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Kitchen Helpers

 

If you are blending drinks you want a powerful blender, especially when adding ice. 
If you are buying a coffee machine, why not get one with an espresso feature? Try an electric juicer! 

A warmer is so cozy for a winter party. We all use microwaves and I find them useful

for melting butter and defrosting, but rarely for cooking. A hand held blender can

 be used to puree a soup in the pot or the attachments have many uses. 

A burner is useful for a power outage or for teaching a cooking class.

 

 

 

Favorite Coffeemaker

 

Braun Coffeemaker

 

 

Worry-Free Coffee or Tea, April 17, 2007

The Impressions Coffeemaker if perfect for anyone who wants to set up their coffee pot in the evening. All you do in the morning is flip the switch at the base of the unit and you have coffee in just a few minutes. The coffee maker also shuts automatically after 17 minutes and then your coffee stays warm in the thermal carafe.

Tea drinkers may also want this beautifully designed coffeemaker because it is also perfect for making tea. Everything you make tastes better because of the unique filtering system from Brita that reduces chlorine and improves flavor.

The highlights of this coffeemaker include fun things like an "automatic filter basket release button," "Permanent gold tone filter," and "double-wall vacuum insulated stainless steel carafe." The best thing about this coffee maker is you can drink the coffee as soon as it is made and it is the perfect drinking temperature. Then, if you want more coffee later, the coffee is still warm and this works well with tea as well in the evening.

If you live in an area with hard water, you will love the water filter cartridge which allows you to make worry-free coffee all year long without needing to decalcify the coffee maker. Simply remove and replace the water filter on a regular schedule.

The smooth taste of coffee and tea will impress you and this coffeemaker also looks beautiful on the counter with its sleek design. What I love most about this coffee maker is that I can take the thermal carafe into the office while writing and have hot coffee or tea without having to return to the kitchen for another cup.

Some of the things I did notice that may cause some concern if you don't like a permanent filter - there may be some finely ground coffee in the last cup. To solve this problem, just use regular coffee filters. The permanent gold filter is easy to clean under running water and easy to remove and replace.

Also, if you like topping off your coffee with really hot coffee to keep your cup of coffee warm, this might not be the best unit since it produces coffee that is ready to drink at the perfect temperature. Also, the coffee/tea stays warmer if you use a full pot of water and less warm if you are only making say one to two cups.

The carafe - to completely empty it you almost have to turn it upside down. This may be a concern. The handle is comfortable, but the design could be improved so you can just pour the coffee normally without such an extreme measure.

A note about overflowing - If you fill the unit with the 10 cups of water as indicated on the side, it won't overflow in the coffee pot. It is almost impossible to overfill since the water won't stay in the unit and will overflow before you make the coffee.

So, if you drink coffee or tea I can recommend this to you. Mostly I love using this to make herbal tea at night or coffee in the morning.

~The Rebecca Review







Best Ice Cream Maker I have found!

 

 

Cuisinart ICE-20 1 1/2-Quart Automatic...



5 of 5 stars Sweet Treats, September 28, 2000 

After several failed attempts, I began to wonder if I would ever be able to make creamy dreamy ice cream at home. Finally, I ordered the right one! This ice cream maker really does work. The only time it will not work is if your freezer is not set to the coldest setting. I keep the freezer bowls in the freezer at all times, that way they are ready to go.

So, set your freezer to the coldest setting two days before you intend to make the ice cream. I also found the extra freezer bowl to be indispensable. Instead of waiting for the ice cream mixture to cool, simply use one of the freezer bowls to cool it down and then pour it into the second freezer bowl. This drastically speeds up the process.

I also use the freezer bowl for other items I want to cool down quickly. I use it to cool down Jello when making a Raspberry Mousse. I have been known to place the whole contraption right into the freezer. I guess you are not supposed to, but I am still alive.

