Tools & Toys
It doesn't matter what you do in life; tools and equipment make life easier. Even better are the toys that make life more fun. We have done a lot of research before purchasing the tools and toys we use. We'll share our experiences and our thoughts here.
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Breville Sous Chef 16 Peel & Dice Countertop
This is simply a fantastic piece of kit. I'm honestly torn between calling it a piece of equipment or a toy—what a joy to use.
David and I were looking for a food processor that did everything we needed and minimized the real estate it took up in the RV. We love that all the attachments and cleaning bits along with the peeler/dicer are stored in a stackable storage container.
We analyzed deeply whether or not the additional cost of the peeler and dicer would be justified in how we used this beautiful piece of equipment. I'm personally glad we chose to purchase the full package as I use the dicer on almost a daily basis.
I don't have an issue with hand peeling potatoes; however, beets are another creature, and I love beets. Pop them in, and the beets come out ready to go without staining my hands. Note that for a bit more money, you can buy an add on of the peeler/dicer later if you feel you need it.
I'm the worst hand chopper, food slicer, vegetable dicer, and cheese grater in the World. I love cooking; however, I tend to create meals using less prep to save time. No longer a consideration with this food processor. I can whip up a fantastic summer salad in minutes with the Sous Chef at my side. All those curries, stir-fries, soups, and stews are an absolute breeze, and so is the cleanup.
David even makes pastry and no yeast bread with this baby.
I can't say enough. I'm so happy that we made this purchase as it's worth every penny to me.
There are other options out there, so if it's out of your price range or you can't justify the cost, look at the alternatives to save you time and money preparing your own homemade food. Follow this link to get the full details for the Breville Sous Chef 16 Pro or to view other options on the Breville site.
Germany's Stoneline Xtreme Series Non-stick Non-Toxic Stone Coating Cookware
We were looking for a safe non-stick pot and pan set to reduce the amount of oil we use in cooking, noting that we intend to do a lot of our food preparation on an induction unit in our RV.
We had been using cast iron and stainless steel sets in our home, which are safe, however, we found that we were using a lot of oil and that cleaning could be a chore. Stoneline offered us a scratch-resistant, high-quality, safe non-stick option.
We've drastically reduced the amount of oil we use cooking with this very versatile set. We are amazed at how different and light tasting our food is now that we have reduced the fat in our cooking.
The pots and pans are not dishwasher safe as strong detergents will impact the coating, which isn't an issue as the set is easily cleaned with a damp cloth and mild soap.
We intend to keep the Stoneline as a lifetime set and have vowed not to put the pots and pans in the dishwasher or use any metal utensils on the set so purchased this red hot flashy set of silicone cooking utensils to keep our babies safe.
This is a worthwhile investment for us with the lifetime warranty against warping or bending of the base as we use it multiple times a day.
Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine
We went on a lovely trip to the Dominican Republic years ago, where we started each day with a beautiful cappuccino by the pool. Upon our return, we just had to start our day off with the same warm, fluffy drink and purchased a BREVILLE CAFE VENEZIA.
After years of great use, it was becoming apparent that our wonderful friend was going to take up too much real estate in our RV, and we needed to find an alternative.
After many weeks of research, we decided to purchase the sleek Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine.
The uncompromised flavour provided by this espresso machine is truly exceptional. The design of the automatic steam wand considers that different folks have different preferences and offers three settings of temperature and foam texture.
Need that shot now? No worries with a three-second heat up time; you are sipping a little bit of heaven before you've brushed the sleep from your eyes.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro
Now that we picked our espresso machine, we needed to find the right grind. I had absolutely no idea how much bean grind had to do the flavour passing through my lips. Don't chop it, crush it. Everything is science.
With 60 unique programmable settings, we didn't need to look any further than the Breville Smart Grinder Pro. Holy cow, you can seriously grind directly into a portafilter, the air-tight container provided with the unit, a filter basket, or a paper filter. Talk about choices.
Your grind is set for perfection with the digital timer allowing you to make adjustments in 0.2-second increments. Continue customizing the number of shots or cups for total morning bliss.
FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer
The Food Saver Vacuum Sealer is a food saving maniac. Your imagination is the only limit to the uses for this piece of equipment in the kitchen.
We buy our meat in bulk from local farms, and vacuum seal the cuts of meat in portion sizes for different types of meals. The meat stays fresh without freezer burn for what seems like forever.
At the end of the season, I dehydrate our garden harvest and vacuum seal both powdered and cut fruits and vegetables for use in the years to come.
I even use it to freeze my extra milk kefir grains.
The money we have saved on food preservation has paid for the Food Saver time and time again.
Excalibur Food Dehydrator
We have the nine-level Excaliber Food Dehydrator, which came with nine BPA free mesh screens offering fifteen square feet of drying space.
The adjustable thermostat provides a range of 105°F to 165°F so we can dry our food at temperature, so it is still considered to be "Live Food."
The dehydrator is so easy to use and clean that I will even preserve food not consumed during our regular shopping, so it doesn't spoil.
Dehydrate fruits, vegetables, nuts, meat for jerky, fruit puree, and even make your own crackers.
I loved it so much. I bought a second unit when I was stocking vegetable powder to reduce our costs when we hit the road.