/ 18.2.11 / 14 Comments / ,

My NEW Favorite Household Appliances…



Earlier this year, I rambled on and on about appliances that I just can’t stand to have taking up space on my kitchen counters. It was called the Worst Dressed Appliances of 2010 and really I had a fun time with that post. :o)  I promised to share my FAVORITE appliances on a later day, and never got around to it.

So today I’m introducing my favorite finds of the year. We all know that we can’t live without our dishwasher, fridge, washer, dryer, microwave etc. Ok, I know..some of you can…but I don’t want to. :o) To live without these would be as crazy, at my house, as trying to live without a vacuum cleaner. Ewwww…Yuck!!  Thank you whoever you are for these wonderful inventions!

And since I HATE clutter (i.e. things that take up too much space) it is a very rare event if I actually put down my hard earned moola on a new appliance. This would be on order with other catastrophic world events like Y2K (Yes, I still have buckets of wheat from that one!)
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I'm just saying all of that to assure you that if I recommend an appliance, it’s passed muster as being absolutely worth every penny..from my point of view that is. As I said last month..Each Gal to her own Appliance!

About the moola  part, I obviously don’t put down any more of my dear hubby’s  hard earned cash than absolutely necessary, so my favorite place to buy these special appliances is, of course, the local thrift store! Yes, they have it all…every appliance and household gadget that you ever wanted to buy…and plenty that you don’t!  Though there are some that you may only be able to buy new.

george forman grill
 
The Indoor Grill
Last year, I finally went over the edge… I guess I’d had just  about enough of the outdoor ‘you grill while everyone else sits in air-conditioned comfort and visits’ scenario…and of course it always seems like I'm grilling just about dusk. (Gee..is that pink, red, or…cooked?)  SoI lost it..completely!  No, Dear Hubby does not ‘grill’. One Christmas my mom gave Tim a beautiful set of grilling utensils. Without even thinking, I said, "Oh thanks Mom!"  He does do yard work, and he's a hard worker,  so you won’t find me complaining. But the best appliance I discovered this year, was the George Foreman Grill.  It cooks on both sides at the same time!  (Thanks  for the recommendation, Shona! ) I tried it out at her house when my kids were house sitting for her while she was in Ireland and I’ve been in love with it ever since.

I’ve discovered that I can actually grill enough hamburger patties for the whole family at one time.  No, you can’t do whole chicken pieces..but it works perfectly on chicken breasts.  And I’ve grilled fish fillets and pork chops on it too.  This is the perfect tool for those of us who are dieting and can’t have the ‘casserole’ or pizza everyone else is eating. You can cook up a small piece of meat in just a few minutes. And it cooks breakfast sausage to perfection!I paid $7.00 for mine at the local thrift store. ($40.00 retail).
 L13274975The Lightweight Floor Sweeper/Vacuum
Another new appliance that  I bought for $8.00 at the thrift store, is not that unique, but I do wonder why I didn’t think of it before!  It’s a smaller, lighter weight vacuum. We finally ditched the big giant one. Why? Welll, because no one would use it! The one we bought at the thrift store, we discovered, did not work, when we got it home. But I knew what the likely problem was. Sure enough the suction tube was clogged with stuff.

Ladies, do you know how many times I’ve come across a vacuum that someone thought was broken?  Just clean it out now and then and you may discover that there’s nothing wrong after all. :o) Pull  those bits of strings and things from the roller brush every now and then and it will work the way it’s supposed to.

Technically, this may be considered a floor sweeper.  But it has a nice long tube you can detach for sucking up spills like you would a Dust buster.(Never owned one of those yet.) And it has great suction! It’s bagless too which is a huge plus--no more vacuum bags to buy. :o) The handle folds down so that it’s out of the way. It’s so small that it fits into just about any corner. It works great on both hardwood floors and carpet.  A little vacuum cleaner sure goes a long way!  (If you want your kids to help with chores, then this is the right choice!)hot_pot
The Electric Hot Pot
My most often used appliance in the house is a simple hot pot. Every day, I thank the Lord for the day I felt compelled to get one of these! I bought if for an extended trip on the road. Now we use ours several times a day for hot water for the coffee press, to steep tea in, to boil water fast for things like stuffing, instant soups, jello, hot chocolate etc.  Our family love sinstant hot water! It’s fantastic. We take it camping too! 

garlic

The Roller Wheel Garlic Press
Have you tried the garlic wheel? It’s such a tiny little gadget, but it really does work! Ebeth, my DIL, gave this to me one Christmas. I refrained from quipping, “Oh..a gadget!”  But I did think that, although it seemed like a cute little thing, I would probably not use it.Boy was I ever wrong! There’s nothing quite like fresh garlic…and nothing more unpleasant than having to chop garlic cloves in little pieces. Yeck!

