Lessons from a Roasting Pan

My roasting pan and cookie sheet that I loved and used for years started deteriorating. I added both to my shopping list. We get into a routine of using the same items every day. I went into a cabinet I seldom use and found not only a brand-new roasting pan but a cookie sheet that was part of set for air frying in the oven. I’ve used both of these ‘new’ items regularly.

We may already have everything we need right now. We just forget what we have stored away. Going through the house and rediscovering items we forgot about can save money by not buying a duplicate.  It also lightens up the contents of our house by either putting the item to use or getting rid of it.

As I work with clients as they prepare their home for sale, I ask if they have an item for staging purposes, and usually, they do. Walking through their home, I may find something that may have more of an impact and serve a better purpose in another location of the house. Try to do that in your own house. Take a tour with fresh eyes and see what can be repurposed elsewhere in your own house.

Asparagus and potatoes on a sheet pan
Photos from: Metro Creative Connection

Kitchen discoveries

Simplicity helps in the kitchen but now is a good time to experiment and improve cooking skills. I want to master the air fryer craze instead of just using it to toast bread. Sometimes being creative and working with what you have on hand can be a delicious discovery. I decided to make homemade tzatziki sauce which is Greek yogurt with grated cucumbers, garlic and seasonings. After grating the veggies, I discovered I only had vanilla yogurt on hand, but I did have sour cream. Guess what? It was delicious substitution.

When life hands you lemons, zest it!

If you have a micro plane, aka citrus zester, use it! I have grated with ease everything from citrus peel to Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to chocolate. This tool is quick, easy and efficient. Here’s a way to add some zest to your life, add lemon, lime or orange zest. It is my new obsession. Citrus zest adds a refreshing layer to so many recipes including roasted potatoes or vegetables, ricotta, and tuna fish salad. So many delicious possibilities to elevate your recipes.

Use the good stuff and level up

If you are supporting local restaurants by ordering take out, serve the meal on your fine china and drink from your crystal glasses. Why not? It feels elegant and breaks the monotony of eating every meal at home whether cooking or not.

While going through a cabinet, I rediscovered my cloth napkins. With a paper shortage and to save money in general, why am I not using them all the time? It is a cost effective and pretty way to save money and the environment.

You’re not stuck at home; you are safe at home. So many discoveries when we begin to turn inward and slow down the pace. Many essential workers are still on the job to save our lives on so many levels. Many others are volunteering to do the same. Thank you all. Stay safe, stay healthy and stay home.