Tag Archives: gadgets

less space, more stuff!

22 Nov

I like to think that I have a very well-equipped kitchen. From utensils and gadgets to pans and hardware, I have a lot of really solid tools for my trade. Some might say I have too many kitchen toys… The things is, as you all know, finding places to put all this stuff. Storage! That is the one thing you can never have too much of.*

Thankfully, technology is my friend and helps me find more ways to save time and space in the kitchen!

Okay, but seriously. I used to own this:

a 4-quart crock pot, without that nasty stock photo meat in it

and this:

an 8-cup rice cooker

and this:

a 6-quart stove top pressure cooker

Whew! Large and in charge, all three of these items took up a ton of space. A few months ago, Jim and I were looking at getting a newer, nicer rice cooker and stumbled across this beast:

Fagor 3-in-1 6 quart multi-cooker

I immediate busted out my phone and did what I always do when I’m considering an unknown purchase- look at reviews on Amazon. It was looking pretty promising and the price was totally right, so we decided to take the plunge and get it. It has since taken the place of all three of the above, which I was liberating by releasing into the wild (of other people’s kitchens).

After several months of using it, here is my assessment:

Pros:
-Replaces 3 large kitchen appliances.
-Pressure cooking done on the counter top now, rather than taking up the stove!
-Rice/quinoa is cooked under pressure and cooks in just 6 minutes once the unit reaches pressure (so total time is about 10 minutes). I only need to run it for 2 cycles for wild rice! Nice.
-Rice texture is fluffy and great plus no more browning on the bottom of the pot when left on “warm”.
-Much quieter when pressure cooking than the stove top model.
-Beans are tender.
-Slow cooks perfectly.

Cons:

-Because there is only one way to release the pressure (valve), can’t employ the “quick release” method we were used to on the stove top. It’s not really a con, but has taken some getting used to in our bean preparation times based on our old habits. We haven’t ruined a batch yet, though, and we’re getting a better feel for it each time.
-The only option for slow cooking is the low setting, no high setting. This works fine for us because I never use the high setting, but could be a drawback for someone else.

So, you can see the pros outweigh the cons significantly. I’ve been incredibly happy with this purchase and keep recommending it to people, so I figured I should blog about it! The cost of a really good rice cooker alone is usually close to double the cost of the this unit. And, for the record, I am writing this review on my own accord. Cool companies never offer me swag. Alas, I buy my own gadgets. 🙂

What kitchen appliance or tool do you most love?

*This is a totally unrelated side note but whatever, I love tangents. I know there are a lot of grammarians and English majors who read this blog. As I was proofreading this entry, I noticed the above sentence, which I ended with a preposition. “Eeek!” I could collectively hear you saying. “You should never end a sentence with a preposition!” Little known fact, I used to be a Linguistics major in college, so here’s a story about the history of English and that silly rule.

Centuries ago, when more and more books and pamphlets were being put to print, grammarians were concerned about the degradation of the English language (when aren’t they concerned?). They decided it was time to put more rules and parameters around English. Latin was revered as the true, “educated” language to which we should aspire to emulate. It was natural to them that they decided in order to speak proper English, they would apply rules of Latin to it. In Latin, there is a rule which says you cannot end a sentence with a preposition because you literally cannot. Your sentence would not make sense because within the structure of Latin because it would not be reflecting back onto a noun, it would just hang there and be nonsense.

Now, being that we aren’t speaking Latin and that you can understand most English sentences with the preposition falling at the end of the sentence, it’s not actually necessary. Sure, sometimes a restructure of a sentence makes it sound better, but sometimes it sounds worse. As I always say, do what feels right to your ear. And if you’re interested in reading more about this misguided rule, click here or here.

garlic rehab

4 Nov

I have a dirty little secret. One of those things that foodie people mock loudly and then all their groupies join in, laughing, while some of us awkwardly chuckle as our eyes dart around, nervously, to see if we’ve been found.

For years, I primarily used jarred garlic. And you know what? I still have a jar in my fridge.

Sure, fresh garlic is cheap and tastes better. But getting those pesky skins off each clove was making me nuts! Then my fingers would stink for days, no matter how many times I ran cold water over my fingers while rubbing them over the back of a spoon or using lemon juice. Real garlic only got pulled out for company and jarred was good enough for us.

And then, last year, this little friend arrived in my stocking:

Sure, I’d seen these at the store before, but always thought, “Seriously? What a gimmick!” I mean, come on, a rubber tube? What good would that going to do? I thought it was sweet that Jim tried to get me a new gadget, even thought it wasn’t going to work. Right?

Oh boy, little rubber tube + fresh garlic = WIN! All it takes is a couple of seconds of rocking and rolling on the counter and the skins just shed off. Perfecto!

But now, to mince. Again, I don’t want stinky hands. Enter:

The GarlicZoom. It looks stupid, but works really, really well. Between the tube and the Zoom, I have freshly minced garlic in under 1 minute, no joke.

Now, you may have noticed that I said that I still have a jar of garlic. Sometimes I’m out of fresh or I’m really just that lazy. But I have to give it to these little, vampire-repellent tools of the trade. They rock.

*I just want to note that I was not paid or asked by either company to promote these products. I just has a luv.