This gadget looks like toy, but it’s got some pretty sharp blades in there! You just peel your cloves, put them in the little trap door and then start rolling back and forth. It minces the garlic very easily. Dump it out. Rinse the wheel and put it away. No more stinky mess on my hands! (Honey…come kiss me…  Hey! Where are you going?!!)

Stainless Steel Coffee Press SS & Tempered Glass Coffee Plunger - 600ml

The Coffee Press
This coffee press was a Christmas present and how happy we have been since we started using it!  We are tight for space so what we really wanted to do was get rid of the bulky coffee pot.  Now that we have this press,  we grind a 1/2 cup full of coffee beans with our coffee grinder which I also ADORE! The ground beans smell soooo fresh! We dump the beans into the bottom of the press, pour in hot water from the hot pot to fill it, and let it steep just like you would tea.  The coffee tastes extra smooth. The pot is very small, so it takes up minimal space on our kitchen counter. Plus, it looks so pretty when you want to set a nice table for tea or dessert! It doesn’t keep the coffee warm, but we don’t drink coffee all day,  so it works for us.


The Famous Plastic Screwtop Starbucks Coffee Cup
Speaking of coffee, one sort of a ‘gadget’ that, at first,  I thought was not going to be worth the price (yipes!) is my daughter and I’s plastic Starbucks coffee/tea cups with straws. But I was wrong--gloriously so!  This cup is the perfect thermal cup. You can put hot or cold drinks in it. Just screw on the cap and it not only travels  well with almost no chance of spilling, but it looks nice too.  They even made the straw so that it has a ridge and can’t just fall out. It’s a VERY durable cup, but don’t put it on the bottom rack of the dishwasher. It could warp.
We often make our own ‘fake’ Starbucks and we can take these cups out in public without looking like we are drinking a homemade drink. Alright, I admit it’s a total appearance thing..but it fools everyone…even us. :o) We get the feel of Starbucks without paying for Starbucks’  coffees.  (They take $0.10 cents off per cup at your local Starbucks too!)  BTW, did you know they give $.53 cent refills at Starbucks. For that special girly date, you could plan to hang out all afternoon and not have to pay a fortune for cups Two and Three. I know that was the case on their iced Tazo tea and regular coffee but am not sure on the other drinks. However, Rebekah and I plan to find out soon! :o)

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In Praise of Crock Pots
I don’t plan to go on and on about crock pots, because as far as I’m concerned, they are in the same category as microwaves and toasters.  Can anyone function without one? If you don’t have one…get one! What you may not know though is how easy it is to ‘bake potatoes’ in a crock pot or roast a chicken. Make sure the crock pot is big enough for lots of extra space. This way the chicken will ‘roast’ and not stew. You can also do baked macaroni and cheese and meatloaf in a crock pot.   They are much more versatile than you may have realized. And honestly…nothing beats crock pot stew or roast beef.
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The Kitchen Aid
And last but not least is the Kitchen Aid!  I finally got mine..this last year. (I know..pretty amazing!) I really did think that I was not going to be able to make the transition to using one after years of going without, but I was mistaken. I fell head over heels in love with it! It was much easier to clean than I thought it would be. Cleaning a Bosch is a headache!  Having hands-free mixing turned out to be Heaven on earth!  I’m wondering, now,  how I ever lived so long without one!  Wow..some of us are really slow…and I’m right at the top of that list. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m considering retiring my Bosch after 23 years!

