Have you ever seen a new kitchen gadget and thought it looked cool? Some have actually stood the test of time and some have failed big-time. In this episode we're talking about the kitchen gadgets and small appliances that are worth taking up storage space and spending $$ for. The bottom line for us is that it has to do something really useful or replace one of the more standard small appliances. Jami shares the whys and hows to freezing your garden produce (without a gadget!) and Brian discusses health sharing ministries as an alternative to high insurance rates. And much more, of course.
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Are Some Kitchen Gadgets Worth It?
This is what started the "great seal-a-meal debate" - using a simple straw to remove air from a baggie before freezing unblanched green beans. Here's what a Seal-A-Meal (aka, vacuum sealer) looks like if you don't know, and here's an article from way-back-when where I first shared my straw seal method.
Here's a link to more information on the Juicero fiasco - definitely a gadget that makes me sorry for the people who bought it.
The Kitchen Gadgets We Like
Links to the kitchen gadgets we use and feel are totally worth it:
Immersion (or hand-held) Blender. Use all.the.time for recipes like the Homemade Tomato Soup shown above. Also for Cheesy Cauliflower Soup, preserving recipes like Roasted Tomato Sauce for the Freezer - and so much more.
French Fry Cutter. Brian's "As Seen On TV" gadget that cracked me up - but that he loves. And well, I love the result, since I'm pro small, crispy fries. (Note: it does take some muscle, but he cuts whole potatoes with it fine. If you want something that takes less pressure, look at this one.)
Keurig Coffee Maker. Oh how we rolled our eyes at these - until we found the refillable baskets and kissed our 20-minute coffee maker goodbye. Hello fresh coffee whenever we want!
Basic Toaster Oven. We had a toaster - why one of these ugly counter ovens? Lots of reasons: multiple pieces of toast at once for dinners, tuna melts, crispy re-heated homemade pizza, and parmesan rice cakes. Goodbye 2-slice, one-hit-wonder toaster.
Electric Knife. This is a maybe - now that I have a really good serrated bread knife, I don't use this quite as much anymore, but it's still the best way to cut warm bread without squishing. And of course for carving meat (and the occasional piece of foam).
IP Side Rant: I really could go on and on about the ridiculous recipes being made in the Instant Pot. Yes, you can make them in there, but with the minutes needed to come up to pressure, cook, and release pressure it takes a LOT less time to use a pot on the stove. Or a sheet pan in the oven. Pasta, stir-fry/Asian, seafood, and chicken with vegetables recipes all come to mind. And they taste a lot better when they're not cooked to pieces in an enclosed environment. Please stop with the Instant Pot everything. Sigh. (What is it good for? Any long-cooking meat or recipe, especially things like ribs, roasts, beans, and stews. Yum.)
When you freeze produce, you have less preparation than canning but still get all of flavor and nutrition. It's really super easy to stock up your freezer with quality, in-season food. And you can use whatever method you like to remove as much air as possible, ha!
This is Really Cool!
Brian's: Healthcare Sharing or Medical Cost Sharing companies saved us more than half of what we were paying for a Marketplace policy (with a $500 deductible vs. $13,000!). We looked into Liberty Healthshare, Medishare, and Samaritan (we went with Liberty).
Grab some spring inspiration:
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