January 31, 2010


Computers in the Kitchen: Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade is something I started last year in order to feature tools I use in gluten-free cooking and baking.  I haven’t been consistent with it, but I hope to be this year.  I think I would run out of things to talk about if I did it every week, so I’m going to shoot for twice a month.

Computers are not standard kitchen equipment, but these days I’m sure they are showing up in the kitchen more and more.  If you like to tweet or post updates on Facebook, it can be handy to have a computer close by while you’re cooking.  I like to use the computer for recipes, though.  I have many of my favorite recipes printed and placed in a notebook.  I also have lots of cookbooks, but often I want to try a recipe I found on the Internet, or one from my own blog that I haven’t yet printed.

The first step for me was getting a laptop.  I was able to purchase one last year by using BJ’s rewards money to cover much of the cost.  I really love having my own computer especially for blogging.  The small netbooks would also be a great option for viewing online recipes as long as the screen is large enough for you.

laptop on stand Even after getting my laptop I had a problem though.  I’m a messy cook.  I’m afraid that if I have a laptop on my countertop, it will end up covered with flour, or worse, some type of liquid.  One day I happened upon a portable laptop stand at CVS.  It was only $12 and well worth the money.  While it’s not high quality, it works for me.  I can easily wheel it into the kitchen and place it beside me close enough for me to read, but with enough space that it doesn’t catch flying food.

I still love cookbooks, but I also love having my computer in the kitchen.  How about you?


me too. I have a long kitchen (it's as wide as the house) so one whole side is the cooking area with all the appliances, the middle is where the table and bakers rack are located and then the far end is where I have my computer desk, computer and my daughter's little school desk, etc. I LOVE having a big kitchen so I can keep my computer nearby when I'm cooking. It's so nice to be able to google a recipe while making it, if I forget something.
I use my laptop in the kitchen very often... but I run into the messy cooking problem as well. One thing that I have found that helps keep things cleaner is to put stretch plastic wrap over the keys (if I am really messy I cover the screen too!). The plastic mans that I can still type and use the touchpad without getting flours, goop, or other stuff on the machine. I don't trust myself to have the laptop on a movable device, so I just keep it on a counter--but I am blessed with lots of counter space so the room is not a problem.

One thing that I do often is to look up a recipe online and compare it to known recipes in my books. This means that I can also find acceptable substitutes for anything that I lack (especially since I cook gluten free so many things need to be changed in recipes).
My laptop is in my kitchen nearly every day of the week! It's an essential part of cooking, in my opinion!
My husband built me a kitchen computer with the screen mounted to the wall. I have a wireless mouse and keyboard and I use it daily, I love it! It's right next to my oven so I just pull up what I need and I'm set. I think it's a necessity in this day and age.
I love having my computer in the kitchen. I don't have a stand, so unfortunately my computer probably is a bit dirtier than yours!
Great tip.
I love my little netbook. I take it with me just about everywhere...fits right in my bag.
I use a program called Gourmet Recipe Manager
helps me with shopping lists and to calculate nutrtional information for my recipes.
I use my iPhone in the kitchen. I will search for ingredients, or recipes that I'm wanting to try. I used to waste so much paper printing out recipes to take down to the kitchen. Technology is amazing, isn't it? But still, nothing beats a good ol' cook book!

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