Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Ten Things I Want for My Kitchen

Just off the heels of purchasing over $250 in attachments for the beau's KitchenAid Stand Mixer, I feel like I'd have to take out another loan to be able to afford any new kitchen gadgets. Unfortunately for me, my kitchen is the size of an airplane restroom. Thus, not only can I not afford any new kitchen appliances, flatware, or dinnerware, but my crowded and compacted apartment couldn't accommodate the additional kitchen purchases anyway. I don't have many kitchen appliances to begin with: just a small food processor and a spice grinder, but I always daydream about how my life would be "so much easier" if I just had a little more help in the kitchen.

A girl can dream can't she?

Tigerfish just tagged me for a fun meme, called "Ten Things I Want for My Kitchen." Below is my list! Also, I have included some pictures of shao loeng baos and lettuce wrap filling from my recent visit Hu Chiang Dumpling House in Cupertino. (The picture at the very top is of shrimp and celery filling for lettuce wraps. The picture at the very bottom is of shao loeng baos filled with wintermelon.) Soon, I hope to be making similar meat-filled dumplings and lettuce wraps with those new KitchenAid attachments! Now getting back to the meme, here is my dream list of items I want for my kitchen (someday):

1. Newfangled Turbo-Powered, Self-Cleaning Oven (with microwave, convection, thermal, steam, and infared heating technologies to cook in less than 1/3 the time of a regular oven) - I recently read
an article about these ovens in the NY Times, and I have been lusting after these ovens ever since.

2. Mongolian Barbeque-Style Grill - I don't know how practical this would be, but I have always admired the theatrical act that chefs in Mongolian BBQ restaurants put on when they furiously chop up meat with their clanking spatulas on that heated metal table.

Also, as a side note, I want the knife skills of the chefs at Benihana.

3. Indian Tandoor Clay Oven - My mom always tells me that when she was growing up, her neighbors used to bake bread in clay ovens by pasting dough on the walls of the oven. When the dough eventually fell off of the wall, it had transformed into steaming bread and was ready to eat! As Rachael Ray says, "How cool is that?"

4. Silicone Baking Sheet and Cupcake Mold Set - Take it from Hollywood, the more silicone, the better.

5. High-Capacity Pressure Cooker - To make a honkin' pot o' beans every Sunday.

6. FoodSaver Vaccum Pack Machine - I admit, I like watching infomercials and I am completely sold on the merits of the Magic Bullet. But the FoodSaver is in a league all on its own. Can you imagine prolonging the shelf-life of cheese? Incredible!

7. Electric George Foreman-Style Grill with Interchangeable Panini Press and Belgium Waffle Iron Plates - I made this kitchen item up, but wouldn't that be cool if there was such a thing?

8. Stainless Steel Roasting Pan and V-Rack - I would love to make my own crispy-skinned chicken with a nice roasting pan and v-rack.

9. Stainless Steel Food Mill (or Potato Ricer) - Ina Garten makes food mills and potato ricers look like they are indispensable for any self-sufficient kitchen. Although I admit, they sorta look like Medieval torture devices at certain angles.

10. Le Creuset Dutch Oven - Every time I see the neon green version of these ceramic coated cast iron pots, I throw a temper tantrum in front of my beau and scream, "I want one, I want one, I want one!"

. . . And that's my list!

This meme was quite enjoyable to participate in, so I'll let you readers volunteer if you are interested in doing it! Please let me know if you would like to do this meme, and I'll tag you retroactively!

I'd like to tag Susan's food blog! She'll get back to me with her blog site!

And also, Zileel posted her ten things!


  1. Passionate eater, maybe you can make room for one more thing in your kitchen...ME, because I'd love to be a squatter in the kitchen of a culinary enthusiast like you. I have the exact same dilemma in my room for nuthin. We're moving over this summer so the #1 thing I'm concentrating on is the kitchen. I don't care if every other room is literally a shoebox, my kitchen has to be big and ample. I spend enough time in it that I deserve the indulgence.

  2. What? No 65,000 BTU wok burner?! I have one of these and it's one of those "man" purchase (and cheap). Great list PE!

  3. I think the beau OWES you something!
    I hope he's reading. Because after all, PE, you could probably fit a dutch oven into your tiny kitchen. Store your pot holders in it to free up space. :D

  4. PE - I do love those Le Creuset pans, especially food shaped ones (eggplant, green peppers!). I'm surprised you didn't mention a personal or sous-chef to help or educate you in your culinary adventures. I sure could use some help in the kitchen!

