Food

 

 

As you already know I love to cook, especially traditional Ethiopian dishes. Many of these are served with rice, which brings me to one of my favorite small kitchen appliances. My rice cooker is absolutely essential, but it took me a while to find the perfect one. After trying out several models and making a lot of returns, I finally figured out what a rice cooker needs to make it my favorite. Now white, brown and even basmati rice always turns out perfectly.

 

 

It’s programmable

I absolutely love the fact that my rice cooker is programmable ( here you can find why I opted for a programmable one). All I have to do is toss in my ingredients and set the timer. By the time I come home from work the rice is done, and all I have to do is serve it with the rest of the meal. Best of all the rice never turns out soggy or sticky. I really think it turns out better this way than when I cook it on the stove.

 

Dry rice isn’t a problem

The main reason I love my cooker, other than how easy it is to use, is that rice is always perfect. If the rice is a little try dry for my taste, this is simple to fix. All I have to do is use the convenient “steam” function. I really do love this feature. It releases a little steam into the cooker to help moisten and soften rice. This makes it almost impossible not to cook a perfect batch of rice.

 

 

Large size

Feeding all of my family and friends here in Portland is one of my favorite things to do. Thankfully my favorite rice cooker can make up to 20 cups at a time. Trust me, this is a lot of rice. I use it for chili, gumbo and other dishes. One of my friends likes rice with the poppyseed chicken they frequently bring to our parties. Whatever I serve it with I always have plenty thanks to my rice cooker.

 

Great for warming and carrying

My rice cooker is incredibly easy to carry, and this is incredibly convenient. Since the pot is insulated, it also keeps the rice warm. There is nothing worse than cold sticky rice, it can ruin any dish. Thanks to my rice cooker, this is never a problem.

As you’ve probably noticed I really do love my rice cooker, and I recommend that all my readers add one to their kitchens. There are several top rated models that are surprisingly affordably priced, and this is one small kitchen appliance you won’t regret purchasing.

I look forward to reading any of your comments and please feel free to share any recipes for rice that you might have.

 

Food

It is quite rarely in this day and age to find enough time to bring everyone in the family together for a meal, and dinner is not always the best choice, because family members may have different plan. In my experience, I discovered that it is much easier for us, as a family, to get together at breakfast, since that is the only moment of the day when we are all at home, and hungry at the same time. Of course, this realization came with quite a challenge: what was I going to prepare for breakfast, without terribly long preparations?

The first idea that came to mind was to introduce good old fashioned healthy toast into our breakfasts. And the next step for me was to get a 4 slice toaster, since I needed to be quick about making toast, without waiting for 1 or 2 slices to get ready at a time. As I wake up in the morning, I go to the kitchen, I fire up my toaster and I start feeding it with slices of bread. By the time my family makes their appearance, I already have a plate filled with toast, so that no one will go to school or work hungry.

What I like about toast is that it is very healthy and has fewer calories than normal bread. The second thing I like best about it is that it basically goes with everything; you can make sandwiches, get some readymade bread spreads and spread them on your toast, or on the side, for any kind of breakfast dish that is usually served with bread. With so much versatility to enjoy, my breakfasts in the family have become quite manageable.

But let me tell you about some other ways to cook breakfast fast and easy for an entire family. An omelet always works like a charm, and since it is so packed with proteins and it is filling, it is enjoyed by everyone. Also, it is incredibly delicious and the type I make – with mushrooms and bacon – is really to everyone’s liking. My kids can be pretty fussy when it comes to food, and, in the morning, I need to make something fast, but also something they will certainly like, so I don’t have to engage in losing battles over convincing them to eat their food.

Now here is my secret weapon for the times when there is really no time to put together breakfast. I make some oatmeal the evening prior and I just reheat it in the microwave in the morning. I spread some raisins and apricots on top and everyone is certain to leave home with plenty of food in their bellies.

If you are asking me what the preferred option from all of the above is, I must say that toast with about anything is still the winner. That is why I am so proud of myself for getting a big toaster so I can make as much toast as I need for keeping my family well fed each and every morning.