have the grill.

Grilling is an inexpensive, quick and mess-free meal solution. Perhaps more importantly, it is also delicious! I don’t have to plan ahead, which I appreciate because right now I’m recovering from surgery and caring for a newborn. It is taking all of my energy to simply remain in the moment! At the last minute I can take burgers from the freezer to the grill and have dinner ready in 10 minutes.

In order to simplify this already easy form of cooking, a few years ago I broke down and purchased a dedicated set of grilling tools. I grew tired of digging through my utensil drawer trying to find my metal spatula. Although my kitchen spatula worked, it was not designed for the task of grilling. I grew tired of having the little hairs on my arms singed by the flames and heat from the grill.

Kitchen spatulas feature shorter handles because they are designed for frying pans and griddles. Grilling spatulas feature long handles, allowing the grill master to maintain a safe, and comfortable, distance from the flames and smoke. It took awhile for me to breakdown and purchase the grilling tools, but I haven’t regretted them. It is amazing how the right tool can simply a task.

The grilling spatula in the Cuisinart Deluxe Stainless-Steel Grill Set features a heat resistant, extra long handle and a wide turning area. Using this spatula, I am able to avoid the intense heat and flare ups that are the pitfalls of grilling food. I remain safe, and comfortable, while preparing a quick and easy meal for my family.

The set also has a set of gripper tongs, which are perfect when my husband makes steaks or sausages. My little boy loves the corn holders. Although it isn’t a particularly fun task, I have learned to appreciate the angled cleaning brush included in the set.  The convenient carrying and storage case makes it easy for us to find the tools when we need them. During the winter they are stowed in the closet, but during the warmer months they tend to take up residence in the kitchen with the case conveniently fitting between my refrigerator and cabinet.

The Cuisinart grill set was a fantastic purchase for our grill loving family. Sometimes, breaking down and purchasing the right tools for the jobs makes all the difference.  Happy grilling!

Single-Handed Cooking: A Few Tips

4817475546_b9f4e4b0ab_zStrangely, despite not being able to move my fingers I’ve grown to love cooking.  I’m slow at it, the kitchen looks like an explosion everytime I cook and I’ve burnt myself countless times, but despite all of that I still cook on a near-daily basis.

Not many quadriplegics do it, but I can’t help myself.  It’s in my genes. My mom is one of the best cooks I know. I grew up always envisioning I’d be a fabulous cook like my mom, and I’m dead set on making that dream a reality.

I will admit it’s not easy. A lot of considerations need to be made in order to cook without too much of a struggle. Good thing is that I have some experience under my belt, and I’m here to help. Check out my single-handed (and no finger-movement) cooking tips below.

Make Sure You’ve Got Your Balance

Safety in the kitchen is paramount and making sure you have your balance is huge when you’re cooking.  If you have balance issues, this is the first thing you need to resolve in order to start cooking. I do the “quad-hook” to keep my balance, but other people prefer to use chest straps.  Whenever you end up using, make sure it’s something you can count on.

Use an Apron; Cut Off the Ties

Since I can only use one hand very well while cooking, you can call me the spill queen. I don’t care what I’m cooking, some of it will end up on my lap (flour by the way is one of my arch enemies). Because of this – I love to wear aprons, but they’re not the easiest to put on when you can’t stand up. I cut the ties off my aprons since they’re not necessary (as I’m not standing). Easing, accessible solution.

Prep Everything Before Turning On the Heat

A really important thing you need to do before turning on the burners is to prep everything you’re cooking with first.  It can take longer to do things when you’re arms and hands are compromised, so make sure you have everything poured, measured out, chopped, whatever, and put to the side just like a cooking show. This will make sure you don’t burn anything while taking too long to prep food.

Know Your Limits

Don’t get too cocky and try to make something that you can’t cook on your own safely, say a pot roast in the oven and pulling it out when it’s done, and ending up spilling it on you. The best thing you can do is accept what you can’t do in the kitchen, be ok with it, and instead try to get really good at what you can cook.

Buy Pre-Cut Foods When Possible

To make things easier, look for pre-cut foods is they’re available. Pre-cut vegetables, meats, cheese, potatoes; if it eliminates one extra step from your cooking process it’s a good thing. And don’t feel like it’s cheating either. You have a great excuse; you don’t want to overuse the strength in your arms over the years as you use them.

Get a Sharp Knife

To help your arms along the way as well, a sharp knife will do you good big time. If and when you do have to cut things, an extremely sharp knife at least will make the job a lot easier physically. A lightweight knife is good as well, such as a ceramic knife by a Cusinart.

Maybe you don’t like cooking and that’s cool, but if you do, don’t ever let your disability stop you. I’ve even seen a high injured quadriplegic stir a soup using a very long stir spoon in his mouth; that’s the commitment I’ve seen to the love of cooking.

With a little bit of planning, smart thinking and a few self-imposed restrictions, becoming a decent cook is possible. I’m living proof (and you should try my bread pudding).

What cooking tips do you have?

Products mentioned

– Ceramic knife by Cuisnart

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