This Christmas, my wife asked me for new kitchen appliances because we just bought a new house. It has an enormous kitchen and breakfast area with an island and hanging hooks for pots and pans. She was really excited to accessorize, so I went shopping for the best in new kitchen appliances. I found several that I thought were neat, but it seems that many simply aren’t easy to store and clutter the counters and cabinet space. If there’s one thing my wife and I can’t stand, its clutter. So I was forced to visit a lot of different stores to find just the right gadgets, and judging from my wife’s expression Christmas morning, I think I did a great job.
Santa Fe Quesadilla Maker
Like many Texan families, we love Mexican food, and it makes more sense to cook at home than to visit restaurants two or three times per week. I found the Santa Fe Quesadilla Maker at both Target and Wal-Mart, though it took several different stores before I found one in stock. Apparently they are flying off the shelves.
This gadget is amazing because not only does it make great Quesadillas, but it also stores neatly in small cupboards. It has a steam guard, a built-in drip tray for unwanted grease and easy cleaning, and it cooks even complicated recipes in just four or five minutes. It comes with a small cookbook for various recipes, which includes PB&J Quesadillas and Pepperoni Pizza Pockets. We use it mainly for traditional cheese and steak dishes, but it is certainly versatile. It holds up to 12″ tortillas and when the top folds down to cook it, it also slices your Quesadilla on a non-stick plate.
The Santa Fe Quesadilla Marker costs $18.85 at Wal-Mart and $24.95 at Target.
George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Barbeque
The George Foreman craze began with the little grill, which we never bought, but this item is revolutionary. It offers more than 240 inches of non-stick grill space, as well as a tripod stand for outdoor grilling. We use it indoors for the most part, and it simply sits on the counter while we use it, but we plan to try steaks outdoors next weekend. It comes with a recipe book, cooking utensils, a power source, a MegaDome lid with steam vent and cool-touch handles, and a center channel for draining grease. It cooks chicken breasts in 16 minutes, which I thought was amazing, though baked potatos can take as long as an hour. It is electric, which makes it extremely quick to heat, and is recommended for low-fat, low-cholerstorol diets.
And unlike the smaller grills offered by the same company, this is almost as large as a full-size grill. With a 17.5 inch diameter, you can easily cook several things at once. And if you don’t want to leave it out on the counter, you can store it at the bottom of the pantry or even outside. We store it separately from the tripod stand, which folds neatly into a small square, but as long as you have a space more than three feet tall, you can store the entire thing together.
The George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Barbeque costs only $48.95 at Wal-Mart.
Haier 12-Bottle Table Top Wine Cooler
If you’re anything like us, you enjoy a glass of wine before bed on occassion. We collect various Merlots Chardonays, and we like out white wines to be chilled before we drink them. The only problem was that our refrigerator isn’t great for storing wine bottles, especially after they’ve been uncorked. The Haier 12-Bottle Table Top Wine Cooler solved that problem for us.
It features a double pane, insulated door and elegant black interior with 3 black wire storage racks, as well as a super-quiet cooling system. You can adjust the thermostat to whatever temperature you prefer your wines, and chill up to twelve bottles at once. We especially like it because our other appliances are black, so it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb on our island. It is actually quite attractive, and a convenient display case for your wines.
It costs about $89.00 at Wal-Mart, and for $100.00 more you can also get the 24-bottle wine cooler from the same company, which stands upright like a mini-refridgerator and comes equipped with a light switch.
Black & Decker 12-Cup Programmable Digital Coffeemaker
Again in black, this coffee maker is extremely efficient and affordable. It is electric, and includes a programmable timer and clock so you can wake up to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. It also has the Sneak-a-Cup feature and a gold-tone permenant filter. It makes twelve cups, which should satisfy even the most ardent coffee-drinker.
I like it because it has a notch in the back for cord storage, so you don’t have to worry about putting it in a cabinet and having the cord wrap around other objects, and it is short, so it can fit in most cabinets and cupboards. It comes in several colors – black, chrome, white, blue, and red – so it can match nearly any color scheme.
The Black & Decker 12-Cup Programmable Digital Coffeemaker costs about $25.00 at Wal-Mart.