This page has all the fun kitchen gadgets that I have purchased of the years are essential to cooking my own meals. You dont have to run out and get them all but, they will be helpful on your journey wiht making all these delicious recipes.
Use this press to make this delicious tofu sandwich. Click on image for recipe
Tofu that delishous block that soaks up flavors like a sponge. Tofu is packed in water to keep it from drying out. However, in most tofu recipes, it usually requires it to be pressed to get all of the extra water out. Is this really necessary and does it really make a difference? Well, I have on more than one occasion been guilty of not pressing it due to laziness or not enough time. But, it really does make a difference in flavor and texture. By pressing all the excess moisture out, it allows it to soak up more flavors when marinaded or when cooking. It also gives it a much more dense texture and it does not fall apart when cooking unless you want to make tofu scrambles. It is pretty simple to press tofu however, some methods are easier than others. For a long time I would simpy wrap it up in papertowels and put either heavy books on top (books get wet) or use my cast iron pan. Problem is that it usually does not press even and the books or pan fall over or it presses uneven. So, I am not one for silly gadgets but, this one was one of the best ones I bought. Some they sell are fancy and expensive up around 60 bucks, but I found this one for $12.99 on Amazon and it works just fine! If you cook lots of tofu like I do, then this is a must have for the kitchen!
All Hale the Vitamix!
beautiful new vitamix
My vitamix after 100's of blended smoothies
Beautiful garden pesto blended in my vitamix. Click the picture for this easy and quick recipe.
Now if you are a smoothie junkie like me, then don't bother getting a cheap blender you will only burn out the motor in a couple months, trust me on this one, I break my share over the years. This machine is a staple in our kitchen and it get used everyday sometimes twice a day! It is the Caddillac of blenders. So powerful that I think it could cut up a can (although I would not try it). Some models have the power of a small lawn mower! It is heavy so it wont bounce all over the counter when it is on. The angled blades spin up to 240 miles per hour which are on the dull side. They don't need to be super sharp because they dont slice food like other blenders, it actually pulverizes what is inside to a liquid very quickly. They break down the foods cell walls to emulsify them at a molecular level. By doing this way it is more healthy because it breaks down the plant material. This is one of the main differneces than what you will find in a regular blender which does not break down the food as well and there is often pieces left inside. I had the Ninja for a while which is also a great blender but, I killed it after a year. The one main con with the vitamix is that is is very expensive. The cheapest averages around $450.00 and range as high as $1,000. Yes they are a bit expensive but, just think all the other blenders that you break in a year will add up to one vitamix and they have a great warranty. I was so determined to buy one for myself, (I didn't have much money at the time) I literally took my penny collection, puts bags of them in a shopping cart at the store, went to a coin star inside and sat there for a half hour inserting all my pennies. I ended up with $350.00, so with cash in hand and my bed bath and beyond coupon, bought my vitamix for a cheap price of $400.00. That was 2 years ago and I havent stopped using it sense.
Oh and as you can see in my vitamix, the container gets stained after a while. I have tried to find the best method to get this off but, I have yet to find the best one sadly. I have even e-mailed Vitamix to see what they suggested. Supposedly vinegar, dish soap and water soaked for a few hours then scrubbed works, but it didnt work very well for mine. I ended up buying a new container and now this one is doing the same thing. So, my suggestion is to keep scrubbing it everytime you use it and that will at least slow the build up some. Check out their website: https://www.vitamix.com/
Zucchini noodles are delicious with many recipes. Check out these noodles recipe with my garden pesto.
There are many kitchen gadgets out there that are just a waste of money. Small companies are looking to find the next million dollar hit, the as seen on TV, make your life conveient, take up more room in your draws and cubbords, and never really works right to begin with. Some that are just plain silly and you have to wonder who in the world would buy this stuff. Some great examples are the plastic banana slicer. Now why wouldn't you simply use a knife. The battery operated spaghetti fork twirler. This one is worth buying, the spiralizer makes some great veggie noodles that replace traditional wheat pasta. simple to use and simple to clean. There are a few different versions but, I find this one works the best and it is inexpensive on Amazon.
Sometimes a big bulky blender or a full size food processor simply wont work for certain smaller recipes or when I am really pressed for time and don't want to chop every little vegetable, this mini processor really comes in handy. I used mine so much making everything from homemade salad dressing to hummus over the past couple of years that I just went out and bought a new one. It is perfect for making smaller dishes like a creamy ginger tahini salad dressing, guacamole, nut butters and I have even made my own chocolate and frostings. It is perfect for chopping up onions, carrots, peppers and other veggies in a seconds. It is not big so it fits into the cabnet quite nicely and it is super quick and easy to clean. They can be purchased cheap at Walmart, Amazon, Target or any other big department store. They only cost about $20.00. This is one that is worth taking up space in the kitchen!