Dining can be a delicate thing. Finding the right balance of flavors and ingredients can be tricky, but the meal is only half the story. Surrounding whatever food is on the plate, of course, is the environment. The setting could be anything from the soft glow of a candlelight dinner to the bright glare of a midday meal. Or, it could be any number of options dialed up from the range hood. Yes, that oft-overlooked thing above the stovetop.
Cooking is an action sport. Oh sure, there are plenty of options for those who go the less dynamic route, but when it comes to prepping ingredients, activity is usually necessary. Certainly kitchen gadgets do their best to make life easier for those who choose to chop, slice, and dice, yet still there usually remains a need for direct involvement from the chef. Sometimes, however, it is the smallest of features on a gadget or appliance that lends the biggest hand.
The Hamilton Beach 70730 Bowl Scraper Food Processor ($49.99) is like having a third (blade-proof) hand in the … Read more
Breakfast is more than the sum of its parts. Sure, bacon, egg, cheese, ham, sausage and the like are all delicious enough on their own, but when put together something magical happens. The transformation of breakfast ingredients into a breakfast meal is one that can happen in so many ways. Yet time and time again, people gravitate towards a classic: the breakfast sandwich. Often prepared with an English muffin or a bagel, the mingling of ingredients creates an easy to carry meal that is packed with flavor. And now, one kitchen gadget wants to make it even easier to construct … Read more
The kitchen is all about timing. Sometimes things happen fast; other times patience is required. The slow simmering of an all-day sauce combined with the quick heat of a fast sear on a choice cut of protein brings together flavor combinations that rally our taste buds into believing that anything is possible as long as we take the time to do them right. But it is not just time that has a monopoly on efficiency in the kitchen. It's also about versatility.
January is a time of renewal. It also happens to be when appliance makers show off their visions of what is to come. The event is CES 2013 and this year, according to those that make kitchen gadgets and appliances, everything is going to be very, very smart. While we have been promised automated kitchens in one form or another since the time of the Jetsons, there is one important factor in the modern world that may see the smart kitchen finally grow up: mobility.
The circus that is the end of the year is one that is filled with family, friends, and, of course, food. While all these hectic gatherings certainly do represent good times, the occasion can be fraught with danger. As the turkey, ham, or roast rests waiting to go under the knife, the inside of the beast is plotting against you. The anticipation of the first slice is tempered by the reality of the released juices -- inevitably rolling straight to your new tablet, phone, or e-reader.
The same juiciness that makes the centerpiece of a meal delicious also makes it … Read more
The rise of the tablet device as a quick go-to kitchen helper has come as no surprise. Having information available at the fingertips is a good way to improve kitchen skills. The only problem with said fingertips is that often they end up coated in whatever happens to travel from the pantry and the refrigerator to the countertop. Baking can be messy business, but despite the danger of a destroyed tablet, the practice continues.
There are plenty of plastic sleeves and other accessories are available to help keep the device from being contaminated by food. So, we grab the expensive … Read more
What could be better than the smell of a loaf of bread baking? The answer is as simple as it is obvious: the smell of two loaves of bread baking. Yet, in home kitchens everywhere, there is a major stumbling block hindering this wonderful and enticing experience. Alas, the bread machine can only handle one loaf at a time. The answer, again, is as simple as it is obvious: use two bread-making machines. Or just double down on one.
The Cooks Essentials Dual 1 lb. Bread Maker w/12 Programmed Settings ($99) is a double-barreled bread maker that can bake … Read more
In a world of cookie-cutter cookie cutters, it is not uncommon to find uninspired shapes. But then again, who cares? Cookies are delicious; it doesn't matter how they are cut. End of conversation. Except it does kind of matter; cookies not cut into circus animal shapes may taste the same, but don't tell that to the kids (or the adults who lamented the near death of that classic cookie). But even more unforgivable than carbon-copy cookie cutters, is when they become unrecognizable shapes. That is unless they combine to form a new whole.
It's time to talk turkey. A lot of turkey. As in turkey sandwiches. It is that time of year, after all. However, as high as the leftovers may be piled up in the refrigerator, that doesn't necessarily mean it's easy to figure out what to do with them. One can only eat so many sandwiches. Unless of course, there can be found new ways of constructing them.
The Frigidaire FPPG12K7MS Professional Panini Grill (about $120) takes an old classic and smashes it -- in a good way. But panini sandwiches are just the start. The indoor grill … Read more