A High-Five From The Ranting Cook
I love to cook. I also love to rant. Hence the name of my cooking blog, The Ranting Cook. I spend a lot of time cooking, grocery shopping and thinking of new dishes and flavour combinations to try on my unsuspecting family. Most of the time it works out well; on the odd occasion though, it ends up being an impromptu pizza night or eggs and toast for dinner. I am also a clutz in the kitchen (in life really) and very engaged in political and human rights issues in the world. I have literally burnt dinner because I was on Facebook typing a response like that Kermit on the typewriter meme. I tend to be pretty passionate about things I enjoy or believe in. Like most passionate cooks, I have a love for kitchen gadgets that make my like just a little bit easier. Here are FIVE of my favourite things to use in the kitchen.
The Instant Pot
I was slightly skeptical at the beginning about this one, but the crazy amount of positive chatter online convinced me to give it a go. All I can say is WOW! This thing saves me an incredible amount of time in the kitchen. It makes a rich bone broth, and vanilla extract in just 1-2 hours instead of the usual 12 plus needed prior. Forgot to thaw that whole chicken? Don’t worry about it. Throw it in the pot with a few herbs and garlic and in just an hour you have a tender and amazingly flavoured chicken on the table. From FROZEN… Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed. NO, you cannot borrow mine, it’s used too much.
Kitchen Aid Mixer
Well duh… My mom bought me one about 12 years ago and it still runs perfectly. Not many products are that reliable nowadays. I have invested in various attachments for it including: pasta press, grain mill, meat grinder/sausage maker, slicers and more. Although it may seem pricey, the space saved by not having all separate machines to store and the quality makes it well worth it.
I recently bought a new one from Cuisinart. It’s powerful and pretty, kind of like Wonder Woman. Maybe I’ll name it? It makes creating sauces, dressings and marinades a snap with minimal dishes. Always a selling point for me.
Heritage Rock Fry-pans
WHERE have these been all my life? I have a ridiculous number of stupidly expensive pans from Paderno, Circulon and others in my cupboard, but these quickly have become my favourite for everyday use. They sear meat beautifully, cook eggs perfectly and clean up super easy. They are non-stick and yet I can use metal utensils. Say whaaat?
If you visit my blog you’ll see a post titled The Jelly Murders. That event is the reason I invested in this product. It’s funny now, but trust me at the time I was turning the air blue with my “ranting.” It turned out to be the best thing ever. I make a lot of jams and jellies. And I used to have to spend literally hours stirring, pressing and straining berries for jelly or juice. Now I set up the extractor and basically walk away until it’s done. It also makes a more crystal clear juice or jelly than by hand pressing.
I hope you enjoyed my first high-five.
For more tips and tricks in the kitchen and my collection of recipes visit my website therantingcook.com or check me out on Facebook.
Baked Apple Pie Dip
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp apple pie spice
- 2 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 tbsp Graham crumbs
- 2 tbsp chopped pecans
- 8 oz light cream cheese, softened
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tbsp apple pie spice*
- 1¼ cups chopped apples, divided
- Fresh apple slices
- 32 Grahams crackers, broken into quarters
*Apple Pie Spice
- 3 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ginger
- ½ tsp cardamom
- ½ tsp allspice
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Spray a small, shallow baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Combine flour, sugars, and apple pie spice in a medium bowl.
- Cut in butter.
- Stir in graham cracker crumbs and chopped pecans. Refrigerate streusel until you are ready for it.
- In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, brown sugar and apple pie spice into smooth and creamy.
- Stir in ¾ cup chopped apples.
- Spread the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared dish.
- Sprinkle remaining apples on top.
- Top with streusel mixture.
- Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until heated through.
- Serve with graham crackers and apple slices.