I’m sorry about the week off! Life gets crazy sometimes and we need a little break. Lucky for you, my break included spending a day with Colleen, my Pampered Chef consultant, doing some product testing!
Spoiler Warning: This post is about expensive things.
I am not going to sugar coat it, Pampered Chef tools are not cheap. But one thing I want to stress heavily about the Frugal part of Gluten Frugal is that Frugal doesn’t mean only ever buying inexpensive things. It means being “Economical” in regards to resources.
And if you’re thinking long-term about a kitchen, you want to remember two words:
Good kitchen tools will last a lifetime and are worth saving up for if you can. I had the pleasure of cooking breakfast for Colleen and her daughter, Carie, while using her new consultant kit. We tried to feature every product possible, so we grilled breakfast sandwiches.
We did this because the Grill Pan is one tool I wouldn’t buy anywhere else. It’s non-stick, sturdy, and heats evenly. Grill pans are very versatile and worth investing in at some point. And I highly recommend this one.
We also used the Rock Crock to cook our eggs. It’s a crock, can have a base to be a slow cooker or a dutch oven or whatever your heart desires. If you don’t own a slow cooker, this would be a good one to save up for just because it can do so many other things.
What I will say about it is that I didn’t like the convex bottom. It made keeping my fried eggs contained a little difficult.
Tip: If you have a FLAT pan, you can use mason jar lids to keep your egg whites from running away while frying eggs.
Because the bottom of the Rock Crock wasn’t even, my mason jar lids didn’t sit flat and so the eggs leaked out. But, they were still relatively contained.
It is important to have good cookware because of a few reasons:
- It lasts. These pieces are called “Investment Pieces” because you are spending a lot of money up front for something that you will have for decades.
- The quality is higher. In G-Free cooking it is especially important, if you want to use anything non-stick, to buy high quality pieces. They’re less prone to scratching, denting, or handles breaking. They don’t lose their non-porous surface as quickly. They don’t absorb gluten.
- If you buy good products, you don’t have to buy them again because of wear and tear. Good cooking pieces don’t have to be re-bought. And many Pampered Chef peices come with lifetime guaruntees.
- If you are going to use your cookware, make sure you like your cookware. There is nothing worse than cooking 90% of your meals with flimsy, inefficient tools. You will suffer frustration and heartache, and you will lose all motivation to cook.
If your tools are fun, functional, and built to last, you can focus more on learning recipes and tricks for the actual cooking instead of worrying about how to hack your cheaper cooking pieces. For instance:
The hand-processor diced bell peppers for me in such a way that I didn’t have to go NEAR a knife. I didn’t have to move slowly and keep my fingers safe. It was a simple task, over, done, and I wasn’t groaning at the idea of cutting bell peppers for my sandwich by hand.
I particularly loved that the mandoline slicer had the most massive guard I’ve ever used, and basically made it impossible to slice your thumb… Unlike my own mandoline at home…
But I digress!
The sandwiches were tasty, the tools were excellent, and the company is one I wholeheartedly support. If you have a consultant already that’s awesome! Use them! But Otherwise I recommend shopping through Colleen Tarver. She’s friendly, helpful, and enthusiastic to the max about these products.
One thing I didn’t get to try is Pampered Chef’s gluten-free line. They have a few baking kits and all their spices and sauces are now certified GF, so I definitely made an order of things to try! Look for more reviews in the future as I save up myself for some of these products.
I wholeheartedly recommend investing in good pieces when you can. I understand not being able to do that, and this experience was a treat for my inner chef that I know I won’t get regularly. But these types of investment pieces are wonderful and fuel what matters:
Cooking should be fun, simple, and especially in the G-free life: easy. When you eat G-free you don’t get the luxury of having someone else cook regularly. So you need to make it enjoyable for yourself. However you can. This is one way of doing that.