So, once you have everything all frozen, set the machine up and make sure it is on a nice level surface (in or out of the freezer). Then, mix up your ice cream recipe. All you do is pour the liquid into the ice cream maker and with a flick of the switch the paddle starts to turn and in about 20 to 30 minutes you will have the ice cream of your dreams.

When washing out the bowl, you will notice that you have to use hot water or you may find the cold water starts to freeze on the inside. I recommend placing a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the bowl when storing it in the freezer so there is no need to rince the bowl. I also disobey the instructions and let the ice cream freeze until solid in the ice cream freezer bowl. I found it just works faster that way. That way your ice cream is ready in 40 minutes! Yes, it takes 20-30 minutes and then 10 more minutes in the freezer. At least that is how it goes in my kitchen. It is still well worth the wait. If you start the ice cream before dinner, you won't even notice the time.

Here is a favorite recipe for a slushy. Yes, you can make those too and it works quite well.

PINK GRAPEFRUIT SLUSH

Use grapefruit juice found in the cooler section of your grocery store or use fresh squeezed and strained juice. If you enjoy sitting outside and want to keep your drinks ice cold, purchase a few "gel mugs" which you can keep in the freezer.

4 cups pink grapefruit juice

1/4 cup orange blossom honey

1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Pour grapefruit juice into a tall jug. Heat honey in the microwave and stir into juice.

2. Set up ice cream maker. Pour in juice, freeze 10 minutes or until slushy. Serve in tall glasses with straws.

Makes 4 glasses.

 

Spice Grinding/Making Salsa

Mortar & Pestle Page

Volcanic Rock Molcajete

 

 

Kamenstein Natural Hardwood Revolving Spice Rack, with 40 Filled Spice Jars


5 of 5 stars Spin those spices baby! October 6, 2000 

How much do I love this revolving spice rack? Well, I will tell you! When I am in the middle of making a meal, I am always looking for a spice or herb. With this wonderful spice rack, I just spin and choose. This rack sits in the corner next to the stove and baking center. Now, for the new cook, you will really save money by buying this specific rack as the jars are all filled with spices and herbs. How convenient. When I purchased mine, the bottles were empty and the cost was around $99. So, I think you are getting a real deal. In the future if you want to replace some of the spices with some of your favorites, you can find spice bottles and lid labels very easily in any kitchen store. I keep mine in alphabetical order so it is easy to find "Basil" under "B" and then spin to find Italian seasoning under I, etc. Once you start cooking 40 spice/herb bottles will not seem like a lot. I also have a flat basket of less used spices sitting on a shelf. The ones I use the most are right on the counter. You will love it...such organization.


OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner

73 of 76 people found the following review helpful:
5 of 5 stars Salad spinners unite :) October 7, 2000 

If you want to get a bit fancy with your salad spinning, this is the one to buy. Not only can you spin the lettuce and remove all the water, you can use the bowl to serve a salad or store lettuce in the inner bowl.

It is so easy to use. You release the lock mechanism at the top and press down. The inner basket starts to spin, removing most of the water from the lettuce. I love the fact that you can rinse the lettuce in the removable inner basket.

You really win with this one. Wash, spin, store...so much less to wash and it is never boring. It is quite large so you do need a big space to store it in the refrigerator, unless you have a big refrigerator, then it is no problem.

If you have memories of trying to swing lettuce around in a kitchen towel, or have tried to use paper towels while they are falling apart all over the lettuce, you must try spinning in this great salad spinner. Once you have spun the lettuce you can remove the inner bowl and dump out the water.

 

Sink Accessories

Mesh Sink Basket

 

Sink Stopper and Strainer

 

 

 

 

Belgian Waffles

Waffle Baker

 

Fluffy Waffles with Strawberries and Cream, April 21, 2005

After my last waffle maker had seen better days, it seemed this Belgian Waffle Baker had some pretty good reviews.

I also liked the "flip" style and the sleek design looked easy to store in a smaller kitchen. The truth is, the waffle maker also sits upright on its side and can sit on your counter out of the way until needed. I love the upright storage feature.

