On Cooking: Is your kitchen functional and inspiring?

Make it a goal in your home to open up a cookbook once or twice a week.

Everyday we use our kitchen to prepare meals, so it only makes sense that this area of your home should be functional and appealing if we expect to be successful.

Is the environment welcoming? Do you enjoy the atmosphere of your kitchen?

Let’s start by making some simple changes that do not have to be overly expensive.

The first and most easy step is removing clutter. A cluttered work area is not inspiring.

It is nice to have objects in your kitchen that are of decorative value, but make sure that these things are not taking over your kitchen.

The next step is functionality. Keep one area cleared that will be always be used for a cutting board. This space should have easy accessibility to your knives and perhaps your sink or stovetop.

Knives are best kept in a knife block, where they can be simply removed and returned every time you use them.

If your counter space does not allow the room for a knife block in this preparation area you have chosen, then consider purchasing a magnetic knife strip that mounts on the wall.

Another solution would be a knife holder that slides into a nearby drawer. The main thing to keep in mind is that knives should not be stored loose in a drawer. This is not only dangerous, but also detrimental to extending the life of the sharpness of the blades.

The next area to focus on is the accessibility of other kitchen utensils and equipment. A canister with an assortment of wooden spoons, spatulas, and other tools works great.

Where your pots and pans are stored is just as important. If you have the money and space, consider buying a hanging pot rack. This will not only make them more easily accessible, but also provide protection to non-stick surfaces by not having them stacked on top of each other in a cupboard.

Other areas to consider for ease of use would be the accessibility of your spices and pantry.

The refrigerator and freezer can also be coordinated to contain the perishables of the same cuisine. Motivation to focus more on cooking certain cuisines in your household will start with having the ingredients at your fingertips.

Organizing or redecorating a space in your home will always entice you to spend more time in that area.

This can also be taken to the extreme, if your budget allows, by refinishing the cupboards, buying new appliances, and adding a new coat of paint. Sometimes all it takes it a little extra lighting to create a more open and inviting space. Easy to install under-cupboard, wireless lights can now be found at reasonable prices.

The simplest of all culinary resolutions, however, is to blow some dust off your cookbooks and start making some new dishes.

Whether it is of small or large proportions, we all have collections of cookbooks, with many of them going unused. Make it a goal in your home to open up a cookbook once or twice a week, and try a new recipe.

Happy Cooking.

Chef Dez is a chef, writer and host. Visit him at chefdez.com.

Just Posted

Widows support group celebrates 25 years in Maple Ridge

The group was formed in 1993 as a support for women widowed or divorced

Maple Ridge council to consider three ALR exclusions

Pelton, Davison and Poszar farms all proposed for development

UPDATE: Hammond pool reopened

Hamond Pool was closed temporarily on Sunday due to an unplanned maintenance issue

Serial killer Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec: victim’s family

Pickton was convicted in December 2007 of six counts of second degree murder

Celebrating National Aboriginal Day in Maple Ridge

Events in Memorial Peace Park on Saturday

Man facing charges after baby food stolen from Richmond doorstep

A 40-year-old man is facing several charges

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Murder of Paul Bennett – a respected Peace Arch Hospital worker and ‘champion of sport’ – ‘not random’

10 of TransLink’s most used SkyTrain routes

TransLink released its 2017 Transit Network Performance Review, offering snapshot of ridership

Serial speeder clocked going 138 km/hr in 90 zone

Driver had their vehicle impounded

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

VIDEO: Plane crashes in Langley farm field (updated)

Plane lost power shortly after takeoff, RCMP told

Most Read