Saturday, August 30, 2008

Kitchen Gear I Love

I thought this would become a regular blog feature when I posted about gear I love earlier this year. The thing is, I am not big into gadgets even though I grew up around a gazillion of them. My parents fall easy prey to every new slicer/dicer/mixer on the market.

Igloo Marine Cooler
We originally bought this cooler for our 2006 road trip to Napa Valley. It was appealing because it is all white, instead of the royal blue or red color scheme of most coolers. It also fits wine bottles standing upright, which was key for that trip to wine country. I like keeping a cooler in the car, so frozen goods stay cold on the drive home from the store among other reasons (see previous post). This one is large enough most of time and doesn't take up too much space in the trunk of my little GTI.
(Full disclosure: the igloo link above takes you to the exact model we own, even though all white is no longer available. The image at right is only for illustrative purposes.)

Steamer Basket
This is actually an item I covet. I love steaming edamame or artichokes and usually get by with just throwing them into a pot with about an inch or two of boiling water. On a recent episode of my favorite cooking show Good Eats, I learned that this slick little steamer basket works well when blanching vegetables. If there is anything I love more than is blanching. We blanch basil for the brightest and best homemade pesto evah, blanch veggies for a much more appealing crudités platter and of course blanch green beans, asparagus, et al to keep them green.

Food Talk Podcast
I have heard Mike Colameco on The Splendid Table a couple of times, but never listened to his "Food Talk" program on WOR in New York. Since me and the mister are headed to NYC next month, we are researching all our dining options. Food Talk is mostly for New Yorkers, but is great for tourists wanting to learn about some of the great restaurant options. There are lots of cooking tips too though and Wednesday is baking day, when Mike has a professional baker join him to answer listeners questions.

Tivoli iPAL Radio
Gavin got me this stereo for my birthday a couple of years back. It is my constant kitchen companion. It gets great radio reception, so I can catch up on the news or other programs while I am cooking. It also has an auxiliary plug so I can plug in my iPod. This is key. I have all my favorite podcasts queued up and waiting on my iPod. I love listening to podcasts about food while I am in the kitchen, but this little stereo is so portable that I can take it with me when I am cleaning the bathroom or working on a project. It makes those chores so much more enjoyable.

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