While I'm on the topic of kitchen essentials, I recently purchased a few items on Amazon. A few weeks ago I realized that my old blender couldn't even process a banana, so it was time to get a new one. If I had a lot of money to spend and more counter space in my kitchen, I would totally get a powerful and versatile Vitamix blender. However, I was looking for something smaller that was easy to clean and could also grind things like seeds and nuts. I settled on the Tribest Personal Blender, and I'm glad I made the choice. I haven't used it too much, but it's certainly easy to clean, BPA free, and comes with mix and match travel cups and lids. It has a blending blade, which is great for smoothies, and a grinding blade, which literally pulverized my cashews into a flour. Today I also ordered a Lodge Logic 5Qt. Dutch Oven, which has a lid that doubles as a skillet! I bought the Lodge Logic 10" Cast Iron Skillet a few months ago and absolutely love it. It comes pre-seasoned, so after each use you just scrub with hot water (no soap!) and a scouring pad and lightly oil it before storing it. Cast iron is naturally nonstick, adds a significant amount of iron to your food, and lasts a lifetime or more! I can't wait to get the dutch oven, because I want to try a recipe for "no-knead bread." The other item I purchased today was a Silpat, a naturally nonstick, nontoxic, baking mat that is always featured on Spork Foods.
I won't be posting any recipes too soon, because I had to get all four wisdom teeth removed yesterday. The nurse instructed my mom to feed me soft foods like "scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, soup, yogurt, pudding, ice cream, and Jello." Since I can't eat half of those things, my mom made a trip to the natural section of our local chain grocery store to pick up organic vegan items like applesauce, Imagine Foods potato and leek soup, So Delicious soy ice cream, and sweet potatoes (which she roasted and mashed in my favorite way with mellow white miso, apple cider vinegar, and cinnamon). I also made a quick orange-pineapple juice and banana smoothie in my blender this morning. As soon as I can eat whole foods again, I want to try this recipe for Irish Soda Bread, which calls for soft silken tofu (I've had a box in pantry that is nearing expiration, and I never knew what to do with the soft variety). I'm not Irish, but I do enjoy a good soda bread with a pat of Earth Balance spread around the St. Patrick's Day holiday.