WHO'S IN THE KITCHEN?
Ashley Turner (
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WHAT IS IT?
Ashley has taken her cooking seriously for the better part of 10 years, ever since she discovered that hotdogs and boxed macaroni & cheese weren't the height of haute cuisine. From baking to frying, grilling to ceviche, Ashley likes to try new ways to create delicious meals as often as she can while always staying true to her passion for home cooking. No chefs here and no refined palettes either - just food & recipes served straight up from a tiny kitchen in London, prepared by a normal girl for real, normal people, but it's yummy!
Ashley is an avid reader and loves to read about food, so occasionally you will see some cookbook reviews here. Additionally there will be content about food products or cooking utensils that are tried & true in Ashley's kitchen, place settings, playlists for occasions and dinner parties, but mostly it will just be food!
SO YOU'RE GLUTEN FREE, DAIRY FREE, PALEO & VEGAN? NO PROBLEM!
Ashley has some gluten free friends and relatives as well as others with dietary requirements in her life so she does her best to constantly keep refreshing her repertoire for gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy free and Paleo recipes. If you have a special requirement that you'd like to see recipes for, e-mail Ashley directly and she'll skip to the kitchen to make you something tasty!
Your kitchen is your own and ultimately, I believe you should stock it with what you love and what you personally need or love to use. I may use a hand mixer, but if you truly love your upright mixer, then use it - it's ultimately up to personal preference. Make your kitchen a place you want to be in and you'll love going in there to cook and potter around, even if it is after a hard day's work. That said, these are just some suggestions - things that I couldn't live without in my own kitchen that you might find useful as you make these recipes. ~ Ashley x
- Hand Mixer - It takes up less space than an upright mixer, but makes things a lot easier than whisking by hand. However, if you're strong, able and prefer to whisk things by hand, go for it - it's exercise!
- Blender - Necessary for soups, smoothies and sauces, not to mention some lovely cocktails!
- Food Scales - I personally use my scales a lot as many recipes in the UK dictate ingredients by weight rather than other measurements. I will however endeavor to always give you an alternate measurement whenever I can.
- Grill Pan - For indoor grilling/broiling, a grill pan is essential.
- Fondue Set - I love fondue so this is essential to my kitchen and I highly recommend investing in a good, enamel covered cast-iron version. If you don't care much about fondue, don't worry about it.
- Pans - At least one big stock pot is essential. I usually keep 2 saucepans, 2 non-stick frying pans, a wok and multiple baking trays/pans in different sizes on hand.
- Loaf Pan - If you like to make bread and some small cakes, a loaf pan is essential.
- Springform Pan - For cheesecakes, gluten free flourless cakes and tarts.
- Good Knives & Sharpener - Do not misunderstand this for expensive. My knives were very cheap, but they last because I sharpen them regularly. Dull knives will make cooking such a drag.
- Bottles, Tupperware & Jars - I keep a selection of swing top bottles, Tupperware and Mason Jars on hand for storing soup, serving/chilling tap water and storing drinks & juices. I also like to keep my dried goods & ingredients in mason jars or swing top canisters when I can because they're sealed tight and they look so much prettier. Tupperware is handing for freezing soups or homemade ice creams & sorbets. Just be sure to label them.
- Labels - When I making homemade soups, sauces or anything I can freeze, I use sticky labels for use-by dates.
- Tongs - I just bought my first pair of tongs. They are invaluable for flipping meat fillets and pretty much everything under the sun!
- Mortar & Pestle - For grinding small bits, crushing herbs, etc.
- Food Processor - No one really needs a food processor, but I just got my first one and it's pretty darn handy!
- Scissors - I use them for everything from cutting meat to cutting up fresh herbs. I even cut my pizza with scissors.
- Whisks - If you can find these in all different sizes, then great! If you can't, one medium sized one will do. I use my whisk daily.
- Potato Masher - I of course use a hand-held potato masher for making mashed potatoes, but I also use it for other things too.
- Glass Mixing Bowls & Stainless Steel Bowls - Both are invaluable, especially while baking!
- Slow Cooker (Crockpot) - Nuff said.
- Pasta Maker - Again, nobody needs this when you can buy pasta anywhere, but making your own pasta while a little time consuming, is a lot of fun!