2013 Valentine’s Gifts for a Busy Mom

valentines gifts for mom “If I got my wife something for the kitchen on Valentine’s Day, I would be sleeping on the couch.” This might be your first thought. And, it is true that at first, she might be a little put off if you get her something to cook with instead of two dozen red roses. However, what if you got her something that would reduce her time in the kitchen, then she gets to spend more leisurely time on the couch reading the latest bodice ripper and eating bon-bons?

If all you have are pots and pans, the head chef in the family may be spending too much time and effort in the kitchen. And, the rest of the family may be missing out on some great meals. What if you could get one or all three cookers to update her cookware arsenals?

cuisinart-msc600-slow-cooker

cuisinart-msc600-slow-cooker

The Beauty of the Slow Cooker – Set it up and forget about it

I remember many things about my dear departed grandma. Her salt and pepper shaker collection. Her crocheting hobby (I still use the blanket she made for me). Perhaps more than anything, though, I remember that she was a great cook. I still remember her pot roast—all you needed was a fork to cut through that roast like it was butter.

A few months ago I decided to try to replicate that, and bought my own slow cooker. What I really like about my slow cooker is that I can take about 20 minutes on a Sunday morning to peel and cut potatoes and carrots, prepare the roast, and put it all in the slow cooker. That’s it. Seven hours later, with that delicious roast smell in the air, and exhausted from a full day of cleaning and other mommy-type duties, dinner is ready to go. And, sorry grandma, but my roasts taste just as good as yours did!

The Speed of the Pressure Cooker – Don’t be scared even though that pot may seem alive (and angry!)

kuhn-rikon-3344-pressure-cooker-img

kuhn-rikon-3344-pressure-cooker

Meatloaf is an American comfort-food favorite, and it’s no different in my house. The problem is that for some reason, it takes forever to cook it in the oven. I live in a high-altitude spot, and perhaps that’s why. Whatever the reason, it is pretty annoying to have to keep checking on it, and seeing if it is done.  And, I feel bad wasting all of that oven-energy as it cooks and flush the money down the drain in energy bill. 

Whereas a slow cooker is….well, slow, a pressure cooker is incredibly fast. It can make a yummy meatloaf in about 15 minutes—when you think about it, that’s faster than cooking a frozen pizza at the end of a busy day. With all the modern pressure cooker designs and features, you don’t have to be scared about using one. Some of them are whisperingly quiet and it’s fool-proof to use. Yeah comfort food!

The Versatility of the Rice Cooker – Not just for rice anymore

zojirushi-ns-tsc18-10-cup-rice-cooker

zojirushi-ns-tsc18-10-cup-rice-cooker

If your family loves rice, this is a great gift for a busy mom. But, these little babies can do more than just that. You can use it for cooking all sorts of rice, grains, soups, even cakes.  One thing I use my rice cooker for is, surprisingly enough, oatmeal for breakfast.

I am a notoriously early riser. The thing about making oatmeal in a rice cooker is that I can set it all up when I get out of bed, push a button, and by the time my family gets up – Voila, we have breakfast all ready to go! No standing over the stove and making sure it cooks right with constant stirs – I can get my busy morning started. You can even add in some fresh berries and nuts to add more vitamins and crunch.

So, if you’re still a little gun-shy at the thought of buying the busy mom in your life kitchen accessories, keep in mind the many benefits of slow cookers, pressure cookers, and rice cookers. Why not save her time and save your family money in energy cost and everyone can enjoy home-made dinners more often? She will be thanking you for it for a very long time. If you want to add icing on the cake, you might as well spring for some red roses too, right?

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