A couple weeks back, I came up with the brilliant idea to go through my kitchen and share the items with which I am most pleased. When I was done, there was a thread going through all the items, revealing to me my obsessions with coffee and, to a lesser extent, yogurt. I want absolutely nothing to get between me and a cup of coffee when I desire one. And I refuse to pour off a cup of "brown crayon water" and suffer the experience of drinking garbage (like what was served at my old job) all for a touch of caffeinated inspiration.
And I really like yogurt.
What follows is the list of items that have made day-to-day living just a little more enjoyable. If you want to try any of them, I have linked to their product pages on Amazon.com. They vary in price, but none are more than $70 (U.S.).
The Magic Bullet
Regardless of the utterly cheezeball infomercial that this baby has pushing it into ubiquity, the Magic Bullet is very cool. I use it for grinding coffee beans, making smoothies, milkshakes, and other quick, small blending jobs. Notice I said "blending" - the infomercial features "chopping." "Chopping" is an interesting concept. I can "puree" not "chop." I have yet to meet somebody who can get this mini-blender to "chop." But, the concept of flipping the blade down on a cup, blending and then taking the blade off and having it already to go in the cup you drink out of is, let's face it, pretty friggin' ingenious.
When podcasting was fresh and new, I listened to Adam Curry's "Daily Source Code" quite often. And you didn't have to listen long before Mr. Curry would burp loudly and then say "Ahhh, Senseo." This is actually pretty brilliant marking to a crass person such as me. I wanted one. And Christi, hearing the call, bought me one two Christmases ago, and it has been used at least 2 times per day since. It makes a excellent cup of coffee with its coffee pods.
But, since I am currently not "working," the cost of Senseo pods is slightly nagging since I drink so much coffee. $0.38 U.S. per cup is a bit much for home-made coffee (yes, but I still love you Starbucks.) Here is the breakdown - $3.50 for 18 pods times 2 pods per cup of coffee equals $0.38 per cup. My father-in-law, Don, or "The Don," was in an experimental mode and he purchased some...
Eco-Pads are refillable, reusable pods for the Senseo; you just add the coffee. So you get to pick your own coffee beans, grind it and make it. It is not as clean as the Senseo pods, but it brings down the cost per cup to about $0.07. And I have become quite the miser since I am not "raking it in" like I used to. 31¢ is 31¢. Thanks Don.
Bodum Chambord 8-Cup Coffee Press
Again with the coffee. Seeing the pattern yet? But this Bodum Coffee Press is great for when you are making coffee for more than one. And the flavor of the coffee takes on a different quality when you are not making it espresso-style in the Senseo or through an automatic drip maker. Come to think of it, I don't even use my automatic drip any more. Coffee presses, besides making coffee well, are just so zen, quiet and, oh, so "French."
The Euro Cuisine Yogurt Maker
... a wedding gift and well worth the $30. If you are a heavy yogurt eater, it does bring down the overall cost of yogurt, so then you can buy some yummy organic milk to prepare your yogurt. The quality of the milk DOES matter quite a bit. This yogurt maker has been the domain of the lady of the house, but, the quality of product you get from this yogurt maker with some basic steps is pretty amazing. Good for the belly.
Feel free to throw me some suggestions if you have any - I love kitchen tech.