Happy New Year Everyone!
I hope everyone has a wonderful and prosperous 2015. The new year always feels like a great time to move and shake a few things up. It is like a clean slate to start over and reassess what’s going on in your professional and personal life. I think most people have that urge to improve their eating habits around the new year. The holiday treats are gone, the sugary hams are in tupperware somewhere, and the copious amounts of delicious cheesy and bacony sides are …. errrrr in a container in the fridge… shhhh… don’t tell my Husband! 😉
Either way, we are all wanting to get our diets back on track, and to do so, we need to cook more meals at home. Yes, there are options that fast food places and reustaraunts are making available now, but they do not compare to home made healthy meals made in the comfort of your own kitchen, using ingredients you have purchased yourself.
So, that being said, here are my top recommended kitchen appliances to help me prepare meals for my Husband and myself within the comfort of our own home.
My Husband actually had this blender before we met. Quite honestly, I have never owned a blender. I didn’t really see the use when it was years of just cooking for one and never having the time to make a smoothie or anything that I would have used it for. I will say, once we merged our kitchens together, I used it… and wow. That blender could probably eat my cell phone. It is easy to clean, easy to store, and easy to use. The Blendtec has multiple preset options so you can create your perfect blend whether it be a smoothie, homemade bread crumbs, or a pasta sauce (you name it… the list goes on and on!) this blender can do it all! I also like that it lists measurements on the side of the blender, just an added bonus!
I’ll be the first to admit that this one if a given. I think everyone that enjoys cooking either already has or wants to have a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer.
I’m going to be totally honest, there are some cons when it comes to the attachments.
Pros of the mixer:
1) Um, it’s amazing.
2) It is heavy enough to remain sturdy and in it’s place, but light enough to lift and move.
3) The attachments it comes with are great – the paddle, the dough hook, and the whisk.
4) The bowl is easy to remove and clean.
1) The additional attachments are definitely not cheap.
Thoughts on the Attachments:
1) I think the Sausage Grinder is awesome. However, my Husband is the wonderful one in the house that always does the dishes, and he really does not like how difficult it is to clean the sausage grinder attachment. If we had one of those big “farmhouse” sinks with only one drain that happened to be a garbage disposal as well as a drain, we would have lost some of the pieces by now. There are many intricate parts and it can be frustrating to clean out.
Trust me… I love him for it. I love the attachment and everything, and the sausages I’ve made from it, but it is definitely far from being easy to clean. Things crust in places you didn’t even know existed, and other things squish into places you didn’t know existed?! My Hubby is very thoughtful and insists on doing the dishes, the last time we made sausage he was laughing with me about this attachment being the most difficult thing in the kitchen to clean. Love ya baby!
2) The sausage stuffer attachments work very well. We’ve used the synthetic casings … I haven’t mustered up the currage to tackle animal intestines. One day I will, but for today, I’ll pass. We’ve only made sausage a few times, and it is definitley a two person job. The prep is easy, but it is nice to have a second set of hands for the stuffing.
3) The Roto Slicer Attachment is awesome, if you’re needing to shred/slice many pieces at once. The attachment comes with four options to fit within the attachment and they all work very well, but if you’re just cooking for two, the cleanup isn’t really worth it.
4) The Gourmet Pasta Maker is great. It is indeed a process. I would be lying if I said that it was just as easy as stopping by the store on the way home from work and grabbing a box of pasta. There is definitely prep involved. Just like making bread, there’s always the chance that you mess up the dough and BOOM!, dinner is ruined. My first few attempts at making pasta didn’t turn out great, but it had nothing to do with the Kitchen Aid! It was me messing up the dough! But, practice makes perfect! There are multiple pasta shape blades included. I would say this is definitely my favorite attachment that we have.
My Husband and I got this food processor and were both amazed! I’ve make homemade almond butter, pesto, and a ton of other things! I think this food processor is great and looks nice enough to keep on the counter. No wasted cabinet space is always a plus! It has multiple options and speeds which makes everything from soup to shredded coconut easy.
My Husband and I obviously only cook for two. So during the summer when energy rates are at a high in one of the hottest areas in Texas, turning the oven on to cook two chicken breasts and heating the entire kitchen is murder to the energy bill. Heating the kitchen up is fighting our air conditioning! So, we got this toaster oven, and it’s great. It is easy to clean, doesn’t generate much heat, and it is a toaster, oven, and broiler all in one. Another plus about it – you use a lot less foil! Double Win!
I had never used one of these automatic can openers, but I must say, this thing is great! Whether you want to use the entire can without cutting your fingers or you want to have a nice clean edge to save the other half of the can, it is great. This can opener is one of the few that cuts from the side so you can keep the top of the can and place it back as a lid.
This immersion blender is great. I’ve been able to blend soups in the pot they’ve been cooking in and blend our protein shakes so quickly. It is quite simple to clean and small enough to stow away easily.
This freaking thing is awesome! I’ve have some grill presses before, and I’ve used my Mom’s pinini press, and I’ve used a giant griddle that takes up a ton of room… but this gem combines them all in one little compact device. You can fold it open and grill, flip the plates and fold it open and use it as a griddle, or close it and use it like a pinini press and many other things. It’s great and the easily detachable plates make it so much easier to clean.
These are just a few of my favorite and useful kitchen appliances that make many dishes much easier to cook.
If you have any questions about any of the appliances, please feel free to leave a comment!