One of my favorite movies to watch with my mom is Baby Boom, the 1987 hit starring Diane Keaton. In the movie, Keaton quits her job as a high-powered New York City attorney and buys a run-down farmhouse in the country; as soon as she moves in, things start falling apart...literally.
The last straw comes when her handyman tells her that her well has run dry and no, she can't just pull the hose around from "out back" and fill up the well again because she is completely out of water. When he tries to explain the technical aspects of county water lines and interconnected plumbing systems, she has a mini-meltdown and screams, "I just want to turn on the faucet and have water! I don't need to know where it's coming from!"
It was kind of like that when I tried to explain induction cooking to my mom. As soon as I started talking about ferromagnetic cookware (which is simply cookware with iron in the base, like cast iron or stainless steel) and direct heating, her eyes glazed over and she said, "I just want to turn on the stove and have heat. I don't need to know where it's coming from!"
Although she may not be interested in the interworkings of this amazing technology, she can't deny how great her new range with induction cooking has been when all 8 grandkids are huddled in the kitchen as she prepares meals.
That's because induction cooking is ideal for those with children! Here are just a few of the kid-
centric benefits you can experience with induction cooking:
• Quicker cooking times: When you need a meal in a hurry, induction is the way to go. Not only can you have a pot of water boiling in less than 5 minutes (compared to nearly double that amount of time with an electric cooktop), but consider how much time and energy you'll save over the long term. When you come home at the end of a long day of work or school, waiting for water to boil is the last thing you want to spend your time doing.
• Reduced risk of burns: The heating element in the cooktop transfers the heat directly into the pot or pan rather than the burner itself, so little paws need not fear the stovetop's heat. At the same time, you'll need to be sure that your pots and pans are directly on the cooking element in order for the heat to conduct properly; if any portion of the pan is not on the burner, that portion will not cook.
• Less stovetop mess: Only the pan itself heats, meaning you can say goodbye to spilled food ruining your cooktop when it burns – you and your kids can spill shredded cheese or sauce, etc. on the stove and it won't burn at all.
No matter the type of cooking element your range uses, you still have kid-related concerns with what's in the pots and pans, so make sure you always turn your handles inward (toward the back of the range and away from the front edge) so that little ones can't pull them down from the top of the stove!
Rheney's Recipe Round-Up
To help you christen your new induction cooking stovetop, here's my kid-tested, foodie-approved, no-fail recipe for homemade spaghetti sauce. It's quick, easy, and delicious, and it
freezes well and is sure to please even the pickiest little eater you have!
Gourmet-on-the-Go Spaghetti Sauce
(Recipe Courtesy of Rheney Williams)
• 1 Clove Garlic, minced
• 1 – 28 oz. can Tomato Sauce
• 1 – 28 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes
• 2 Tbsp. Dried Basil
• 1/8 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes; can use 1⁄4 tsp. if desired
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• Fresh basil for garnish, chopped or julienned
• Grated Parmesan Cheese to taste
In large saucepan, slowly heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil and add garlic; cook for about 1 minute or until browned and softened.
Add tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, basil and red pepper flakes. Stir well and cook on med-high heat until it starts bubbling. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
*TIP: Wait until you're almost ready to serve before adding the salt and pepper – adding this at the end prevents the sauce from becoming too salty as it reduces.
Toss with cooked noodles and add basil garnish and grated parmesan cheese before serving.
What other family favorites and kid-friendly recipes do you plan to try on your induction stovetop?
About the Author:
Rheney Williams provides tips on how to get the most out of your kitchen appliances, including microwave ovens, for Home Depot. Rheney resides in Charleston, S.C., where she does her cooking in her newly refurbished kitchen. Home Depot's selection of microwaves can be viewed on the company's website at http://www.homedepot.com/b/Appliances-Cooking-Microwaves/N-5yc1vZc3ok.