Tuesday, January 03, 2017

little things

Someone asked me what I got for Christmas, and I basically shrugged the question off -- Oh, you know, I have so much stuff!  DH has planned a get-away night for us...

Of course that's true.  What's also true is that when I shopped for everyone else, I picked up things here and there for myself, taking advantage of the end-of-year sales.  All in all, though, my stack of Christmas stuff is small but delightful, and the things I'm enjoying the most were a couple of "house" buys! Not presents, just a couple of things we picked up in the past month or so:

Instant Pot!
DH got us a pressure cooker.  I really want to end that sentence with several exclamation points: !!!!
I have the impression not too many people use these things, and I had literally zero experience with a pressure cooker before last month, but this thing is awesome if you like slow-cooked foods and don't want to wait hours for the slow-cooking to happen.  I can make Greek chicken (stewed with cinnamon, onion, and tomato paste) in about an hour, and it tastes as if it had been simmering for three. So far I have used it to make chicken and beef dishes, and also, just yesterday, chili.  It is totally awesome to be able to cook food that we really love and have it ready at a semi-reasonable time for dinner.  By the time we get home most week days, it's nearly 5PM, but I can still make basically anything I want, now.  It also helps tremendously that it's electric, so it doesn't heat up the whole house the way using the oven does.  (This particular model also slow cooks, makes yogurt, can be a rice cooker, and also, wonderfully, has a saute setting, so I can brown the meat, deglaze the pot, then put everything back in to cook.  Less cleanup = extra awesomeness.)

The other innovation? 
KitchenAid Dish Rack
This seems kind of dumb, perhaps, but we've always had one of the small Rubbermaid dish racks because there isn't that much space next to the sink. I never considered a larger one, even though the small one was constantly a problem.  I saw this dish rack at Sam's Club last month for $20 and stopped to look at it.  DD was with me and encouraged me to buy it.  I didn't think it would fit, but it does, and having more space there is such a small thing, but with all the cooking (and eating) we do, it really is lovely.  I mean, I was always having to precariously balance the baking sheets and the platters and the various glasses that were hand-washed... and now I don't.  Everything fits, nothing falls out or falls over or gets broken!  

So, my two favorite new things were not Christmas presents, and that's fine with me. It's funny to me how these two little things make me so happy.

One more thing was a Christmas present, from my "secret Santa" at work: a miniature herb garden! We have all the rosemary we need outside, but the addition of fresh thyme and sage are wonderful!  Now I just have to make sure the cats don't eat it. 

1 comment:

nina said...

I remember when, a few years ago, I got my big dish rack! So happy!!
(And thank you for such a special Ocean comment, blogger friend!)