January 10, 2011 2 Comments
For all of us living in urban homes, space is always of the essence and something we generally sacrifice in order to live in cities. Closet space is minimal, and our kitchen’s are usually the room’s with the least amount of excess- even the fridge and stove tend to be sized down, making the luxuries of home appliances minimal. I used to pretend my old kitchen was just ‘European’ so if the parisians could live effortlessly with a scaled down stove, fridge and sink, so could I. And then there’s the issue of counter space (if any) and storage (ha!) But as a twentysomething who loves to cook, it’s been a difficult road deciding how and what to bring into this limited area where you can only store so many items above the fridge, below the stove and in the sacred cabinets. I’m still holding out for a food processor since I realize this is something that wouldn’t get used much right now and would take up too much of our precious kitchen. There are, however, some really great items I think that are worthwhile and worthy of sharing our cozy kitchen space. Here’s a list of great kitchen tools, accessories and gadgets worth checking out, for yourself or even as gift ideas.
1. Zoku Quick Pop Maker:
We received this zoku pop maker and recipe book from Santa and frozen treats has never been so simple, fun and unique. Now you can create your own customized frozen pops, including cream-filled varieties, in as little as seven minutes. Simple and easy to use, our freezer ensures flavorful fun for the whole family.
2. Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker
While I don’t have any children of my own, I’m impressed by this functional make your own baby food maker from Williams-Sonoma. From the French company renowned throughout Europe for baby food–related products, this compact countertop appliance makes it easy to prepare fresh, healthy meals for baby – from start to finish.
3. Food Mill
After watching Barefoot Contessa for the millionth time and seeing her use one of these over and over to achieve the perfect level of vegetable mash/grate I knew this had to be added to my list. The food mill is the tool of choice for controlling the texture of pureed foods. With a polished stainless-steel interior and white enameled-steel exterior, this one features three different-sized discs for producing perfect mashed potatoes, applesauce, baby food and more.
No longer belonging to the 70′s as a social pastime, fondue is making a comback and is a fun and delicious activity for 1, 2 or a party full of loved ones. With places like Trader Joes providing ready-made fondue cheese packages, its never been easier. Plug into flame-less fondue with this handy new version from Cuisinart. They’ve thought of everything, from the built-in heating element, to the adjustable thermostat, to the easy-clean nonstick finish. You can prepare chocolate, cheese, broth or oil fondues in the sleek brushed stainless pot.
5. Bamboo Steamer
As a huge fan and addict of Gyoza and dumplings, I love this steamer for cooking these treats to perfection everytime. While I used to cook dumplings in a frying pan, this cooks them evenly, leaves them a bit sticky and is a healthier alternative so no cooking oil is involved. It’s great for steaming veggies too! Based on a steamer found in a restaurant in China, the tiered Asian cooking fundamental is updated with sophisticated, stabilizing stainless steel bands. A healthful way to retain vitamins and other nutrients while cooking, steaming produces those delectable dumplings and dim sum, seafood and crispy vegetables. Food rests above boiling water on an elevated shelf, while the woven lid traps the steam. The symbol on the front translates to “food” or “eating” in Chinese. Wood and bands will darken with age.
6. French Press
Slow things down on your Saturday mornings, put down your “instant brew” K-Cups and enjoy your coffee in its most pure and simple form. Consisting of only glass and stainless steel materials, A French Press is one of the most popular coffee makers in the world since is produces a coffee in which the taste is made up only of your coffee beans essential oils… so choose your cofee beans wisely.
Which brings us to 7. Coffee Bean Grinder.
The only way to drink fresh coffee and honestly, I think nothing smells as intoxicating and exotic as freshly ground beans. Take your morning coffee routines to the next level, invest a few extra minutes and enjoy the rich, high octain flavor of a freshly ground, freshly pressed mug of coffee.