No doubt that the most used appliance in my kitchen would be the stove and the oven, but there are other appliances that I could not possibly live without.
No Asian Household is complete without the Rice Cooker. It doesn’t have to be a fancy one or one that can feed an army. My trusty rice cooker was gifted to me by my manager from Kohl’s 13 years ago! She understood my love of rice, and she also understood that a Freshman in college will have extremely limited funds. She told me that she lived off of Tuna and Rice when she was in college. As I walked out of the Kohls in Quincy, IL in 2005, she handed me a Rice Cooker. It yields three cups of rice and in our house that is all we need!
This rice cooker and I have been through a lot. It has seen my move from my parents’ home to the dorm. It kept me fed in my own apartment, and it even made the move from Illinois to Arizona with Jesse and me in 2009. I have made different versions of rice in my trusty rice cooker. Coconut Rice (substituting half of the water for coconut water), Rice cooked in Chicken Stock, even Cilantro Lime Rice (Chipotle inspired!).
The rice cooker cooks more than just rice! I have made couscous in the rice cooker, and even used the steam tray to steam veggies, the same time that I cook rice and/or couscous!
My other go-to appliance is my Instant Pot. Gifted by my amazing mother-in-law in 2016, this appliance has been a game changer for me. Nights coaching at the gym can get late and sometimes we do not get home until 8:30pm. With bedtime at 10:30, enter the stress of still having to make dinner!
With proper planning and the Instant Pot, the stress about dinner has decreased. I can set my protein of choice (usually Chicken) in the Instant Pot with whatever sauces and spices I want, and while I shower it cooks my meal for me! The Instant Pot has become the modern Ronco appliance – Set it, and forget it!
The Instant Pot also has served as my slow cooker and pressure cooker, clearing space in my cabinets and countertops. I love how the Instant Pot has cut down the time that I cook certain vegetables. We love spaghetti and acorn squash, but sometimes we do not have 40 minutes to wait. Enter Instant Pot. Spaghetti squash cooks in 9 mins, and acorn squash in 7!
Meals do not have to be expensive, stressful or hard to make. It does need to be delicious and sustaining. I’m excited to be sharing some of my favorite recipes with you all.