Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My "can't live without them" kitchen appliances

I think all of us have houses full of gadgets and appliances, many of which rarely, if ever, get used (my waffle iron springs to mind!!). But there are some kitchen appliances that make my life so much easier, they are used on an almost daily basis. These are my "can't live without them" kitchen appliances:Slow cooker/crock pot

  • I love, love, love my slow cooker. In winter, it means I can have stews and soups and pot roasts ready without slaving by the stove, and in summer we can have cooked meals without heating up the kitchen. The best thing of all, though, is the ability to be cooking dinner while I am busy doing other things. Tuesdays used to be a nightmare for me; I don't get home until after 5.30 and getting dinner on the table was always a struggle. Since using the slowcooker, I simply prep the meal in the morning, switch it on, and then come home to a ready cooked meal.

Rice cooker
  • We love rice, and eat it at least 3-4 times a week, but I always found cooking it messy and a pain. I invested in a rice cooker with a timer, and just like the slow cooker, this gives me great flexibility. Again, I can prep in the morning, set the timer, and the rice is taken care off. It takes longer to cook (about 50 minutes for brown rice) but given that I don't have to watch over it, and it has a keep warm function for 5 hours, I don't care! The pot is nonstick so a quick wash is all that is needed after dinner. You can also use your rice cooker to make soup and porridge as well.

Sandwich press/grill
  • This is great for so many things. It makes wonderful grilled cheese sandwiches and toasted paninis for a quick dinner or lunch, and cooks steak or chops in half the time it takes in a regular grill. I line the grill with baking paper, which makes clean up a breeze.

Stick blender
  • This was invaluable when making me own baby food, but I still use this on a daily basis. This makes light work of pureeing soups (no extra blender to clean) and, of course, is necessary to make my daily green smoothie. I can use it with its attachment as a mini food processor, to crush nuts, and to chop herbs.
Yoghurt maker
  • I now have TWO yoghurt makers - one that makes 7 individual pots and one that makes a litre. We eat a lot of yogurt and home made is much more economical. It is great on its own, added to smoothies, or turned into yoghurt cheese. See this post for how to make yoghurt.

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