Home / Blog / Kitchenology / Holiday Helpers


Holiday Helpers


A portable induction cooktop, like this one from Viking, can increase your stove top cooking capacity.

Sensible Style launched in July to answer your questions about how to get the most out of your kitchen.

That's especially crucial at this time of year, when many of us are entertaining friends, family and colleagues in our homes. That makes it stress time for your kitchen! Here are some handy helpers to make the holiday season easier on you, your schedule and the hardest working room of your house.

Maximize cooking capacity

Most of the kitchens I've remodeled have started out with a single oven range with four burners on top, and a separate microwave oven. This is the sum total of their cooking capacity. Here's how to increase yours without tearing apart your kitchen this holiday season.


  • Replace your standard microwave oven with a convection microwave. This will turn your micro from a simple reheating, defrosting, popcorn-making machine into a top-flight cooking and baking appliance. They're available in both over-the-range and built-in models, and ideal for doubling oven capacity in compact kitchens.


  • Add additional capacity by choosing a convection microwave with warming oven capability. This will build in some flexibility to your cooking and serving schedule.
  • Add a fifth burner to your kitchen with a portable induction cooktop. These single-burner appliances boil water quicker than your current gas or electric versions and can sit on a spare foot of countertop to increase your capacity. 

    Simplify prep and clean-up

    Meal prep and clean up never garner any gourmet points, but occupy a significant part of your holiday entertaining time. Here's how to streamline the process and save yourself kitchen time.


    • Select cookware that can go from the freezer to the oven to the table to the dishwasher. This will reduce your clean-up time considerably, (and the amount of water you use cleaning up after your big holiday dinner). There are several attractive brands you can choose from. Find the one that fits your budget and taste.



    emile henry cookware

    The most attractive quality to this Emile Henry cookware just may be its extraordinary convenience.




    • If you were looking at replacing worn-out, broken or warped wood cutting boards, consider a color-coded (meat, vegetable, fish, etc.) set that can go into your dishwasher instead. This is much more sanitary and convenient, as well.
    • Invest in an immersion blender. This handy tool requires less clean-up than a standard stand mixer, takes up no space on your countertop and builds some flexibility into your prep process.
    • Keep your cookbooks cleaner and your countertops cleared with a cookbook holder that mounts below your wall cabinets.



    Step lightly

    Most of us have tiled kitchen floors that are extremely hard to stand on for the hours it takes to prepare, cook, serve and clean up after a holiday dinner. My favorite holiday helper is a GelPro mat that make this season as merry for our feet, back, hips and legs as for our hearts and bellies.


    gelpro mat

    Choose a size, color and pattern for a GelPro mat that fits your kitchen and takes the stress of holiday entertaining off your body.



    Happy holidays to all my readers!


    For more holiday helpers, please click here.


    Kitchen and bath designer Jamie Goldberg

    © 2009, Jamie Goldberg, AKBD, CAPS. Excerpted from Gold Notes: Nuggets from the World of Residential Design. Jamie is an NKBA-certified designer of kitchens and baths in San Diego, CA, and offers Sensible Style for Home Seller consultations around the country. She can be reached at (619) 796-2217 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.








    Most Popular

    How to Measure Your Kitchen
    Measuring your kitchen can seem a daunting task. Our handy…
    How to Use Color
    Color makes a huge impact on the space it fills.…
    Green Resources
    Green design is a science, not an art. Some principles…
    Common Mistakes
     Gearing up to remodel? Don't start before reading our list…
    Countertop Comparison
      Explore our quick overview of counter options, then click…
    Appliance Q&A
    Perhaps you put your chef’s hat on every few months…


    © 2000 - 2014 by All rights reserved.