Home is where the heart is

I love shopping for homewares.  Interior design is a real passion of mine, so putting this post together has been an absolute dream!  Below is my edit of the various homeware sales that are on at the moment.  Enjoy having a nose!
  1. Edberg Large Sofa, was £1,200 now £840 from John Lewis
  2. Circles cushion, was £35 now £17.50 from John Lewis
  3. Cashmere cable knit throw, was £310 now £217 from Heals
  4. Star by Julien McDonald layered crystal disc lamp, was £65 now £32.50 from Debenhams
  5. Ercol for John Lewis Pilgrim 6 drawer cabinet, was £999 now £699 from John Lewis
  6. Pure magazine rack, was £30 now £21 from John Lewis
  7. Waltzer Bocaccio love seat, was £1999 now £995 from Heals
  1. Harrison dining storage, was £450 now £360 from Habitat
  2. Contrast napkin, was £4 now £3 from John Lewis
  3. Luigi Bormioli Veronese glassware, were £6.25 now £5 from Heals
  4. Vinum Sauvignon Blanc glass, was £19 now £15 from Heals
  5. Acacia tray for 3 dishes, was £20 now £10 from Heals
  6. Rochester 44 piece cutlery set, was £260 now £130 from Heals
  7. Bodal double glass triple pendant light, was £200 now £100 from Heals
  8. Magppie Eolo wine cooler, was £70 now £35 from John Lewis
  9. Le Creuset plastic champagne stopper, was 310 now £8 from Selfridges
  10. LSA midi champagne sauce, was £29 now £23 from Selfridges
  11. Rocha.John Rocha Etch 16-piece dinner set was £120 now £96 from Debenhams
  1. Luxury Hotel Collection 500 thread count bed linen set, was £630 now £237 from House of Fraser 
  2. KAS elk cushion, was £25 now £20 from Selfridges
  3. White single duck feather and down four seasons 9 & 4.5 tog duvet, was £85 now £68 from Selfridges
  4. French Lille armchair, was £645 now £299 from Decoholic
  5. Crystal ball table lamp base, was £145 now £116 from Heals
  6. Brinkhaus exquisit pure new wool mattress topper, was £159 now £127 from Selfridges
  7. Renata cushion, was £25 now £12.50 from John Lewis
  8. Tribeca double bed, was £845 now £655 from Feather & Black
  1. Smoke mirror, was £45 now £22.50 from John Lewis
  2. Thames bathroom beaker, was £6 now £4.20 from Habitat
  3. Stone bath mat, was £18 now £14 from Selfridges
  4. Arctic Mirrored Single Bathroom Cabinet, was £89 now £44.50 from John Lewis
  5. Manhattan Linen Bin, was £120 now £60 from John Lewis 
  6. Sabichi Hollywood mirror, was £25 now £12.50 from House of Fraser
  7. Orla Kiely stem bath towel, was £25 now £17.50 from Heals
  8. Thames sopa dispenser, was £10 now £7 from Habitat
  9. Salter Glass Body Fat Analyser, was £55 now £27.50 from John Lewis
  1. Baby elephant changing mat, was £12 now £7.95 from John Lewis
  2. Mini star changing mat, was £15 now £9.95 from John Lewis
  3. little home Tropical Garden knitted blanket, was £35 now £17.50 from John Lewis
  4. Pink polka dot wool rug, was £60 now £36 from Laura Ashley
  5. Alphabeat & numbers framed print, was £100 now £70 from Heals
  6. Resol Juliette Children’s table, was £25 now £15 from John Lewis
  7. Resol Juliette Children’s chair, was £15 now £9 from John Lewis
  8. Hannspree Zebra 19″ HD ready LCD tv, was £199 now £179.10 from Selfridges
  9. My best friend bedlinen, was £15 now from £12 from Designers Guild
  10. Blue star wool rug, was £60 now £36 from Laura Ashley
  1. Lidded clear optic glass cake stand, was £45 now £31.50 from Laura Ashley
  2. Cylinder tall glass storage jar, was £6.50 now £2.60 from Liberty
  3. Joseph & Joseph elevate spatula set, was £24 now £19 from Selfridges
  4. Circulon Contempo 5 piece pot set, was £220 now £99 from Sterling Furniture
  5. Make yourself at home mug, was £5 now £2.50 from John Lewis
  6. KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer, was £429 now £379 from Selfridges
  7. Medium chunky wooden chopping board, was £20 now £10 from Heals
  8. Springform Cake Tin, Dia.23cm, was £12 now £8 from John Lewis
  9. Boiled egg lifter, was £2.99 now £1.29 from Lakeland
  10. Le Creuset 30cm cast iron casserole dish, was £180 now £144 from Selfridges
  11. Joseph Joseph digital kitchen scales, were £48 now £38 from John Lewis
  1. Tall silver lantern, was £70 now £56 from Debenhams
  2. Medium silver lantern, was £40 now £32 from Debenhams
  3. Small silver lantern, was £28 now £22.40 from Debenhams
  4. Teva folding lounger, was £55 now £27.50 from Habitat
  5. Brown St Ives table and pair of chairs, were £450 now £260 from Debenhams
  6. Joseph Joseph hands-on salad bowl & servers, was £32 now £25 from Selfridges
  7. Stainless steel Monaco outdoor wall light with PIR sensor, was £29 now £23.20 from Debenhams
  8. Weber compact kettle BBQ, was £80 now £64 from Heals
  9. Weber BBQ tools, were £29.99 now £14.95 from John Lewis
  10. Corsica square teak planter, was £100 now £80 from Heals
  1. Medium clear optic storage glass, was £18 now £12.60 from Laura Ashley
  2. Bloom 3 aperture photo frame, was £60 now £30 from Heals
  3. Mirror photo frame, was £30 now £18 from Laura Ashley
  4. Arizona natural cream & brown leather hide, was £590 now £413 from Heals
  5. Orla Kiely door mat, was £35 now £28 from Heals
  6. Glass and silver hurricane lamp, was £35 now £28 from Laura Ashley
  7. Elephant fabric door-stop, was £26 now £13 from Laura Ashley 
In-store sales on at the moment:
  • Harrods
  • Harvey Nichols
  • Divertimenti have 20% off everything apart from electricals
Still to commence:
Do you love buying items for your home?  Which is your very store for picking-up homewares? And did you see anything you liked in my selection?With much love

