When I moved into my first apartment after college almost four years ago, I skimped on home décor and appliances.
I still had an old futon from college that skeeved me out when I sat on it. With student loan payments and other bills eating up the majority of my income, I didn’t feel ready to invest in nice things. Plus, I didn’t feel settled in my Loganville farm apartment. I wanted to move downtown, but I got sucked into a lease and lived in a borough of 800 people.
So I made do with what I had, slowly adding a blender here and a small table there. Family often gave me appliances for gifts, and my mom bought me a new couch because my futon grossed her out more than it bothered me.
Lately, after moving in to a new place with my boyfriend, Dan, we’ve been adding small appliances to our kitchen. My mom gave me a cappuccino machine for Christmas. Dan gave me a food processor and a rice cooker, and I bought a food scale. I’m not a jewelry kind of girl. I love kitchen gadgets.
In the past, I went without these items because who really needs a rice cooker. However, these upgrades have put me in a state of kitchen bliss, and here’s why. Just wait until I get a dishwasher.
Food processor: This tool is a gem to use for any extensive chopping or dicing. I shredded 13 potatoes in five minutes when we hosted brunch for our friends. Also, I used to puree soup and make hummus in a blender, which always resulted in a slightly off consistency. It’s easy to clean and takes time off kitchen prep. Price range: $10 to $187
Rice cooker: Dan bought this for us to make our own sushi on Valentine’s Day. Do you love that fluffy rice served at Mexican or Asian restaurants? It’s hard to get that fluff using a stove. To use this tool, plug it into an outlet, add rice and water, and steam for about 20 minutes. After the water has evaporated, the machine automatically goes into “warm” mode, so you don’t have to worry about burning the rice on the stove (for any of you who are prone to kitchen blunders). This tool also steams vegetables. Price range: $10 to $141
Cappuccino machine: I used to cringe every time I spent $4 on a latte. I could buy almost two gallons of milk for that. I usually make my own coffee at home, but sometimes pick up a joe or two while out. It was a bit challenging to get the timing right for steaming milk, but after a few tries, I got the hang of it. Price range: $29 to $750
Food scale: I bought this for $15 at Kohl’s. This helps me with my nutrition goals. I cook a lot and enjoy figuring out nutrition info for my own creations. I also like to portion out meals and snacks without estimating. It’s hard to guess what ounces and grams look like. Price range: $3 to $49
Though I got most of these items as gifts, they’re relatively inexpensive if you’re interested in making culinary advances in your kitchen.
What are your go-to kitchen appliances?