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Cooking in a Small Kitchen

My first apartment consisted of four rooms; a living room, combination kitchen/dining room, and a bedroom each the same size, and a tiny bathroom. At first I was worried where I would seat the five adults I had invited for dinner, since all I had was a tiny round table just large enough to hold my cereal bowl each morning. But the real problem presented itself when I looked around at the tiny kitchen, realizing there was no counter space with which to prepare the meal. I soon figured out how to prepare and serve the meal, with each dish served hot, and I didn't even own a microwave oven at the time!

If you're presented with the dilemma of having to cook a large meal in a tiny kitchen space, perhaps these tips and suggestions will help you make your next dinner party a success:

  • Use your microwave. Use a microwave oven whenever possible. Cook baked potatoes in your microwave, heat casserole you've made the day before, and cook entire bowls of vegetables in your microwave. Plan to cook your food ahead of time using your conventional oven, and then heat at the last moment before serving at the table.
  • Cook multiple dishes at once. Use your conventional oven to its optimal capacity. Plan your dinner menu around cooking everything inside of your conventional oven all at the same time, and at the same temperature. For instance, you can cook a meatloaf, scalloped potatoes, asparagus casserole, and apple strudel in the oven all at the same time, at the same temperature. While some of the dishes won't cook as long as others, you can take them out as they finish, and keep them warm inside of your microwave oven.
  • Use a classic help. Use a toaster oven if your large oven is full. Use your toaster oven to heat frozen breadsticks, make pigs-in-a-blanket, cook frozen appetizers, and other small foods.
  • Electric skillets can also help. Use an electric skillet, turned on low or simmer, to keep foods warm as you remove them from the oven, and while other foods are cooking.

Keep your meals simple. Consider using a slow cooker for your main course. You can place all of the ingredients into your cooker the morning of your dinner party, and everything will be ready to serve when your guests are ready to eat. Also, consider using a pressure cooker to cook one or several dishes. While your conventional and microwave ovens are cooking, your pressure cooker will cook meat faster and be ready sooner.

 

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