Parenting is hard.
Hell, adulting is hard.
Simple things like making food shouldn’t have to be hard.
And yet, for me, no statement is like nails on a chalkboard more than “what’s for dinner?”
It makes me cringe.
It’s not that I hate cooking. It’s I hate making dinner when I know at least one person is going to complain.
It’s deciding on something that everyone will like, everyone will eat, is relatively easy and still inexpensive.
That leaves like 7 meals and 3 of them are practically the same. (waffles, pancakes, french toast), LOL.
Everyone loves breakfast for dinner.
Eating the same things too often is getting old.
Because of the pattern that developed in our house. I hate deciding what’s for dinner and therefore often put off choosing something until the last minute.
And while I don’t have a simple solution for that problem yet, one of the best ways I can make it easier for me in the meantime is to have the best kitchen tools on hand to make it as easy as possible for our busy family.
This will not fix the picky eater.
It will not help you combat the procrastination and get on a meal plan.
The best meal plan will not work if you drag your feet because you know no one will eat the planned meals.
Believe me, I have made charts and lists so many, many times.
Oh, how I love to plan things out. But I can’t stick with it. There’s always a glitch and I don’t stick to it.
What these small kitchen appliances will do is make the most of your time.
Get those meals on the table quickly and easily without much fuss or clean up.
And get food into everyone without much complaint (hopefully) and get you back to doing other things.
Because dammit, I know your busy, and tired so the last thing you want to do is deal with dinner. Or is that just me?
Now I know all the rage is to have an Instapot as part of this list.
That isn’t going to happen for two reasons. Well, actually 3 since I don’t own one.
The other 2 reasons are one, mixing things together like stews and casseroles is picky eater no no number one. If it was me, well bring it. But sadly, not in this house.
And the last reason is Instapot is just crockpot’s fast cousin.
Oh, I how I wish a crockpot was on this list too, but again mixing ingredients, sigh.
Also, I cannot make a crockpot meal to save my life. I have tried. For over 25 years I have tried. But every meal I make is so dry, I just gave up.
So back to why you’re here.
If you’re a busy, forgetful or sometimes lazy mom, like me these are my favorite small kitchen appliances you can’t live without.
Best Small Kitchen Appliances for Busy Moms
#1 NuWave Oven
I got the NuWave as a gift. And to be honest I was skeptical.
I’m not usually a kitchen appliance junkie.
So I thought it would just sit in the cabinet. Boy was I wrong!
This kitchen appliance saves dinner ALL. THE. TIME.
Because as I mentioned, I totally procrastinate when it comes to dinner.
With the NuWave I can cook frozen chicken breasts or pork loin and still have dinner in a reasonable amount of time.
For the most part, I have stuck to using it when I fail to defrost something. And now because I have the cooking times down pat, I just cook that way.
I can simply throw frozen boneless chicken breasts into a pan or straight onto the rack. Pour a marinade on top and set the temperature and timer.
The chicken is done in 40 minutes.
I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of what can be done with this handy gadget.
With a combination of induction, convection and conduction cooking you can bake, broil, barbecue, roast, grill, steam, sear, and air-fry all in one
With the stacking racks, you can cook multiple items all at once.
Though it’s super easy to clean. I often use a glass pan or cover the racks and bottom with foil to make clean up a breeze.
And recently when my 1956 GE Wall Oven had the heating element burn up and crumble, this was the sole oven in my kitchen for a week until we could find a replacement.
#2 Waffle Iron
This small kitchen appliance just keeps going and going. I’ve had it for at least 10 years and use it close to once a week.
My kids love waffles.
Although I’ve tried to make and freeze them, even my 11-year-old who isn’t picky at all really doesn’t want them unless they are freshly made. Of course, they’ll eat an Eggo. 🙄
Using this and getting a meal out is SO fast.
With a simple batter using Bisquick and this waffle iron I can get set up, everyone fed and the kitchen cleaned up in less than 30 minutes.
This waffle iron cranks them out four at a time, faster than they can eat them.
Clean up is easy, as long as you use cooking spray first.
It might be better with an iron that has pop out griddles, but since it works so well and has lasted so long (it was only $15, but it just keeps going).
If it stops working, I’d try this one, since they don’t make mine anymore.
This is our go-to meal if we need to eat fast and get somewhere. (like trick or treat) It’s filling and fast.
It is also my go-to if I’m at my most overwhelmed or tired. The kids choose to have waffles more than any other meal.
#3 Electric Griddle
Coming in at a close second and third, the kids are huge fans of pancakes and french toast.
With so many pancake recipes out there, you can be sure to find ones that are more healthy than ours. But that’s not what this post is about. 😉
Again just a box of Bisquick and this griddle can put dinner on the table quickly. Though it takes longer than waffles, I can make 6 big pancakes all at once. Throw in some sliced bananas, blueberries or even diced peaches. Yum!
Of course, eggs, bacon, sausage or homefries can add to the meals and cook up great with this countertop griddle.
Though it can’t be immersed in water. I have found clean up to still be easy.
#4 Kitchen Ninja
This is another great addition to our kitchen appliances.
This model can crush ice to snow. Chop and spiralize veggies. Mix and knead dough. And blend everything from smoothies, dips, and purees
We often make smoothies for a quick breakfast. I love the individual 16 oz to go cups that make small portions. This size makes enough for all three of my kids. And with just one cup and the blade, the clean up is so easy.
Someday I will learn to use the other features. Fresh bread without the kneading, frozen drinks by the pool and meals that are more sophisticated than chicken nuggets or mac and cheese.
For now, I’ll take easy to use, easy to clean.
#5 Popcorn Popper
While this isn’t for meals it certainly gets eaten plenty around here.
And the older they get, the more kids who come over.
The amount of snacks they consume gets greater.
Just try having a group of girls over for movies and a sleepover and see how much popcorn they can eat!
And let’s not forget husbands that suck up more popcorn than vacuums.
I remember growing up on Jiffy Pop at my great-grandmas. It was always so much fun to watch that foil grow.
Then there was my grandfather who lived with us. He made the best popcorn ever. He used a stock pot that was only for popcorn. He wiped it clean after but didn’t wash it. Must have been the secret.
So while, these appliances don’t fix picky, or procrastination or give you 365 ways to make chicken, they do offer a way to have to put less time and less thought into getting food onto your table. And for busy, tired moms, we just need simple.
NuWave 20633 Pro Plus Oven with Stainless Steel Extender Ring, BlackT-fal SW6100004 EZ Clean Nonstick Sandwich and Waffle MakerPresto Cool-touch Electric Griddle/Warmer Plus 07023Ninja Mega Kitchen System (BL770) Blender/Food Processor with 1500W Auto-iQ Base, 72oz Pitcher, 64oz Processor Bowl, (2) 16oz Cup for Smoothies, Dough & MorePresto 04821 Orville Redenbacher’s Hot Air Popper
Now it’s your turn! What the best small kitchen appliances can’t you live without?