The cool-touch handle will warm slightly while you are baking an entire batch of waffles, however it never gets too hot to touch. You may want to keep a mitt nearby incase you feel it is too hot to hold the handle. Steam also escapes from the unit, so watch for steam when turning the baker. You don't actually have to flip the baker, but you can for fluffier waffles.

The green light turns on when the baker is ready and well heated. This item also comes with a small Waffle Baker Recipe Book with recipes for everything from Whole Grain Waffles to Gingerbread Waffles. You can start with a mix or make the waffles from scratch. Most waffle recipes can be used in any waffle baker, so feel free to try your own favorite recipe. I used my Buttermilk recipe and they were delicious.

Sample recipes:

Chocolate Dessert Waffles
Easy Cake Waffles
Banana-Pecan Waffles
Cornbread Waffles
Applesauce Waffles with Sausage Gravy

The main feature you will love is the superior nonstick finish. Nothing sticks and you never have to worry about how you are going to extract the waffles from the baker. They slide out, no problem. While the waffle baker can't be taken apart for cleaning, it was easy to wipe the baker clean once it had cooled completely. Here is my secret Seasoned with Love recipe for delicious Buttermilk Waffles:

Buttermilk Waffles

These waffles are decadent when served with boysenberry syrup, strawberries, whipped cream and confectioners' sugar. I prefer using all-purpose flour from King Arthur Flour. Sometimes I make my own applesauce and serve these hot with warmed applesauce and a drizzling of maple syrup and fresh cream.

2 large egg whites
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon extra dry white vermouth
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Corn or canola oil

Set a Belgian waffle baker on to heat. In a deep medium bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Whites will have tips that stand when the beaters are lifted. In a large bowl, beat the yolks and sugar. Then, add the buttermilk, butter, vanilla and vermouth.

Sift in the flour, baking powder, salt and soda. Beat for 1 minute, then gently fold in the egg whites. If desired, use a pastry brush to apply a thin coat of oil onto the inside of the heated waffle baker. Ladle a 1/2 cup of batter into the middle of each section and then spread batter evenly.

Close the lid and bake for at least 6-8 minutes.

Strawberries tossed with boysenberry syrup and cream makes a delicious topping. We also sprinkle them with confectioners' sugar.

~The Rebecca Review

 

George Foreman Champ Grill w/ Bun Warmer, Ruby

 

Nothing Sticks, December 11, 2005

When I first saw this grill I thought it was just the cutest grill I'd ever seen. While it is supposed to be a "lean mean fat reducing grilling machine," I will admit to using this to make grilled cheese sandwiches. Please don't tell George Foreman. ;)

After reading even more info on the perils of outdoor grilling, I decided to try grilling more indoors. This smaller grill is a good solution for my now smaller kitchen. It fits nicely on the counter, is lightweight and heats up fast. You can make hamburgers, but there are so many more possibilities.

The nonstick finish is truly a thing of beauty, however, when I was done cooking I was amazed that the design did not allow me to remove the grills and toss them in the dishwasher. Well, it wasn't too difficult just to wipe the grills clean, but maybe they could consider such an option in the future.

Other features include:

A dinner roll and bun warmer - you can also warm breakfast biscuits, English muffins, tortillas, pita bread, sliced bagels and mini croissants.

A Floating hinge - This allows you to cook thick cuts of meat. You might also want to cook salmon, shrimp, chicken, link sausages, vegetables, etc.

Sloped Grill surface - allows the fats to just drip right into the drip tray.

Plastic Spatula - Allows you to easily remove food without scratching the cooking surface.

A grill that heats up fast and grills both sides of the food at the same time. You can make grilled vegetables for a snack or make a quick dinner. This is my first George Foreman grill. Thanx to my aunt for this cute gift!

~The Rebecca Review

 

 

 

 

More Kitchen Essentials

 

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