The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Kitchen Gadgets – Part 3

I think it’s pretty obvious that I love spending time in the kitchen, but baking has to be my favourite activity.  Yes, I enjoy cooking say a pie or rustling up a quick supper, but creating sweet goodies fills me with joy!  Living in India is great in many ways, however, there are days that can be very challenging!  On days like those, I find baking something can soothe and restore my happy mojo!  So, today in part three of my kitchen gadgets series, I’m sharing with you what I use for baking.

High on my list is either my KitchenAid or Magimix, which featured in part two of the kitchen gadgets series.  Then there are mixing bowls, spoons, whisks and spatulas that I shared in the first post.  And because baking is more a science than an art, I wouldn’t dream of making a cake without my trusty digital weighing scales and measuring spoons!

Today is all about the other paraphernalia I use when baking.  My collection of bakeware has been built-up over the years.  Where I purchased cheap tins that were thin, they’ve warped and have had to be replaced, since they weren’t conducting the heat evenly.  As I’ve been replacing my old tins with new, I’ve opted for mainly silicone ones for these reasons:

  1. They don’t need to be lined.  Just a smidge of butter wiped around does the trick.
  2. The material is flexible making them easier to store.
  3. They don’t break or bend when you drop them (always a good feature when in my hands!)
  4. They can pop in the dishwasher.
  5. They don’t rust.  Quite a few of my traditional tins have rusted.
  6. It’s easier to remove the cake or traybake from the “tin”.
  7. They are available in a much wider choice of shapes and sizes.

Most stores now sell silicone bakeware.  I think the majority of mine have come from John Lewis.

