After 10 years, my kitchen has slowly become well stocked with appliances and gadgets but I still don't even own a mixer. I would like to hear from you about your kitchen gadgets and appliances. I've listed a few questions below (with my answers) and I'd love to hear from everybody else! This could be helpful to those who are still in the process of building a well stocked kitchen.
1. What is your most prized appliance/gadget or what item do you get the most use out of?
This is really really tough... maybe my french press because it makes the world's best coffee and without coffee I'm utterly useless. Plus, you never have to buy filters for it.
2. What common appliance or gadget do you NOT own and how have you managed without it?
I don't have a mixer. I do everything by hand and like to think that I burn extra calories doing so (ha ha, AS IF stirring the cookie batter by hand cancels out the calories).
3. What gadget or appliance have you bought and never ended up using nearly as much as you had hoped?
I'm going to say my slow-cooker. I really only use it for slow cooked meats because it uses up less energy than heating the whole oven for hours but I only cook that once, MAYBE twice a year. I find that I can cook everything else just as easy or easier on the stove top.
4. a) What would you buy for your kitchen if you had a million dollars and b) what is on your "to buy" list right now?
a) If I had a million dollars I would buy a food processor. There are just some things that it can do better than your hands or a blender... like making pesto.
b) I want a mandoline or an immersion blender. Mandolines can get you that super fine slice or julienne that is really hard to do with a knife and that makes a big difference for stir fry dishes or salads. I've been making so many soups lately that it would be really cool to have an immersion blender for pureeing. Currently I just transfer some into a blender but that is tricky and cumbersome with hot liquids.
Share your answers in the comments section below or just comment on anything you feel relevant.
One more thing: I want to give a big shout out to one of the readers here, Melanie. She and her husband have been eating only meals they have cooked from recipes on this blog for the past few weeks and posting their feed back every time. Their experience has been amazing and I wanted to share some of the wonderful feedback that they've given.
First, she writes about how much money they've saved:
"We have decreased our grocery bill by 245$ to 105$ from the usual 350$. Yeah thats right, to anyone who reads this, If you like her recipes, shop with a grocery list of the ingredients, I kept expecting to run out of food at the end of the week and I still havent yet, as well as I have not thrown out one single container of leftovers, since they are getting taken to lunch or had for the next days dinner. They are THAT good."
She also explains how the actual experience of cooking meals has been a positive one:
"I wasn't prepared for dinner excitement. Instead of 'bah, lets just order Chinese or go out for wings' coming from either of our lips, it was 'I can whip this all together in like 20 minutes, lets just do that k' with no grumbles from the husband since each night the variety of what we have been eating keeps it all very fresh and fun." ... "In six years of marriage, these last 10 days of cooking together and getting constant compliments have been freakin sweet!"
I want to say THANK YOU to Melanie and her husband for leaving such awesome feedback. I hope your experience inspires others to cook more for themselves as well! It can be some of the BEST quality time that you get with your family and it will save you TONS of hard earned cash.
If you find the planning and cooking difficult, just keep it up. With practice it will become second nature and you'll be a master in no time!