I wanted to talk a bit about some new toys I have acquired the last few months.
With great sales and Christmas gifts I have been blessed enough to now own many things on my wishlist.
The first toy is the L'quip Stick blender. I bought it on black Friday for $20, the regular price is over $70
This thing is so cool. I have mixed up a pumpkin pie with it as well as made whipped cream, walnut butter, and mayonnaise. I am really looking forward to playing with this more and finding more things this wonderful tool can do.
The second new toy is a vacuum sealer, I bought about a week after Christmas. Once I had it I took the time to reorganize my freezer, making a list of everything I have in it and vacuum packing everything that needed to be, I ordered a jar attachment from amazon.com to to go with it so I can Vacuum pack things that would be crushed if you tried to vacuum pack them in bags. I can seal bags without vacuuming the air out too, it should keep me from using so many ziplock bags since I can just reseal the bag it came in I have already used it a great deal and plan on using it a lot more.
The third new toy is a water bath canner. I havn't been able to play with it yet as there is no fruit in season right now but I did ask for it for Christmas and am very happy to have it, even if I do have to wait a while to use it. I already have a pressure canner I bought near the end of last summer that I used as a water bath canner but it is too small to can quarts using the water bath method.
Zipper and I taught ourselves how to can last fall. Canning was a blast and I really want to get into it. I plan on entering my canned goods in the state fair in a few years. We had a great time and I will be posting a lot about canning next fall and maybe a few about canning meat when meat is on sale. ( I havn't canned any meat yet but I really do want to try it, that is why I bought the pressure canner in the first place.)
The forth new toy is a pasta rolling machine. I have had one on my Amazon wish list for over a year. It was a Christmas present and I think my parents liked my reaction to it. I have made two batches of pasta, the second much better than the first and I can't wait to post about it. Home made noodles are so good.
Another Christmas present from my parents was a Cuisinart hand mixer. My old hand mixer( $10 and the grocery store) had burnt out on cookie dough. It went out with sparks and smoke. I didn't want that to happen again so I did some research and asked for the Cuisinart. A good sturdy hand mixer is a must for serious bakers and cooks. I look forward to using it for years to come.
The next new toy is the Excalibur 3900 food dehydrator.
I bought it with my Christmas bonus, I dried a batch of pineapples the day it arrived. My roommates liked them but I'm not a big fan of pineapple it was just on sale. Zipper and I have looked through the instruction book and made a list of what we want to try. This thing can do so much more than dry fruits and vegetables. Some of the things we are going to try are beef jerky, yogurt, cottage cheese, instant soup and proofing bread dough. You can take the trays out and run it like a warming box, you can also set the temperature so it wont get too hot to kill the yeast or yogurt cultures. I didn't get one with a timer but I don't think it would have been worth the extra money.
And last but not least I was given a hand me down grain mill. I don't know how old it is maybe 10 years or so but I checked it out, it works great and all the parts are there. They even gave it to me in the original packaging with instruction book and warranty. It is even the brand I was planning on buying with my Christmas bonus just an older model. It was used but I don't think it was used very much. I did need to clean it and I will be looking for a replacement filter because its bent and squished a bit but other than that it was in great working order. Before now when I wanted to grind wheat I would either use my hand grinder( Christmas last year) or ask my roommate to take some wheat to her moms house to grind for me. I am so happy to have a mill I really look forward to baking with fresh ground whole wheat flour and other grains too.
You can see a theme with my new toys can't you? You learned in my first post that I love to cook and bake. My Mom once told me that when I got married no one would know what to give us as wedding presents because I would already have every kitchen gadget out there, I love kitchen gadgets, I have spend hours wandering around stores like Spoons and Spice and Sur-la-table.
I really look forward to the new year and all the new recipes I will try. I hope you will join me learning new ways to cook, trying new recipes and techniques.
What toy would you like me to teach you about first?