Useful Kitchen Gadgets for Busy Moms

So a lot of moms that I talk to are more than a little nervous about having the kids home ALL DAY FOR 3 MONTHS. Yes, we need to keep them entertained, but just as important (and sometimes more for those of us whose kids get hangry) we need to keep them fed.

I definitely get into a rut- my son has had a ham and cheese rollup for a week straight now because A. it is easy and B. it isn’t horribly unhealthy. I need to switch up the routine. Oh and for dinner? I have been taking the “easy” way out and having my husband grill, but if he gets home late from work…we all stare forlornly out the window waiting for the garage door to open. How pathetic, I know.

So I was at my parent’s place in Michigan, and my mom has all these amazing gadgets. I was trying to make chicken pot pie and needed cooked chicken. As usual, I waited until the last minute and didn’t have time to heat up the oven and wait the eternity for it to cook. MY MOM THEN COOKED IT IN THE MICROWAVE. I freaked out and told her how disgusting it was going to taste, but um…as so many moms do, she proved my crabby ass wrong. It was delicious, super juicy, and literally took 10-12 minutes.

This is what she used:

Stoneware Covered Baker

THEN we needed to make sandwiches to go, and she had this awesome gadget…which makes a similar version of Uncrustables. My plan? Make a bunch of PB&Js and freeze them to go. It also makes tarts and pastries:

Cut and Seal

So I finally had to ask her where she got all these super cool gadgets that I didn’t know I needed until now. Turns out one of her best friends is a Pampered Chef Consultant (and my mom was also her high school cheerleading coach, hilarious to think about!). She gave me her top picks for busy moms (in addition to those mentioned above, which are included in her faves):

Apple Slicer – Quick and easy way to slice and core apples.  Serve plain or with peanut butter dip.
Kernel Cutter – Take corn off of the cob quickly.  Great for kids who don’t like to eat corn off of the cob or for kids with braces.
Corn Butterer & Nobs – For those kids who do like to eat their corn from the cob, the nobs make it easy to hold the hot corn.  The butterer shapes the butter to the cob.
Fruit & Cheese Cutter– Cutter with 4 shapes to use for cutting fruit, cheese, meat and bread.  Make food FUN!!  Fruit kabobs, shaped mini sandwiches, meat or cheese for making  your platters pretty.
Veggie Wedger – Use to cut tomatoes, pepper etc. into wedges.  My kids used to like their oranges cut into “orange smiles”, wish I would have had this tool when they were young.
French Fry Cutter – Make your own healthier regular or sweet potato fries.  Bake them for a healthier version.
Microwave Chip Maker – Slice potatoes, sweet potatoes or apples this with our simple Slicer and make crispy chips in the microwave.  So quick, healthy and yummy.  I also cut up tortilla shells to make my own tortilla chips.
Manual Food Processor – Make a batch of salsa in under a minute. (regular with my homemade tortilla chips or mango salsa with tortilla chips sprinkled with sugar & cinnamon).  Also great for smoothies and making your own baby food.  Small and compact, no need to drag the large Food Processor out from the back of your cupboard.
Cool & Serve Tray – comes in 2 sizes.  Has an insert that you can put in the freezer.  Keeps your fruit, veggies, dip etc. cold for 4 – 6 hours.  Great for taking snacks to the beach, sporting events.
Quick Stir Pitcher – This pitcher has a plunger that makes it easy to stir up your juice, lemonade (or margaritas for Mom!!)
Brownie Pan – This pan has 12 individual wells so all of your brownies have the crisp edges.  Great for brownie sundaes.  Lots of other uses, individual meat loaves, pineapple upside down cakes, pizzas, sliders and lots more!

If you are interested in any items, I am hosting an online party that ends June 26th. There is no pressure to buy anything, just thought I would throw it out there! (I tried sales a few times and failed horribly…um…Mary Kay Dropout!! They scared me to death with their almost cult-ish devotion and insistence that I harangue every acquaintance with a beauty routine diatribe. No disrespect to MK reps- I just had a bad experience with a particular person. Cyndi and Pampered Chef? So not like that).

To browse/buy, check out the link to find my show-
Look for “shows you are invited to” then….
Enter my First Name: Cheryl 
Last Name: HansonLeahy
Annnnnnddddd….shop! Make sure to put your shipping address in (unless you want me to hand deliver your items when I get around to it….like, sometime in December?)

I also asked Cyndi about becoming a Pampered Chef Consultant just in case anyone was interested. Me? I am horrible at sales, I literally almost got fired from my first sales job for just giving everything away for free. It seems like a great gig, though, for people who like to make their own schedule and are social! Here are her answers, feel free to get in touch with her via the “contact me” link on her site; she isn’t a “let me track you down until you join” type like OTHER direct sales consultants!

There are so many things I love about being a Pampered Chef Consultant.I make my own schedule (I can work around sporting events, recitals, choir & band concerts, etc.)Great $ commissionLots of perks – trips, jewelry, free products, Pampered Chef logo itemsLots of new friendsIt is the best job ever…..where else can you go to work and be with a group of fun people who are eating, drinking, laughing, having fun….and you get paid for it?!?!
Pampered Chef has been in business since 1980.  As food trends change, Pampered Chef strives to keep up with the latest trends.  We currently have gluten free, vegetarian and vegan recipes.  In this day and age where it takes 2 people to run a household, our products are geared toward use by women AND men.  There is so much opportunity with the Pampered Chef.  We’re always looking for people to join our team…Those who love to cook,Those who hate to cook!  Stay at home Moms and DadsNurses, teachers, secretaries,  ANYONE!!  It’s a great full or part time business that can be started for $99 or $159!!

Thanks for your time Cyndi!! I will post some awesome recipes soon 🙂