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Thursday, May 6, 2010

a few of my favorites

(image via Brownies for Dinner)
There are some things that never cease to please me, like the smell of patchouli on a scarf, sun streaming through our front door, and the sound of the ice cream maker whirring.  I know, that last one came out of nowhere, but I've been thinking about breaking it out now that summer is right around the corner.  We received our ice cream maker as a gift (thanks, Aunt Kathi & Uncle John!) and it's definitely a keeper.  You can find one here at your local Williams-Sonoma.  

(image via Williams-Sonoma)
Simply store the removable bowl tucked away in your freezer for days when you just have to have homemade ice cream immediately!  Select a recipe (may I recommend classic strawberry with a hint of lemon?), mix up your ingredients, and in about 25 minutes you can enjoy 2 quarts of ice cream.    

Another kitchen appliance that serves us well is our Cuisinart griddler.  We bought it at Crate & Barrel and never looked back.  I use it probably once every two weeks and it's great in a pinch.  Example: I forgot to take anything out of the freezer to defrost, there's no homemade gravy in the fridge waiting to be heated and added to pasta, we don't have time to go out, and Matt is going to be home in 30 minutes.  Or less.  And he's extra hungry because he forgot to bring a lunch to work.  Griddler to the rescue!  Slather four slices of bread with olive oil and lay two of them on the grill.  Add some sliced Mozzarella, chicken breast, and pesto, top with the the other two slices of bread and walk away.  Hot panini in less than 15 minutes!  Or switch the plates out and unhinge to make six pancakes at a time - also a great last minute dinner... well, I think it's great.  Matt thinks it leaves something to be desired, but he's not the one cooking so he can't complain.  Oh, I forgot to mention the best part about this thing... the plates are removable so you can stick them right in the dishwasher!  Clean up is a cinch!  

(image via Macy's)
Next, my favorite weekend appliance - our Krups waffle maker.  I whip up a double batch of classic waffles using the recipe from The Joy of Cooking and the first four waffles are ready in about 5 minutes.  We eat waffles all week.  Well, almost.  We eat maybe half of the waffles on Saturday and then we have a few leftover that we can heat up in the toaster oven for an on-the-run breakfast as we're flying out the door to church on Sunday and work on Monday.  My only complaint - although the inside part (no idea what to call it) is non-stick, it cannot be removed and therefore cannot be put in the dishwasher.  Or the sink.  Also, the instructions state that one should not use soap to clean the device since it is seasoned with use.  This means I have to spend the rest of Saturday morning cleaning the thing with a damp cloth and several hundred Q-tips to ensure it is in tip-top shape for its next use.  However, it is worth it.  I would not be singing its praises on my blog if it were not.  but you may want to consider one with removable plate things.  Just maybe.      
What do you love in your kitchen?

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