Well, that’s my list of must have appliances and household gadgets.   After all these years, I’m finally breaking out and trying some new things. They aren’t ALL a waste of space and money. :o)
So what about you, what’s the best appliance you discovered last year…or what’s your favorite one and why?
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14 comments:

Babbs said...

We love our George Foreman too Donna, to me it's a must have for the indoor months and love that all the grease is GONE out of your food. I want a kitchenaid AND the garlic roller press is awesome, that is now on my list of must haves thanks to your post. ;)

Trudy Callan said...

This was an awesome post, Donna. Now I'm going to check out my thrift for a Gorge Foreman grill. I also want a garlic roller press now after reading this. It sounds amazing. And could you pretty please do a post explaining how to cook each of the items you mentioned in the crock pot. I would be forever in your debt. I mean seriously, to be able to do baked potatoes, meatloaf, mac and cheese. I didn't know you could do that in the crock pot. So you have to share. I'm ready to get cookin'.

Kerrie said...

My adult dau. that lives with us at present has a coffee press and she loves it. She works typing at home and it works perfectly for her when she needs that coffee pick me up! Great post!♥

Donna said...

Trudy you made me giggle :o).. How did I KNOW you were going to say that! I'm seriously over due on the crockpot recipes I promised you. The funny thing is I'm no guru of the crockpot, but like everything in life, I don't do anything that doesn't work and there are plenty of recipes out there for crockpots that I think are only ho-hum. I want help for the nitty-gritties of life. Having a tool that cooks basic staples for dinner..is worth it..and so are recipes that make that possible.

Early hint: for roast--just put a roast in the pot and cover it in cream soup. The end.

For Roast chicken-just stick it in the pot and rub the top with oil and salt and pepper it. You can add some onions, but don't add water...at all. that is.

Have a great day!
xo
Donna

Deb said...

I love our George Foreman grill...it's amazing!!! And, I have one of those plastic cups, too...bought mine at Hobby Lobby with my initial on it...which would be your initial, too!!! ;-) HOPE you have a great weekend!

Trudy Callan said...

Thanks for the early tips. Can't wait for more.

Needled Mom said...

Since we(DH) grill outside year round here, I cannot see having the grill, but I could not live without my mixer. I also love my garlic chopper. It is so much easier to use than the knife.

Shelly Gregory said...

These are great tips on products that I haven't tried. No more wishing that I had a trusty resource. Thank you.

Caroline said...

Oh, the garlic mincer sounds neat! I'm always mincing with the cleaver on the cutting board, or getting out the food processor. I'm with you on the crockpot, mine gets used very often. Almost as often as my cast iron dutch oven. Probably more often than my dishwasher, LOL!

Kellys Art Journaling/ Sharing The Journey said...

Hi Donna;
It's nice to get back to reading some blogs I need to catch up on. I agree with you, I love the indoor grill, LOVE IT! I would love to have Kitchenaid too but it's just not in the cards right now. Thanks for sharing your favorites.

Heather said...

Real estate is at a real premium at our house, we just got a Keurig for Christmas, I use the My K-cup so that I can use my own coffee, I really like it because it brews just one cup of coffee which is all I ever need and the foot print is not too big. I too have a kitchen aid mixer, it gets a lot of use, but doesn't sit out. We just bought a microwave, after not having one for years I'm amazed at how convenient it is to have one, especially since our oven has been broken for months!

Dmarie said...

I think if I had to take only one small appliance with me to a deserted island, it would be the stand mixer. how could I live without it! ;)

The Clip Cafe said...

I love your kitchen bench (blue is my fave colour!)

Millicent said...

Donna, we love our gas grill, so I don't think I'll ever do the Foreman one. But I do LOVE the garlic chopper - it's great! And I keep looking at the stand mixer and waffling on whether I think I want one. I do have a Sunbeam stand mixer that's almost 32 years old and going strong. Just don't know if the heavy duty one is needed or necessary - guess that's the trick for me - is it necessary? Thanks for the post!

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster
Welcome to Comin' Home! If you lived nearby, I'd invite you over to my neck of the woods for a nice long chat and a cup of tea out on the deck. But since we can't do that, I hope you'll stay and look around. I love learning new things and sharing what I learn with friends. Comin' Home is where I share tips from my many projects. Let's have some fun together! XO Donna

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