  5. Hi Passionate eater! I just discovered your blog through Baking and Books :) My SF apt kitchen is very small as poor Kitchen Aid sits out on top of a tiny end table. Have you visited any of the dumpling houses in our fair city? Tag me; I have a list I'd love to share (you know, as a *hint hint* come gift-giving season)!

  6. Thanks for being such a good sport!

    I think I would want a self-cleaning all-purpose oven too. And with your Indian Tandoori Clay Oven, I would love to be your neighbour. Aroma everyday!

    And for that similar airplane-restroom-sized kitchen I have, both of us can dream more, can't we ?

    Back to food-
    You travelled all the way to Huchiang for the dumplings? When it just opened, this place was crowded. Then, it starts to ease a little. We were there last summer. The dumplings are not too bad. But for the quantity we can take, it will chalk up to an expensive meal :O

  7. I understand this is somewhat tangential to the main point of your post, but I'm sure you won't be the least bit surprised by my question...

    How were the XLB at Hu Chiang? :-)

  8. Hey PE, I have heard good things about this Xiao Long Bao place in Cupertino, is it any good...the pictures look very good. I am up in SF next week...maybe I can go eat there?

  9. i'm in the same situation....wanting more things and no room for them. but out of your list, i definitely think you have to get the dutch oven first! it is a brilliant investment and you'll use it all the time.

  10. I want a green Kitchenaid, too! But I only have about 14 square feet of counter space, and no cabinet space left to spare, so I don't get any more fun toys until I am out of the condo in a few years. Boooo!

  11. Oh man, I am tired today. You said you wanted a green Le Creuset, which I do want. What I meant to say is in ADDITION to that, I'd like a green Kitchenaid mixer.

  12. This looks like a lot of fun, and you know I am all about memes (and the chance to daydream is very appealing)By the way, I have the Foodsaver (I actually posted about it) and it is as incredible as you think it would be!

  13. I have one of those fancy ovens - it came with my new house. I've had it for 4 years now and I use it for the microwave function and the "Popcorn" function. Thats it! Its so complicated to use the I just prefer not to. :-( And prior to moving in, I had dreamnt visions of frolicking in the kitchen, wondering what I should do with all that free time.

  14. GREAT list!!! :)

    I'm so sad that my BB (kitchenaid mixer) got packed away back in its box... there's just not enough room to leave it on the counter unless I'm baking. BAH! Same with my ice cream maker and food processor.


    And yes... I agree wih Cookiecrumb... Boy needs to take note, for sure! ;)

  15. Ooo, I hear ya, especially on the dutch oven front! I so want one. Sometimes when I stroll through Williams Sonoma I fantazie about all the neat things I would buy if money and space were no object. :)

    Ari (Baking and Books)

  16. You and your XLB pictures. :P Wah! You make me so hungry! :( What I would give to eat XLB everyday like in Shanghai. I think my record was 21 or 22, but that was when I was still growing. :D And I totally hear ya about Le Creuset, I have an affordable substitute right now but Le Creuset is definitely going on the wedding registry hehehe.

  17. Hello everyone! Thank you all for your lovely comments! It is interesting to see how we generally daydream about the same kitchen items. And it sounds like a few of you own items from my dream list! If you fall in that camp, I'll have to come over and sample some food you made using those nifty kitchen tools and appliances! :)

    Also, in response to the restaurant-related comments by you, Tiger Fish, Eric, and Rasa Malaysia, I'd say that Hu Chiang Dumpling House is pretty good. The dumplings had thin noodle skins that resembled little water balloons filled with ground pork and soupy juices. The beau ordered three different kinds of shao loeng baos (although I am not sure which ones), and I liked all but one of them. One of the pork dumplings had meat that wasn't really compacted into a juicy meatball, but the meat fell apart and disintegrated with each bite. It was a little strange, but it was fine. Just yesterday, one of my friends who ate with us at the restaurant, told me that she looked on Yelp and discovered that patrons have found cockroaches in the steamers! Yikes! But for me, overall, I didn't have a negative experience. I wouldn't trek out there from San Francisco for the sole purpose of eating there, but if I am in the area, I would visit again.

  18. Oops, also Susan, I forgot to ask, could you please send me the link to your blog so that I can link to you in the meme? Thanks for visiting and I can't wait to read your list!


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