December 29, 2013

Christmas: Unwrapped!

I hope everyone had an awesome holiday with friends and family.  Justin & I traveled out to California once again, to spend Christmas with my family.  And just like last year, there were many culinary adventures, including a cooking competition, and several cooking-related gifts under the tree.  So here's a quick round-up of all the new toys we'll be putting to use in the near future:
1. Nom Nom Paleo:  Though we aren't strictly following the Paleo diet, this is still an awesome cookbook to have in your arsenal.  Not only are there cartoons, and butt jokes, but she's got a ton of great tips alongside the recipes.  Plus, she's got a recipe for homemade sriracha!  And with the recent shutdown of the sriracha factory in CA, it'll really come in handy.
2. Pok Pok:  While we haven't been to the restaurant, we are huuuge fans of Thai food, and trying to recreate those distinctive flavors.  Not to mention, this cookbook was on just about every single "Top Cookbooks of 2013"-type list.
3. Vacuum Sealer:  Gone are the days of trying to suck the air out of a ziplock bag with a straw, and not inhale raw meat juices!  This should make our confit/sous vide efforts much, much easier!
4. Immersion Circulator: This was the perfect accompaniment to the vacuum sealer.  We no longer need to guess how hot our water is, and much like our immersion blender, we can use this guy in any pot we have.
5. Mini Food Processor: We were really in need of a new food processor.  Justin had a regular size processor, but it stopped working.  I had a mini one, but it had seen better days and the bowl would leak every time we used it.  So this was a perfect gift for us.  It's great for whipping up small batches of aioli, pesto, tzatziki, or any other kind of sauce you could imagine.
6. Garlic Press: We're huge fans of garlic, so you can never have too many garlic presses.  It sure beats chopping it by hand!
7. Mandoline: This versatile little tool is great for slicing veggies super thin.  Whether you want to make a slaw, pretty veggie ribbons, or chips, the mandoline is the tool for the job.  The one we got comes with 3 different blades, depending on how you want to slice your foods.  Just be sure to save your fingers and use the little guard.
8. Potato Ricer: On a recent trip to Ikea, while wandering around the kitchen section, Justin convinced me that we needed a ricer.  Since it was just a couple bucks, I agreed to the purchase.  We do make a decent amount of gnocchi, so I figured it'd come in handy.  But then came Thanksgiving, and while pressing some sweet potatoes through it, the arm totally bent, and placed the ricer out of commission.  Fortunately, we were able to salvage the gnocchi, and we now have a new food mill when we're ready to make gnocchi again.
9. Produce bags:  As you know, we get quite a bit of produce in every share.  These bags will help us sort and transport the produce we pick up.  They'll also be useful when we have to run downstairs to grab a few items from the grocery store.  That way, we are doing our part to be green and we won't have to spend the nickel to use those plastic bags in the store.
10. Bottle Opener:  Because you can never have too many bottle openers.
11. Ice Scream Spade:  Since Justin gave me an ice cream maker for my birthday, we've been making our fair share of fro-yos, gelato, and creams, so this will come in quite handy.
12. Real Snacks:  If left to my own devices, I could certainly snack all day long, so it will be fun to try out these recipes and see just how close we can come to making our favorite snacks and treats.
13. The Complete Joy of  Homebrewing:  As you may know, Justin and I are both big fans of craft beer.  We haven't tried home brewing yet, but this book gives us the perfect excuse to try it out.
14. Silicone Oven Mitts:  These bad boys slip on and cover almost your entire forearm, so you'll have no worries reaching deep into the oven. This gift was inspired by our guests who were holding their breath   when we flipped our dry-brined Thanksgiving bird.  

1 comment:

  1. A vacuum sealer sound good. I'm thinking of getting one.