Oh, yes. The HARDWARE. Before I begin, I’m going to admit that I prefer to do as much as I can by hand. Why?…I like to ‘feel’ and become familiar with my food. A lot can be learned through touch. It also REALLY cuts back on the amount of dishes, woot! For example, PIZZA DOUGH – one of my favourites. To get a great pizza dough, you need to knead and stretch it to understand it. Same goes with falafel and patties. If they crumble in your hands, guess what!? Headed back to the food processor they go.
As a recipe developer – or so I call myself, and hopefully like many others doing the same, we spend countless HOURS in the kitchen. All for the sake of satisfying a craving. What I’ve learned about my hardware:)…is that it will depreciate just like any well loved tool. You have to follow the care instructions and be kind. Of course I have my moments where I go completely ape on my blender when the lid slides off, or push somewhat forcefully down on my mixer when I make a ‘sturdy’ dough and it’s doing that bobbing thing. It takes teamwork.
SO, I present to you – my team…
When it comes to a lot of mixing, a standing mixer is the way to go. When I first moved out and got my own place, I bought a handheld mixer. Not bad for small jobs, but it didn’t take long before my arm got sore. I turn to my standing mixer for any recipe that requires endurance, such as coconut whip cream, neapolitan pizza dough (10mins of kneading – c’mon, that’s a tough one by hand only…get things started with the mixer, then knead a few times by hand), and some cookie doughs & cake batters – the kind with molasses & fruit. That stuff is heavy!
A given. If you’re into plant based cooking, a food processor is a MUST – same with its friend below. The HighSpeed Blender. A food processor makes mass chopping a breeze. Toss the food in, place the lid on, and flick the switch. Pulse for more control over consistency. This IS the tool for homemade salsa (FireRoasted Salsa), hummus, pesto, veggie spread, and much more! It’s also a relatively easy ‘tool’ to clean, so don’t hesitate – put it to good use.
Ok, so I haven’t made the switch over to a VitaMix yet. This gem is still rocking it, so I’m running with it. A high speed blender is a smoothie bowl’s best friend. Sorry, couldn’t resist – that sh*t is everywhere (…who doesn’t love a good smoothie). A good high speed blender is KEY. Not just for smoothies, but when you want to whip up something seriously creamy – there’s a need, A NEED FOR SPEED. Heyo, Maverick & Goose. When you’re putting in the bucks for quality ingredients such as organic raw cashews, your CashewCream better turnout like butta…ehem, butter.
The lil’ NINJA
This lil’ nugget is great when only needing a small batch of something. I’ve used it for everything from the obvious – smoothies, to the not so obvious – cookie dough. It’s a high speed mini blender that will fluff up that AquaFaba in no time. My only word of caution here would be to watch your load. Don’t push it to the max with heavy, thick foods. If it’s a large enough batch for the high speed blender or food processor, go with one of those options.
Ahh, this is a must for every salad lover. For YEARS, this has been my righthand tool for getting a nice, thick salad dressing. It emulsifies like a dream. It’s also handy when making a creamy soup or sauce that requires blending. No need to pour it into a blender when you can just blend it right in the pot! Just be sure that the holes around the base of the handheld blender are covered by liquid, or be prepared for a little (or a lot) of overspray.
This one isn’t as common in the kitchen but is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts or snackers. The dehydrator clearly dehydrates foods, which can add to their ‘shelf life’. I use the dehydrator for fruit leather, dried fruit slices, pup treats, flavoured nuts, herbs, powders, etc. You can use your oven to dehydrate; however, if you’re in it for the long haul – invest in a good dehydrator. AND one with a timer! Automatic shutoff – awesome. Dehydrating is super easy, but you have to give it time (8-12hrs). It can be super handy, and allows you to get creative. Just know that whatever you dehydrate, it will likely shrink to 1/3-1/4 it’s original size. That’s why there are multiple layers of trays – a lot may only go a short way. I opted for the 5 tray option.
Even if you don’t drink coffee, the $10-ish it costs for one of these guys – it can come in super handy. Mine is used for coffee, but I also use it to grind up some of my dehydrated herbs and spices. Forget the pestle&mortar business (for a day) and simply pop it into a coffee grinder, hold the button down for 15sec, maybe give it a little shake or two – and voila. Just be careful that you get the right consistency. When first grinding jalapeños, I made them into a fine powder i.e. we were ALL sneezing…constantly. Kinda funny, BUT be warned.
HELLO veggie chips! This is a must when aiming to get a perfectly baked (or fried, if that’s your jam) chip. Even consistency is key here. AND using the mandolin will require some practice. Again, EVEN pressure is key when slicing. Just watch out for that blade! Ridiculously sharp. Use the guard, and don’t bother trying to use up that nub at the end – feed it to the dogs. They’ll love you for it. Also, if it comes with additional blade heads – BONUS. Saves time on slicing & dicing.
***photo coming soon – currently in use***
Good Morning<3 This tool has got me through a lot of looong days. I have many guilty pleasures…& this is definitely NOT one of them. Zero guilt. I included this gem as I have SUCH an appreciation for a fresh cup of Joe.
Where would we be without this one!? Most of you know how it works. What I’ve learned about using different ovens – some run hotter than others, especially gas. If my house didn’t have a gas oven when I bought it, it would have been one of the first items I would have invested in. I find food just cooks & tastes SO much better by gas. You can also easily make ‘camping toast’ & quickly char corn over the gas burners – nice. The broil option on gas (open flame) also gets the tops of baked goods crispy, which can make all the difference. Almost like your food is cooking in a wood fire oven. Almost.