Category Archives: blogs

Why The Pan You Cook In Matters

Different pans, made with different metals and alloys, can have a major effect on the outcome of cooking.

Why The Pan You Cook In Matters Pantree

Picture a man sitting in his comfortable chair reading the newspaper after work. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees his eye his wife approaching him with a fry pan and before he can move, she hits him over the head with it. Eyes bulging from his head, he says to his wife, why did you do that?  She holds his coat in her other hand, pulls out a piece of paper, holds it in front of him and says Who is Mary Sue. He immediately replies Ohhhhhhhh, honey dont you remember I went to the track last week and that was the name of the horse that I wanted to bet on so I wrote it down not to forget? 3 days go by, the man is reading the paper in his chair and sure enough his wife hits him again with the fry pan. He jumps up and says what are you doing? She looks at him, pauses, and says your horse just called.

I promised on my last blog after writing about slow cooking that I would talk a bit about cookware, and how and why the metals and finishes used in making cookware, can contribute in both positive and negative ways to a recipe and an overall cooking experience.

To my knowledge, there are 12 different metals that most manufacturers use when making cookware. Since this isn’t a thesis, we are briefly going to mention just 3: cast iron, stainless steel, & aluminum.

Le Creuset for example uses a cast enamel process that combines the heat conductivity from the cast iron and the heat retention from the enamel. Many manufacturers use an anodized aluminum or alloy to combine the same properties that just one metal alone can’t provide. The trick is to spread the heat while retaining it in an evenly distributed manner. Stainless bowls use a combo copper/aluminum bottom the way Reverware used to and still makes their cookware today.

Most higher end cookware companies, including Cuisanart , Caphalon, Le Crueset and premium 18/8 “waterless “ cookware (which is very expensive), design their cookware for slow cooking and even spreading of heat along the bottom, keeping the nutrients within the vessel, to maximize the flavor of the food. Conversely, carbon steel used for most Woks transfers the heat directly from the heat source to the food while keeping the heat inside the carbon steel. That is why when cooking in a Wok, it is recommended to stir/fry the food so that it doesn’t cook unevenly with hot spots.

I hope if you take anything away from this blog, it is that different kinds of cookware made with different metals and alloys can have a major effect on the outcome of cooking in general. It’s not just about what you’re putting in your body, it’s also about what you’re using to cook that food. Stay tuned for my next blog on organizing cookware, bakeware and kitchenware.

Why You Shouldn’t Always Turn Up the Heat When Cooking

Turning Up the Heat Could Affect Nutrient Levels, Flavors and Healthiness of Food

Little Johnny’s preschool class went on a field trip to the fire station. The firefighter giving the presentation held up a smoke detector and asked the class: “Does anyone know what this is? ”

Little Johnny’s hand shot up and the firefighter called on him.

Little Johnny replied. “ That’s how Mommy knows supper is ready! ”   Why You Shouldn’t Always Turn Up the Heat When Cooking

Many moons ago I used to be a housewares and cookware buyer for a major department store. I was 25 years old at the time and the only experience I had in the kitchen was eating. In order to learn about cookware, I had to learn about cooking. I remember one of the greatest chef’s of all time, James Beard, said that if cooking on high heat was a crime, violators should get a life sentence.

One of the greatest insults to nourishment in our modern fast-paced and processed food culture is the high heat at which so much of our food is cooked. This exposure of food to high heat may be convenient and quick, and it may fill the air that we savor, but it comes at a nutritional cost. Food, and the nutrients within our food, wasn’t designed then nor today to withstand extremely high temperatures.

Lets admit it folks, we don’t do well taking our time, taking it slow, going the long way home just to enjoy the scenery. Nutritional research is just starting to catch up with the consequences of our high-heat approach to cooking. Researchers from Mt. Sinai Medical found that foods cooked at high temps contain greater levels of compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that cause more tissue damage and inflammation than foods cooked at lower temperatures.