My collection of bakeware, is by no means the “must-have” list.  As I’ve said, I’ve built my collection up over many years, and as new recipes required different shapes or sizes, I have added to my collection.  If just starting out baking, I would suggest numbers 1 through to 5, are probably all you’ll need.

  1. Two 7” x 1½”  (18cm) or 8” x 1½” (20cm) round tins (or silicone).  This will allow you to make a huge variety of cakes.  The amount of mixture necessary for each size will be stated in the recipe.
  2. An 8″ x 8″ x 2″ (20cm x 20cm x 5cm) traybake tin, as I mentioned in the Chocolate Brownie post a few weeks ago.  It can be used for lots of different types of traybakes.  I have a recipe for a delicious one, which will be up on The Domestic Princess very soon!
  3. A 2lb (900g) loaf tin.  I tend to use this for loaf cakes, as opposed to bread, as I have the bread maker.
  4. A 12-hole bun tin for baking mini muffins, cupcakes or fairy cakes.  I love my silicone one.
  5. Two to three baking sheets or trays for making delicious cookies or biscuits.  I find the 14” (35cm) ones are perfect.  They need to be heavy, flat and rigid.  Oh, and make sure they fit in your oven!
  6. Deep round loose-bottomed 6” (15cm) cake tin.  I use this for making a small Christmas cake.
  7. Square loose-bottomed 7” (18cm) cake tin.  If I’m making a larger Christmas cake – this is my favourite tin to use.
  8. Spring-form 9″ (23cm) round cake tin.  This is great for making cheesecakes, as the metal release clip makes it super easy to remove the contents, with minimal risk of damaging it on the way out.
  9. Silicone baking sheet.  I use this when making biscuits or to roll out my pastry on.  I even use it for chocolate and sugar work and any burnt bits are easily removed.
  10. Silicone 6-hole muffin tin.  I don’t actually use these for making muffins, but for making giant, puffy Yorkshire puddings.  Maybe I’ll try muffins in them one day.
  11. Various shaped silicone cup cases:  rounds, rectangles and hearts etc.  My mood on the day determines which one I use!
  12. Selection of cookie cutters, including numbers, letters, hearts, 6 circular ones ranging from 2” to 4” that have a fluted side and a smooth one (I used the smallest one to make the Jam & Custard Cream Buttons), animals, gingerbread men, characters from fairy tales and Christmas themed ones.  I’m trying to replace my metal ones with plastic ones, as the metal ones are starting to rust.  Nowadays there is every imaginable shape available.
  13. 3½” x 1½” round cooking rings, which I use to make homemade crumpets, but they can also be used to make potato rosti, creating a perfect circle for presentation, or the larger size can be used to create a tower for a real wow factor!
  14. The last one in my cupboard for bakeware are my mini pudding moulds, which I use to make delicious (even if I say so myself!) hot chocolate fondants.  I have the 3” x 2” ones, which are the perfect size for individual puds!
  1. Thermometer.  I’ve recently been trying to make toffee, fudge and sweets – largely inspired by my Heston Blumenthal at Home book.  A thermometer is by no means a necessity, nor a showstopper if you want to make home-made candy.   However, I didn’t trust myself to use the “soft-ball” method, so decided to invest in a good thermometer and I’m super pleased I did!  Next on my list to try are marshmallows.
  2. It’s only recently that I’ve had a proper cake tester – previously using anything long and spiky available (normally the cheese fondue dipper or a chop stick!).  However, my gorgeous godson, Maxi, gave me this for Christmas, so now I have a proper utensil for quickly checking if my cakes are fully cooked.
  3. Rolling pin.  My version of this is probably controversial amongst the bakers out there, who advocate a wooden one without handles is best.  Why controversial?  Well, I have a stainless steel one, where you can add water to “the belly” of the rolling pin, which reduces the surface temperature, and helps to eliminate sticking.  A must-have tool for any baker living in a hot country!
  4. Baking beans (for blind baking).  Now, I can spend money like the best of them, but spending between £5 to £10 for a set of these when some dried chickpeas for 95p do the job just as well, just didn’t stack up!
  5. Sieves.  I’ve now built my collection up to around 3 of various different sizes, for different tasks.  However, I still have “sieve envy” when I’m around the lovely Alice’s house, as her collection must extend to at least 10, which all sit neatly inside each other!  In addition to sifting flour, I also use them to make super smooth soup and for removing seeds from a raspberry puree.  I’ve recently upgraded my sieves to strong stainless steel ones, to replace the misshapen wire ones.
  6. Cooling rack.  For sometime I used the rack from our grill pan, until one day I needed to use the grill whilst my cake was still cooling, so decided to finally buy one!  This is essential for all bakers if you want to avoid soggy cakes or cookies from the steam trapped under them when left to cool on a flat surface.
  1. Piping bag.  Before going on my cupcake-decorating afternoon that was part of my fantastic hen party, I used to use a traditional nylon-piping bag for icing.  However, after a few fabulous hours of trying to master icing cupcakes, my eyes were opened to the joy and ease of disposable icing bags.  They’re strong and can be cut to fit any size nozzle.  Plus, I no longer have icing all over my hands from the leaking seams on my old nylon one.  There’s no going back for me now!
  2. Icing nozzles.  I’ve got a collection of icing nozzles, but I think my favourite ones are the star and rose tips.  On my next trip abck to the UK, I’ll be looking to buy plastic ones, as the metal ones are starting to rust.
  3. Palette knife.  This is brilliant when icing cakes and needing to spread and smooth the icing over and around the cake.  Make sure it’s very pliable to get the most out of it.
  4. Decorating pen.  This is a new gadget in my kitchen, and is yet to be used.  But, I can see it becoming a firm favourite!
  5. Cupcake corer.  This is a great nifty gadget for creating a little surprise in cupcakes.  You simply press the corer into the cupcake, twist and remove the centre, and then fill the hole with either a different flavoured icing, or a surprise of some sort!  Maltesers are always very popular!

