for your home
Buyer’s pıck Shannon Axthelm Small Electrics Buyer
Dining out at home
Restaurant-style meals made easier
with today’s versatile home appliances
By Nanette Blanchard
THESE DAYS MANY consumers are dining
out less and entertaining family and friends at
home in an effort to cut costs. While it isn’t
always simple to prepare meals like the ones
you enjoy at your favorite restaurant, with a few
multipurpose appliances you can create delicious menus while saving money and time.
Taking a stand
Enjoy going out for pizza every Friday
night? With a stand mixer you can easily make
your own pizza dough and save some dough as
well. Most serious cooks couldn’t live without
this hard-working tool. Costco member Joe
Schreiber of Culinary in the Country (http://
desertculinary.blogspot.com) states, “I would be
lost without our trusty mixer—this versatile,
user-friendly appliance takes all the work out of
making swanky gougères [French cheese puffs],
whips up a batch of our favorite chocolate chip
cookie dough in a snap and can even be used to
prepare the most delicate meringue.”
evenly chops vegetables or herbs, grates
cheese or purées foods in minutes,” she says.
“I always reach for it when I’m making something like pesto, hummus, basil vinaigrette,
salad dressing, salsa or homemade tomato
sauce.” Choose a food processor with added
attachments that will allow you to shred cabbage for coleslaw or slice potatoes uniformly
to make your own French fries.
Squeeze out the savings
Save money on expensive juices by using
a heavy-duty juicer, which can also help you
increase your fruit and vegetable intake.
Instead of eating the same old deli sandwiches
for lunch, use a nonstick countertop grill/
griddle to make your own quesadillas and
panini. Look for a model that will adjust to
whatever thickness of food you’re cooking.
Cooking for crowds
Entertaining for a large crowd can be much
less stressful with the right equipment. Use your
slow cooker to serve warm dips, fondues or hot
cider at your next party. Your slow cooker can
be used to cook and serve desserts such as cobblers and snack cakes on your buffet table. A
countertop convection oven can help you bake
frozen pizzas and hors d’oeuvres while using
much less energy than a regular oven.
If your family loves Italian cuisine, you can
use a pressure cooker to make a perfect restau-rant-quality risotto in only six minutes; in 20
minutes you can cook dried beans without any
pre-soaking to make your own pasta e fagioli.
A multifunction rice cooker can be used to
cook polenta without all that endless stirring.
Rice cookers are also handy for cooking whole
grains and making breakfast cereals, and you
can even use them to steam foods.
THE WHOLE POINT of small electric appliances is to make life easier.
It’s a bonus when versatility is
thrown in as well. That’s why I love
the Keurig Select B77 single-serve
The biggest problem when
entertaining a group of people,
especially with hot beverages, is
serving something for every taste.
With the Keurig you don’t have to
worry about that. When company
visits, I can offer a variety of single-serve (K-Cup) coffees and teas to
match most any request. My cousin
wants flavored coffee. Dad wants
decaf. No problem. Being able to
offer the individual K-Cups with a
variety of choices makes everyone,
especially the hostess, happy.
And if you have a particular
kind of coffee or tea for which no
K-Cup is available, you can always
use the reusable filter to create your
own. My daughter likes the hot
chocolate—and she can make it herself, mess-free!
I can program the Keurig to
have a piping-hot cup of perfect
coffee waiting when I get up in the
morning. Now if I could just train
my Roomba—that cool little robotic
vacuum cleaner—to bring it to me
Costco’s Keurig package comes
with 72 K-Cups and the My K-Cup
Reusable Filter, features Quiet Brew
technology, brews in four different
cup sizes and includes an iced-beverage setting. Other places may
carry the Keurig, but no one else
carries Costco’s value. C
One of the most time-consuming kitchen
chores is chopping fruits and vegetables, but a
food processor can do this unwelcome task in
just a few seconds. Kalyn Denny, Costco
member and award-winning food blogger
http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com), says “I
love how the food processor quickly and
Ware it well
Finally, the most important equipment in
your kitchen is cookware. Look for heavy pots
and pans for even heat retention and distribution, and choose models with ergonomic
handles. Some models have bases clad in copper or aluminum to improve their performance. Stainless steel cookware is dishwasher
safe and can be used with metal utensils, while
nonstick cookware is excellent for cooking
eggs and for cooking with minimal fat. C
The Costco Connection
Costco carries a wide variety of kitchen
appliances, including mixers, slow cookers,
food processors and high-quality cookware.
Cookbook author Nanette Blanchard (http://
nanetteblanchard.blogspot.com.) enjoys all of
her cooking appliances on a regular basis.