Another really fast kitchen tool that sounds really outdated, but is incredibly awesome is a pressure cooker.
No word of a lie, you can cook an entire roast (or chicken) for a family of 4, with veggies and gravy in half an hour. What I really like about it is that you can even throw frozen meat in it. (takes slightly longer, but no big deal.) And it doesn't heat up your entire house in the summer like an oven. ooh, makes really good pulled pork too. You cant tell it apart from the slow roasted variety. ( I'm not a huge fan of pulled pork, but my family is in love with it.)
I use the thing probably 3 times a week-for beans, lentils, barley soups etc. Pressure cookers aren't near as scary as they're made out to be and there are a lot of really good books out there with recipes specifically for pressure cooking. My grandma gave me one before my first son was born and showed me how to use it. I think I use it more than anything else in the kitchen, especially in the winter, when it's soup/stew season! Just throw in the meat/veggies, add a bit of liquid and put the lid on it. In about 20 minutes you have stew. It keeps all the moisture retained, so it often elimintates the need for adding broth/bouillon. You can season before or after it's cooked.
Oh, almost forgot... are some of the lactation "snackies" that I want to make. I haven't made any of them, but a friend made some not long ago and they were really good!
A quick note about flax seeds: If you're going to use them, go for the untoasted, raw flax seeds. If they're cooked, they taste good, but they don't have near the nutrients that the raw ones have!
Lactation Banana Bread
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup oil
1 cup honey (more if you have a super sweet tooth)
2 cups mashed banana
4 cups flour
1 cup oats
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons brewers yeast
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup freshly chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350 (baking time varies from oven to oven.)
Combine PB, oil, honey, eggs, and banana in a medium bowl. In a seperate bowl mix flour, oats, baking powder, flax seed meal, yeast, salt, and nuts. Mix wet ingredients into dry a cup at a time. When well combined pour into bread loaf pans (lightly greased if non stick). Bake until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out moist but clean. Turn bread out of pans and cool until you can't stand waiting any longer. Wrap any unused loafs in foil or paper and seal in plastic freezer bag and freeze for later use.
Banana chocolate chip lactation cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tbs softened butter
1 very ripe, very brown banana
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups All perpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup "quick and easy" steal cut oats
3 cup old fashioned oats
1 bag milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
* preheat oven to 350 F
* In a large bowl, beat butter, banana, sugars on medium speed until creamy
* Add eggs and vanilla, beat til creamy
* Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, add in 3 batches, mixing well.
* Add oats, chocolate chips, nuts mix well
* Drop dough by rounded tablespoon full onto ungreased cookie sheet
* Bake 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool on pan 1 minute, move to wire rack.
For Bar cookies bake 30-35 minutes in ungreased 13x9 inch metal baking pan
Chocolate chip oatmeal Lactation cookies