Sunday, June 11, 2017

Dads and Grads


A small kitchen appliance or gadget is great gift for the Dad who dabbles in cooking, or the new graduate that will be moving into their own apartment.  But choose wisely, an ice cream maker or pasta maker may be infrequently used, and take up precious cabinet or counter space.

I love kitchen gadgets of every stripe, but I have  a very small kitchen without a lot of storage space. As  a result, I have to be judicious when choosing which gadgets I let into the coveted space. You will not find a specific container to store half an avocado, or a special gadget to slice watermelon---I have one, it's called a knife!  I always ask myself if this gadget will a) be frequently used and b) will it make my life qualitatively better?

My two new electronic gadgets answer both these questions.  One is the Capresso milk frother, which I purchased for just under $40 at Costco.  I've seen it online for as high as the $70.  I made a few passes by the aisle, came back another day, and finally decided to treat myself. And, it was a great buy. I use it almost every day, sometimes more than once a day. Besides making amazing frothy or cold, that seriously will put the foam at Starbucks to shame, I found it makes a mean hot cocoa. There is no silt at the bottom, and I don't have the messy bubble over like I do when I make hot cocoa from scratch in the microwave. If making the variety from a packet with water, I can mix and heat the water to a nice temperature at the same time...all in about 3 minutes.   An added nutritional bonus is that my kids are not big milk drinkers.  But, if I give them foamy milk (which looks like whipped cream to them, but is 100% sugar free) they'll drink it with breakfast.

My second purchase was the result of Rosie's recent avid interest in quesadilla's. We normally use a small fying pan, thus avoiding gadget clog up in the kitchen. But when I saw the Hamilton Beach Quesadilla Maker at Kohl's on sale (and having had a great coupon and Kohl's cash) it was only about $14. Less than the cost of lunch for two at a Mexican restaurant (although Margaritas are not included).  When Rosie makes quesadillas I have to carefully monitor her time at the stove, save burning tortillas in the nick of time, and pull it off the stove just in time for optimal cheese meltage. The electric quesadilla maker indicates 2-3 minutes of cooking time is perfect for the perfect quesadilla...and it is. If you use the recommended 7-8 inch tortilla (such as Trader Joe's Rice Flour Wraps or Udi's brand Large Plain Tortillas), the edges will seal nicely giving you 6 perfectly sealed little triangles bursting with filling. If you use the 6" corn tortillas the edges don't seal, so you have to check to make sure the melted cheese doesn't sploosh out.

This machine worked really well with the Daiya shredded cheese for a great dairy free quesadilla. It melted perfectly!

Either of these are great gift ideas for Father's Day next week or an upcoming graduation!

Check out my You Tube videos demonstrating these great products:

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