Sara’s Pix for the Holiday Shopping Season…
I’M IN LOVE – with my new Miele Blizzard vacuum cleaner. My carpets looked tired and dull, and boring. And then, the Blizzard entered my life. I plugged it in and pressed the button. Hey, I can talk on the phone and vacuum at the same time. It’s that quiet. With a touch, I can adjust the suction power to the floor surface. And all that dust that has been choking my carpets encounters an anti-allergy air filter. The “eye of the cyclone” vortex technology really works. My carpets look perky again. All done, I pick it up with one hand and put it in the closet. The dog isn’t mine – but the Miele Blizzard is.
My Kitchenaid Mixer with pasta attachment plays a leading role in our family culinary drama. We gather round, and mix the simple recipe for pasta dough in the bowl, then take it out and let it rest for fifteen minutes. While that’s happening, we make fresh tomato sauce in the mixing bowl from San Marzano canned tomatoes, herbs and garlic. Then, back to the pasta. Macho man kneads the dough to smoothness and cuts it into four sections for the rolling pin process. Next, it goes through the pasta roller until its thin and elastic. This first batch of pasta sheets will become lasagna, and go into the oven with prepared fillings. The next few pasta sheets, a child presses shapes with cookie cutters. We’ll throw these into boiling water and serve with a splash of olive oil and fresh ground pepper as an appetizer. Minutes before dinner, I move the Kitchen Aid mixer with the pasta attachment next to the stove, and run the sheets of pasta dough through the spaghetti roller, right into a pot of boiling water. In a few minutes, it’s ready for fresh tomato sauce. This is what real pasta tastes like. Magnifico! You will never buy dry pasta again. My best buy at Best Buy!
Can’t Cook? Let T-Fal OptiGrill and your cell phone do it for you. Whaaat? Get the OptiGrill App and activate the Bluetooth function. Plug in the OptiGrill Smart and turn it on. Then follow the instructions. I prefer to do it manually: tap on the automatic sensor to the size and type of food I am grilling. The color of the sensor changes and beeps when the grill is ready for my grilled cheese sandwich, or steak, fish, chicken or veggies. I have tried them all. I lift the lid and place my food on the grill. Close the lid, and my work is done. I can go and set the table, or make a phone call, confident that in a few minutes I will hear a beep signalling that my food is done. Perfectly. Steak is well, medium or rare and beautifully marked from the grill. I love my gilled cheese and tomato sandwiches, and they are precision perfect. No longer any need to keep checking to see if food is cooked, no more hoping that steak is not over or undercooked. And there is no smoke and no mess. The grills are washed even more easily than the dishes. OptiGrill can turn anyone into a really good cook.
Happy Holidays From DINE to You!
Sara Waxman is an award-winning restaurant critic, best-selling cookbook author, food and travel journalist and has eaten her way through much of the free world for four decades, while writing about it in books, newspapers and magazines. She is the Editor in Chief of DINE and Destinations magazine.