Tips and Tricks

Let’s talk about some things I do to make my time in the kitchen easier, in general! 

- I sit down. As often as possible. Stirring something on the stove for awhile? Pull up a stool. Decorating to get done? I do it at the kitchen table. The name of the game is conserving energy and not passing out.

- I wear layers. If you’re anything like me, your body has trouble regulating its temperature. Layers help. 

- Stay hydrated. Seriously.

- Invest in tools that make tasks easier. Here’s where I acknowledge some privilege: I have access to a lot of tools that have been gifted to me, passed down, or belong to my family. Some of these tools are expensive and not everyone can afford them. Which sucks. If you have access to them, I’d highly suggest utilizing a KitchenAid stand mixer, electric can opener, food processor, Slap Chop type appliance, soft grips that can slide over pot handles/spatulas/spoons, thick floor mats. Basically anything that can make standing, stirring, chopping, and gripping easier.

- I try to make sure I schedule downtime before, during, and after projects. I take my time. I take hot baths. I sleep. If that means an activity that could take an hour actually takes a couple of days, then oh well. My health is more important than anything I could make.

- I wear ring splints. They keep my fingers from hyperextending or twisting or dislocating. If there are any braces you can wear to help support your body during activity, wear them!

A NOTE ON FLOUR

Alright, so I know a lot of people swear by making their own blends. And that’s awesome for them! But I’ve found that King Arthur Flour’s All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Mix (NOT their standard GF All Purpose blend*) is more versatile than anything I could put together. The texture of the final product is almost always perfect. It’s also nut free, which is a bonus, and you can find it at most grocery stores (at least in California). I also really enjoy Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour. The end result with Bob’s comes out denser for me for some reason, so I like it for pound cakes and heftier things. I don’t love Bob’s All Purpose Baking Mix; it contains garbanzo bean flour, and you can taste it and it is not pleasant.

That said, I do keep other alternative flours on hand just in case. Almond flour, brown and white rice flours, potato starch, tapioca flour,  etc., along with xanthan gum. But I really only use those for specialty items.

*You can use King Arthur Flour’s GF Measure for Measure, but the Baking Mix already includes baking powder (I usually add more to make everything fluffier) and salt. The GF AP Flour doesn’t contain xanthan gum, baking powder, or salt. You’d need to add those things for baking. So you can absolutely still use it, I just prefer it as a thickener for sauces and such

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© 2020 by Kathleen Burnard