Cooking Delights

Friday, May 04, 2007

Excuses to buy more cooking appliances


I have been wanting to buy some cooking appliances as of late. My mini food processor broke. I have a hankering for a coffee grinder to grind salba and hemp seed nuts and I have been eyeing those KitchenAid Mixers for some time now. Here is a justification for them all, and one appliance I probably don't need (the griddle). Enjoy!

Setting Up Your Kitchen by Leanne Ely, C.N.C.

Getting the basics for your first kitchen or paring down your kitchen to
only have tools you need requires a good list of great, can’t live without
appliances. These apparatus (apparati?) are here because they either do
one job well and better than anything else or they are efficient
multi-taskers. Here then, The List and it’s a short one:

1. Mixer. God bless KitchenAid for coming up with their heavy-duty (and
heavy to lift, I might add) stand mixer. In order to mix well, you need
some horsepower behind the metal, or watts (as in 325 watts, more or less,
depending on your model). Power is what separates a great mixer from a not
so great mixer. This contraption can whip cream and egg whites in a flash,
knead a few loaves of bread, mix together anything worth mixing together
and look incredibly cool at the same time. I have a standard issue white
Kitchen Aid but you can get them in pretty much any color, including
different metallics, like nickel and chrome. A must for any kitchen. Comes
with a whip for whipping, a paddle for mixing and dough hook for kneading.
You can get other attachments, including a pasta roller and meat grinder
if you actually have time for those two pursuits.

2. Griddle. I don’t use this everyday, but when I do, I am very happy I
have it—especially when I’m cooking for a crowd. The griddle I am fond of
is a large one that can cook a pound of bacon at a time, all plugged in
and sitting on my countertop. There is a little hole in the griddle and a
cup too, to catch the hot drippings. After the bacon has been cooked, the
nonstick surface is cleaned up (easily) and a boatload of pancake making
can ensue. Big griddles help you make big lumberjack sized breakfasts and
will allow you to brown, cook off and fix food for a dozen in no time
flat. I use the griddle to make several quesadillas or grilled cheese
sandwiches at one time. If you ever intend to have a bunch of people over
at any given time for a meal, chances are you will haul this appliance out
and use it over and over again.

3. Blender and Food processors. I know some people use their food
processors for blenders, but I have found food processors to leak when
making something liquid-y, like smoothies. I use my blender for smoothies
and making creamed soups. Only two things, but smoothies are an everyday
affair at my house. Food processors, slice, dice, chop, puree and make the
best pie dough in the world. I make pie dough maybe once a year, but it
only takes a minute and it’s the tenderest, flakiest crust ever.

4. Mini-food processor. Need a quick chop or a blend for something small?
The little mini-food processor is excellent for this job, weighs less than
a cheesecake and can do all kinds of breathtaking things like, chop nuts,
hard veggies and make a quickie pesto. I love my little guy and I suggest
you get one and love yours, too.

5. Coffeemaker and grinder. I don’t have a combo appliance, but I put them
together because in my mind, you cannot make a decent cup of joe unless
you grind your own beans. I have been grinding my own for well over 20
years now and every morning (that I am home at least), I perform the same
ritual of grinding the fatted bean, brewing it till just finished (then
keeping it warm in a carafe—don’t leave it on the burner to burn!) and
drinking a divine cup of morning brew. I make it stronger than most people
(opting for 2 tablespoons vs. 1 tablespoon of coffee per 6 ounces of
water) and I have my first cup by itself, my second with my morning
cereal. My coffee is exquisitely important to me (ask anyone who knows
me!) and making it well requires two good appliances—a grinder and a good
coffeemaker. I have a Cuisinart coffeemaker that beeps when it’s ready
(you gotta love that!) and does a fine job all the way around the block.

“What,” you say. “Is that it?” What about IT, the mother of all
appliances, the Crock Pot!!!?

Ah yes, the crock pot. My very favorite and esteemed above all appliances.
If you want to know more about that lovely apparatus, stay tuned. I
promise to gush over the wonder of it all and why anyone who doesn’t own
one must repent and purchase one today.

Hope to be back soon with some food posts... man I have been really out of the loop for shopping, preparing and presenting good vegetarian food as of late!

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