My Seven Favorite Kitchen Gadgets
I'd rather bake than cook, but I end up doing the majority of the cooking chore because I'm the first one home from work on weekdays. Here are my favorite gadgets to get the evening meal on the table.
1. The crock pot! Chili, soup, stew, or casserole, it can simmer all day while I'm teaching. When I get home, I add the noodles or the dumplings, and it's ready to serve by 5:30. The aroma when I walk in the door? Priceless.
2. Bread maker! I'm on my third. I wore out the first two. Whether I'm making a mix or baking from scratch, it's a great time saver. I must learn to knead dough on my own some day, but for now, the bread machine is my friend.
3. Immersion blender. I don't use it as often as the top two, but it's a great tool. I can stick it in the crock pot (see #1) after tomatoes or potatoes have been simmering all day, and voila! Creamy soup. I used it to mash potatoes on Thanksgiving and Christmas because it's so handy and easy to clean.
4. Mixer and/or MixMaster. I enjoy baking, and these two are my assistants in putting many doughs together. Cookies, brownies, quick breads, you name it, they would take much longer if I attempted to mix them by hand. the handheld mixer is more than 20 years old and still going strong. The MixMaster is a hand-me-down from my Mother-In-Law, so I don't know how old it is. I'm glad she passed it on to me; I don't think I would have bought one on my own, since I didn't know how useful a MixMaster can be until this one stepped into my kitchen.
5. My coffee grinder is a luxury, and I enjoy it immensely. I can't wait to grind my Obama Blend for the Inauguration!
6. Food processor! I use this for garden goodies. I'm still getting to know its blades and its idiosyncrasies. Remember the pepper mush? I'll fix that next summer. Really.
7. George Foreman Grill. This one makes the list because I don't use it. The girls (me and La Petite) gave it to The Boys (Husband and Amigo) for Christmas. They're getting to know George, and we're watching...and eating well.
Here's a recipe that uses #1, #3, and #6. Serve it on fresh bread using #2, with a cup of decaf later (fresh ground with #5, of course). #4 could mix up dessert, and we'd have a meal using six out of seven!
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