Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Basic Kitchen Needs

Since you may have your own kitchen for the first time, you might be overwhelmed by all the options. Do you need a spice grinder? A food mill? A mandolin? Do you even know what these things are?

Besides your basic kitchen utensils and appliances, there are three must-haves I have found to be extremely helpful:

1) Slow Cooker (most commonly known as a Crockpot, but they ain't paying me to advertise for them)

Slow cookers are fantastic. All you have to do is drop a few ingredients in the cooker in the morning, turn it on, and let it slowly cook all day (hence, the name!) Then you walk in the door after a long day in class or at work, dinner is ready, and your house smells like yo mama has been slaving over a stove all day.

They generally are not that expensive (I got mine by by bartering an ugly rolling coffee table to a former roommate...guess who won that deal?)

Keep an eye out for some great upcoming slow cooker recipes!

2) George Foreman Grill (they ain't paying me either, but if I said "indoor electric grill," you would have no idea what I was talking about)

Foreman grills can be a wee pricy, so you might wanna hit up Mom and Dad for this as a gift. Just tell them you are trying to cook healthy!

Foremans are great cause you can cook up some meat SUPER fast. Like a steak takes about three minutes. If you miss the flavor of outdoor grilling, you can always add a couple drops of Liquid Smoke to the meat (found near the BBQ sauces at the grocery store.)

The only thing that sucks is cleanup. A lot of the newer ones have removable plates you can wash, but if not, run a paper towel over it while it's still hot for easy removal! Otherwise you get a stanky crust, and no one wants a stanky crust.

3) Olive Oil Pourer Thing

Kinda random, I know. But I am a big fan of these. It makes it WAY easer to pour olive oil so you dont end up dumping out a whole bunch at once when you are cooking. It also makes it easier to drizzle oil on top of food.

Less oil dumping out = saved calories and saved money. Also, you look like a bad ass chef using it.

What tools do you guys find indispensable in the kitchen?

Why This Blog is Awesome

You may be thinking: "Silly Stacy, there are a million food blogs out there, some even run by professional chefs. Why should I listen to your paltry advice on cooking?"

Well, skeptical reader, here are a few reasons:

Are you a college student or twenty-something who has suddenly found yourself in possession of a kitchen for the first time?

Do you get home from class/work and want to eat something delicious but don't have the time or energy for something fancy?

Do you like to eat healthy in general but despise words like "tofu" and "quinoa" and those who use them?

Are you broke?

Then this blog is for you!

The purpose of this blog is to help out all you poor unfortunate souls who think cooking has to be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. It's for those college students and twenty-somethings who are cooking for one and don't have a lot of time or money to make something delicious. It's for people who like to eat healthy in general, but will not turn down a good steak or chocolate cake every once in a while. Amateur cooks, rejoice! There is hope for you yet.

What you can do with this blog:

1) Explore recipes that are uncomplicated, inexpensive, fast, mostly healthy, DELICIOUS, and intended for 1-2 people. Some are Stacy originals, and others are half-assed compilations of great recipes I found online.

2) Watch as I attempt to take simple recipes names and make them sound fancier than they actually are. Mac and cheese? Pshaw! It's Pasta and Fromage Gratin!

3) Look at pretty pictures of my recipes taken masterfully by my iPhone camera. Extra bonus of the occasional finger in the corner or hair shadow.

4) Enjoy my highly insightful and intellectual commentary on all things food related.

I love to hear suggestions and feedback (as long as it's about how kick ass this blog is) so feel free to shout out! Happy cooking :)