Product reviews: kitchen must haves for busy working mums

Are you struggling to get a decent meal on the table because you’re tired when you get home from work? Are ready meals ruling your life, your pocket and your waistline?

cooking nightmaresDo you feel guilty your children don’t know that chips are made from potatoes and don’t come from a paper bag or box?

Do you wish you could get the time to bake like those perfect Steford-style mums at the school gate, who are constantly showing off their perfect cupcakes at every opportunity?

Does your heart race like an adrenaline junkie at the thought of making a Sunday roast for the in-laws, because you can never get it as perfect as how your mother-in-law says she does it?

Don’t feel guilty, do something about it – we tested out some products from Lakeland that will make cooking a doddle (ok, less than the effort you put in now!):

1. Terracotta Roaster

how to make a roastMaking a roast is great, and it’s usually one of those family favourites that the kids enjoy, but get it wrong, and everyone has a hard time – including the chicken.

So, whether you can’t make a roast for love nor money, or just can’t give it the time or attention you need to get it right, this is one of those must-haves for busy family kitchens

Lakeland’s Terracotta Roaster makes chicken soft and succulent, and because it keeps all the heat inside it, the meat comes out soft and succulent every time. Having used it for the Christmas roast, this one comes highly recommended!

The only prep work you have to do is to whichever meat you want to roast, and soaking the Terracotta Roaster in cold water for a few minutes before you use it. It is a little heavier than a normal tin or raising tray, but it is easily stored in the oven when not in use.

2. Slow cooker

slow cookerDo you wish you had more time to make a good casserole, soup or stew, but end up cooking stir fries and getting quick-fix tin soups all the time? A slow cooker will help you out no end by marinating those dishes for you and drawing out all the rich flavours that come from dishes that have take. Their time to come to life.

Try this slow cooker, which at just £29.99 will be a valuable investment for your kitchen. It is very easy to use, with just three settings (slow, high and auto).

All you have to do it a little prep work like frying your onions and sautéing the meat and then pop your ingredients into the slow cooker and it will do the rest for you! How much easier can cooking be? It’s very easy to clean- you just pop out the bowl to give it a wash, and do the same with glass lid.

3. Cupcake maker

cupcake maker, how to make cupcakesCupcakes are all the rage at the moment, but the price for just one could set you back round £2.00! That’s not a bad treat for just you (though one might not be enough…), but add the family and you could have saved money buying the ingredients yourself!

That’s why we love the Electric Cupcake Maker. You can make six cupcakes in eight to 10 minutes, and they taste scrumptious. It’s a great way to get the kids involved with baking,many you can save face every time with perfect cupcakes – no more burnt bits, or rock cupcakes!

Make it extra fun for the children by having a little competition to see who can make the best cupcake designs with a little icing and other decorations, or make hundreds to sell at the next school fair.

This is very portable and easy to use, and it won’t take up too much space in the kitchen, either. Cleaning wise, it just needs to be wiped down – unless you leave it on for hours on end, you can’t really burn the cupcakes (yep, we tried that, too!), they just go browner on top, so you won’t have to struggle to keep it clean and ready for the next use.

4. Yoghurt maker
how to make yoghurtAre yoghurts a mainstay on your shopping list? They may be great for calcium and all that, but to get a decent-tasting one, or the TV-advertised ones that your little ones want, the cost soon starts to rack up.

Apart from anything else, do your children know how yogurts are made, or do they think they just grow in the supermarket (the things children dream up!)?

Try Lakeland’s Yoghurt maker and show them how to make any flavoured yoghurt they want. Try just about any fruit you always wished you could find in a yoghurt. You can even take your creations to work – they make a fantastic breakfast, and will set your day off to a great start.

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