kitchen toys part 1

People joke about men and their toys, whether motorcycle, power tool, or sports car. Kids have their playthings, too. My toys are found in the kitchen. I love my Kitchen Aid stand mixer as well as its grain-grinder attachment. My blenders (both traditional and immersion) and food processor are great fun to use. Don’t even get me started on the cotton candy maker–it’s just plain magical. (And worth its own post another day.) It’s also fun to use my cream whipper (who needs Redi-Whip?) and soda maker.

The soda maker is my most recent purchase. It’s shiny red (love it!) and purchased from an online restaurant supply store. I also bought a case of CO2 chargers at a huge discount (my kind of shopping), so now have a lifetime supply of soda water. Just as I love baking my own bread, there’s great satisfaction in starting with basic ingredients (just water in this case) and transforming it into something amazing (yes, bubbly water is amazing).

Having soda water at the ready at any time is lovely. Carbonated water mixes with just about anything–fruit juice, lemonade, purchased or homemade drink syrups (have made amazing ginger ale this way), and even chocolate syrup and milk (think egg cream). It’s also an essential in any home bar and means you don’t have to run to the store to enjoy a bourbon-and-soda.

My Whip-It! Soda Siphon wasn’t overly expensive (costs less than a sports car, for sure) and just thinking about using it makes me smile. Sounds like a toy to me.

shiny red Whip-It! Soda Siphon

homeade ginger ale = carbonated water + Fee Brothers Warm Ginger Cordial Syrup

home alone

My kids and husband were gone at various activities tonight, which means I was home alone. This never happens. Ever. My afternoons are usually spent solo, but those are work hours, so I’m usually focused on whatever task is at hand. Having a few evening hours to myself was positively intoxicating. What to do? Cooking Channel (Unique Sweets marathon) and my laptop beckoned. I’d had supper before the family left, but watching shows devoted to dessert left me no other option than to have dessert myself.

Since it was just me, I was tempted to grab a box of Girl Scout cookies or an IKEA chocolate bar from the cupboard. But then I remembered advice I’d once gotten about treating yourself as well as you’d treat a loved one. Would I hand my daughter a box of Thin Mints and tell her to go at it? That in mind, I sliced a (healthy-size) wedge of Sticky Toffee Pudding onto a crystal plate. (Had made the cake over the weekend after receiving a surprise gift of fresh dates in the mail.)  I drizzled warm Brandy Caramel Sauce over the date-studded cake and finished it off with a shot of whipped cream from my cream whipper. (I love my cream whipper.) It was a lovely and satisfying treat on so many levels. I don’t imagine I’ll be Home Alone again anytime soon, but the next time it happens, I’ll know to take out the crystal plate and top it with something spectacular. Just for me.

Sticky Toffee Pudding for one!