Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I have a new favorite appliance. Don't tell the Vita-Mix but we use this rice cooker (Zojirushi NS-VGC05 Micom 3-Cup Electric Rice Cooker and Warmer) nearly every day. It takes a bit longer than making rice on the stovetop but it cooks an assortment of rice to the perfect texture and leaves a burner free on the stove; a major concern for us. Not only does it make perfect rice, it keeps it warm for hours without sacrificing texture at all.
I know that space is a concern for a lot of people, but it is actually quite small; it comfortably sits against the wall on our countertop which is a space we rarely utilized any way.
The 3 cup size (3 "rice" cups, not 3 American cups) is perfect for a couple or small family. There are settings for mixed rice, sushi rice, rinse free rice, porridge and even cake! You can even make rice with vegetables or small bits of meat in it. There is a very clear instruction book with recipes and diagrams that make using it a breeze. It plays "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" as an alert, how cute is that?
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I was recently lucky enough to be contacted by the VitaMix company asking if I would like to try out their new VitaMix 5200. Of course, I was thrilled. After getting it, I was even more impressed. It is not only a blender that gets things super smooth (check out Hannah's homemade rice milk and nutella!) but it due to friction it can actually make hot soup! In less than 7 minutes! On the other hand, you can also make ice cream in it using frozen ingredients and it forms ice cream without any extra freezing. We've made some great juice (from whole, peeled citrus), chopped vegetables and just today I made 7 cups of mustard in it in about 1 minute. I can't wait to make homemade nut butters in it. You can make homemade tanini in it, it is that powerful!
You just can't ask for a better, harder working appliance. It is truly amazing.
But wait, there is more...it cleans itself! You just add water and a bit of soap and pulse until it is clean.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
If you have a cook on your holiday list you must get them this knife! I have the Santoku with the stone handle and I love it. It is super sharp-so sharp I feel like I should only use it under direct adult supervision-and can cut through a giant winter squash like it was butter. It also chops vegetables and fish beautifully. I made coleslaw with paper thin slices of cabbage using this knife and it was actually much easier, finer and more attractive using than using a grater or mandolin. Seriously, this knife changed my life. It is a bit on the pricy side but well worth it.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
This year I had some customized M&Ms in holiday colors made just for fun. They feature my face, "Food Maven" and "Happy Holidays". They are really too cute and everyone I've given them to gets the biggest kick out of them. I think my mom has given them to everyone she knows! I am sort of tempted to make cookies out of them-they would be a fun gift to give to family members. I also think these personalized M&Ms would be perfect for a wedding or bridal shower or even a special birthday. They are distinctive and can be made in several color combinations and you can get pictures and/or phrases put on them. Plus there are a variety of packaging options so you have them all packaged and ready to go as gifts or party favors when they arrive so you don't have to do anything! It isn't too late to place a Christmas/Hanukkah order, just order by Dec. 18th.