Sunday, January 16, 2011

What makes my kitchen work

I do a lot of cooking and love every minute of it so to make my life easier it helps to have useful items around to simplify the projects. I guess the most used appliance I have is my 8 qt. pressure cooker. What makes it so nice is that you never hear it until the job is done and it beeps to let you know that the cooking is completed and it automatically switches to warm and will depressurize all by itself. Work really great for dishes that call for cooked chicken . Cooking a whole chicken instead of pieces costs less and it's all electronic. Just punch in the number of minutes and press start. It will let you know when its done.

My Flavorwave oven is the next most used for meals done quickly. I used it today with the extender ring to cook a turkey breast and it was done perfectly in a little over an hour. I can take steak frozen solid and be eating juicy delicious steaks in only 30 minutes. With infra red and convection everything cooks faster and better.

As my new blogging daughter would agree, what is a good kitchen without an effecient opener for wine bottles. This one has a straight pointed tip instead of the curved tip so it more user friendly and works great on synthetic corks.

My German V-Slicer has been with me for about 20 years and slices just as good today as it did when I first bought it. The only piece I have had to replace is the handle up front in the center that you use to hold the veggies and avoid slicing your fingers. With it I can slice thick or thin, slice strips thick or thin. If I have an onion on the holder and use a knife and make 3 or 4 slices in the opposite direction of how it will be on the slicer and use the think vertical blades I get a perfect fine dice every time. Not pictured it also came with a slicer that does waffle fries. One of the best investments I ever made.

My Vita Mix is the real work horse in my kitchen. It is not a blender. It is so powerful I can take wheat and turn it into flour, regular sugar into powdered sugar, fresh veggies into hot soup in only 8 minutes, frozen strawberries or any fruit into ice cream. My wife's favorite is to take fresh fruit (grapes, apples, kiwi, blueberries, banana, orange without the peel, "baby spinich") and some ice cubes and make the best fruit smoothy with the added benefit of the spinch and you cannot taste the spinich. You've probably seen Montel Williams advertise his version of the same machine on TV. It really is as good as they say.

One of our most used daily items is our Keurig coffee maker. Above it is pictured the top of the K-cup that goes into the machine and that particular one is Kona coffee from the big island of Hawaii and my favorite. You simply raise the lid, pour your cup full of water in the top, lower the lid and then raise the front handle which causes the water to flow into the heating chamber and lets you put your choice of coffee or tea into the K-cup holder, lower the handle and press the top button and 2 minutes later you have a perfect cup of coffee every time. No mess and no pot with coffee that gets wasted. You can also purchase models with a water resevoir that allows you to make numerous cups before having to refill with water.

Last but certainly not least is a staple here in my kitchen and that is the Crockpot. This is what I use when I don't have time to stand over a stove. It is also a device that can turn simple ingredients into something special. One of the many dishes I prepare is what I call easy chicken which is simply 3 or 4 chicken breasts or it can be other cuts covered with a mixture of cream of chicken soup and cream of celery soup. The chicken is fall apart tender and the sauce that happens is heavenly.
Sure I could live without some of these appliances but life would not be half the fun.


  1. That is an impressive list of appliances Odie. Amazing.

    I always wanted a pressure cooker, but they scared me. I have never seen an electric one - neat. Can you can in it too.

    And the Flavorwear oven always intrigued me as I thought they were suspect. Nice to know they work.

    And I was impressed with the slicer. 20 years is great!

    Thanks for the list - now I have ideas for gifts. :D

  2. i am a little bit aof a purist or stubbornist on my cooking things...

    my favorite appliance is the knife and cutting board...

    i saute a ton of stuff, lots of soups, chili's and pastas..

    but that is some great list...i do want a pressure cooker!

    i cook everything on the grill in the non frozen months.. (april-nov)

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  3. Waow, you're serious in that kitchen of yours, aren't you Odie! Some super gadgets there. I love the one where you can eat a juicy steak only 30 minutes from being frozen. I've got a Smoothie maker, which also makes great soups. Hope you've had a good weekend. Bet you-re proud of your new blogging daughter!

  4. You're the Galloping Gourmet, Odie! My dad used to enjoy doing a lot of the cooking for us but I was never handy in the kitchen. I once tried to make ice cubes but I burned them!

  5. Good gadgets. I had a chef so I never wanted these items. Now that I have to cook (occasionally) I would like a crock pot. Dinner can be cooking while we're sitting on the beach!!

  6. That Oven Turbo sounds great. I'm going to get one if I can. Thanks for all the suggestions. I've never used a pressure cooker, but I do use a crock-pot. Thanks for the info.

  7. I really want a Flavorwave oven!! Very informative post! Thanks!

  8. I don't have the Vita Mix but I have that on my wish list. I love my Flavorwave (or NuWave oven) and it does a great job. I also have a pressure cooker just like yours but not sure what to do with it. Hints? Suggestions?

    I also LOVE my Keurig. I use it every single day. It makes my mornings so much faster. Cup 'o joe to go.

    I have a crock pot, too. It's got 3 sizes of crocks so I can use just the small one for Ron and I. I'm not too great with recipes for it, either.

  9. Now, if you just lived close enough to cook for me everyday, or at least share a cup of coffee! I want that Keurig machine!

  10. I'm so jealous of your gadgets, especially the coffee maker!!!


  11. Love my crockot. Essential in the winter

  12. Wow, a man who likes to cook! I am very impressed :)

  13. I always wondered if those Flavorwave things I know!
    I love my crock pot........especially loved it when I had little kids......I'd have supper cooking while I was at work.....gave me more time to play with the kids in the evening rather than being stuck in the kitchen.