I have to admit that in my younger days, I never thought I’d prefer cooking to the ease and excitement of dining out. You can try new dishes without the hassle of searching for a recipe, locating ingredients in the store, slaving over the stove, and (my least favorite) cleaning up afterwards. But as I have aged and my tastes have matured, I have found that I enjoy the control I have over cooking my own meals. I know which ingredients go into my food, I save tons of money making sushi at home rather than ordering it from the counter, and cooking has become a fun way to spend quality time with my husband. One of the things that makes cooking fun is all of those exciting small kitchen appliances you get to experiment with as you are trying new recipes. Here are some of my favorites.
Living in St. Louis, I got spoiled by the fresh pasta dishes created by Italian restaurants in ‘the Hill’ neighborhood. We would often leave our favorite Italian restaurant with a package or two of fresh pasta to cook within the next couple of days. With my pasta machine, I can create all kinds of fresh noodles, from spinach-flavored linguini noodles to ravioli filled with crab meat and goat cheese. The noodles are good for several days, and they take just a few minutes to cook.
I love sandwiches. They are quick, not overly messy, and can be eaten on the go. But I can never get through a full loaf of bread before it starts to mold, and I get tired of the same old choices – white or wheat? My bread machine rescued me from bread-boredom. Not only can I make a loaf of cracked-pepper and cheese bread, I can also make dough for pretzels, pita shells, and french rolls.
I purchased a food dehydrator after realizing how difficult it is to find dried fruit without sugar added. I make lots of dried fruit to snack on with the dehydrator and have also used it for jerky, dried vegetables, and flowers. You can also make soup and seasoning mixes, granola, and dried meals for camping with this handy machine.
Finally, I am a bit of a coffee snob. But being cheap, I want good coffee without the hassle of going to Starbucks and forking over $4 for a latte. That’s where my espresso machine comes in. It takes about 5 minutes to grind the beans, brew the espresso, and froth the milk. I can flavor the coffee however I want to and make it as strong (or weak) as I desire.
These kitchen appliances have made my life easier, healthier, and more interesting. It has been a lot of fun experimenting with new or made up recipes and discovering the great meals I can make at home. Not sure what to try first with your new home appliance? Check out our recipe pages for some ideas!
(Image credit: www.houzz.com)