4 Ideas to Heat Up Your Next Dinner

Is there anything quite so rewarding as a steaming pot of soup to warm up a cold winter’s day? It’s just one of many joys to be found in the kitchen this time of year. If you’re looking for a way to spice up family dinners, perhaps a new piece of cooking equipment is what you need to kickstart things.

The Zavor pressure cooker makes dinner in a snap, heating a complete meal in as little as 10 minutes. A slow cooker function also makes it versatile.

“To cook a chicken breast will take you 10 minutes,” says Mary Behrens, owner of Kitchen Outfitters, in downtown Crystal Lake. “Split pea soup, which I’m making later this week, takes about 15 minutes.”

Kitchen Outfitters carries thousands of kitchen items that help to make cooking an even more enjoyable experience. From cookware and gear to locally made cutting boards, and a selection of gourmet foods and teas, this store sparks many new meal ideas.

The Zavor pressure cooker is gaining plenty of notice among local shoppers, but so is the enameled carbon steel Dutch oven. It has the cooking quality of a cast iron model without the weight or the maintenance.

“They’ve officially become my favorite Dutch oven,” says Behrens, who tests out the products she sells.

As often as possible, she tries to carry American-made items, like the composite wood cutting boards and utensils made by Epicurean. They’re dishwasher safe, won’t dull knives and have an antimicrobial quality. Behrens also carries traditional wood boards made by a local craftsman.

For families that love Taco Tuesday, there are many accessories to liven up the table. Taco stands by Prepara are not only colorful, but they also make it easy to hold your shell. Taco spoons make it a breeze to load up the toppings, and colorful bowls make a fun complement.

“We have a lot of taco things – even taco warmers and tortilla presses,” says Behrens. “My husband has mastered the making of tortillas because we have fish tacos every week.”

Kitchen Outfitters is at 64B N. Williams St., Crystal Lake, (779) 220-4653.