Take it from me, a retired cookware buyer, that turning the knob to high on the oven is NOT the only culprit when it comes to losing nutrients, flavor and eating less healthy. The sidekick in the crime in most cases is the cookware itself and the metals that  are used to retain and maximize flavor and nutrients in our cooking. Stay tuned for our next blog to learn about why the cookware we use is so important to cooking and eating healthy in our lives.

Disorganized Problem Solver Invents Useful Pantree Cookware Organization System

Who Invented Your Favorite Cookware Organization System?

There are two kinds of people in this world, those who are organized and those who are disorganized. The organizers are people who stay up at night thinking about doors being open, lights that might be on and, oh no the dreaded clothes not being put away or what to make for dinner for the next 3 weeks. These are the same people who have great credit, never piss anyone off by missing a birthday, and make sure their children do their homework every night. Their clothes are pressed for work, their lunch is made the night before and they all drive within the speed limit.

Disorganized Problem Solver Invents Useful Pantree Cookware Organization System Pantree

Now on the opposite side of the spectrum, the disorganized sleep very well at night, even if every door is open to the house, the lights are on and the bills are paid in “Octoberish.” Their idea of living the dream is not annoyed by all of the things they need or should do.

It’s funny, I invented the PANTREE ® cookware & matching lid organizer and you would think that I would fall in the O group, but you would be dead wrong- just ask my wife. I am a problem solver. I would lose my keys or misplace them and would get all stressed out until I found a home for my keys by buying a 49 cent hook that hangs on the wall.

The same process went through my head every time I opened my cookware cabinet and a tsunami of metal would pour out. I figured there has to be something, some product on the market that wouldn’t cost a mortgage payment, that would make life easier and simpler when it comes to pulling out a piece of cookware from a cabinet, not to mention stop you from being injured by the cookware avalanche. There wasn’t, so I invented one: PANTREE ®.

So the next time you are walking down the organizer aisle at Bed Bath & Beyond or the Container Store, and you are sure that some anal retentive organization freak invented those organizers, think twice. It could very well have been someone who just wanted to make life easier for themselves and realized that others could benefit from the same solution.

Please visit my blogs about cookware, the kitchen and life being made easier through organization.

How to Organize your Kitchen in a Week

The kitchen is the hub of the home.  Everyone ends up in the kitchen at some point during their day. So it gets messy fast!  The best way to conquer the mess and the clutter is to get organized.

Here’s a checklist to clear the clutter and get your kitchen super organized.

WEEK #1 CHECKLIST:

1. Clean out and organize all cabinets.
2. Clean out and organize all drawers.
3. Purge everything that is not used, expired, doesnt belong, collecting dust.
4. Clean out & organize fridge & freezer.
5. Mop, wipe down cabinet doors, clean counter tops & tables.
6. Take everything off the refrigerator door. It makes the kitchen look messy.
7. Clean all appliances.

THE PROCESS:

1. Clear off the kitchen table. This is your dumping grounds.
2. Empty out all cabinets, drawers, and clutter! Place ALL items into “categories” on the table.
3. Wipe down the cabinet doors, shelves and drawers. Add new liners if necessary.
4. Discard (trash) old, expired, and no longer used items & food. Check the dates.
5. Place all items that are able to fit, into baskets.
6. Place everything back into the cabinets & drawers (in categories).
7. Take everything off the kitchen counters and place onto the table.
8. Wipe down the counters & backsplash with a good natural cleaner.
9. Wipe down ALL small appliances & large ones too!
10. Put back items you use on a daily basis, onto the counter top.
11. Mop the floors and wipe down the table & chairs.
12. Empty fridge/freezer. Wipe out. Put back in an organized manner.
13. You may clean and organize under the kitchen sink. I will share under my sink at a later date.
Tip: Keep all clutter off the counters at all times. If you take it out, put it away!

ORGANIZED SPACES IN MY KITCHEN:

1. Coffee & Tea station.
2. Vitamin & medicine cabinet.
3. Lunch Station.
4. Spice cabinet.
5. Command hooks for pot holders.
6. Baking sheet organization.
7. Baking cabinet & bin.
8. Dish placement.