So, has this list got you wanting to bake-up a storm?  Do you love baking?  And what’s your favourite baking recipe?

With much love

The Domestic Princess

xoxo

Kitchen Gadgets – Part 2

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my love of kitchen paraphernalia and opened up my cupboards on the basic essentials and nice-to-have items in my kitchen.  This week I’m sharing with you my Electrical gadgets, amongst which are some of my favourites!  If I had a bigger kitchen (one day!), I’m sure this list would be far, far more extensive than it already is.  So, barring number 1, this list isn’t in any particular order.

1.  Without doubt, my most treasured and loved electrical item, is my beloved KitchenAid Artisan Standmixer.  The Domestic King was extremely generous about five Christmases ago and bought me this, since I’d been wanting one for a very long time.  I use it for whizzing up Yorkshire puddings, making voluminous pavalovas, or just creaming together some butter and sugar for a batch of Soft Chewy Gingerbread Cookies.  It makes baking so much quicker and easier.  It comes in a choice of 26 colours, a wire whisk, a flat beater, a 4.83L polished steel bowl or a 4.83L glass bowl, a dough hook and a pouring shield.  It also has a range of optional accessories, such as:  an ice cream maker, food grinder, pasta maker, flex edge beater, (which I’ve recently bought and can confirm it’s great!), a sausage stuffer, a citrus juicer, and a rotator vegetable slicer and shredder, to name but a few!  The KitchenAid Standmixer is pricey, but I can honestly say I’ve more than had my money’s worth from it.  It gets used probably 2-3 times a week.  My lovely friend Sarah has the Kenwood Standmixer and is just as enamoured with hers, as I am with mine.

2.  Another loved item is my KitchenAid Artisan Blender (no, this isn’t a post sponsored by KitchenAid, I promise!).  We bought this to bring to India with us and just like the Standmixer, it gets used a lot.  I use it daily to make either smoothies or protein shakes for breakfast, it makes perfect frozen margaritas, and I use it weekly when liquidizing soup.  A few friends have told me that it’s great for pureeing baby food too.  It really is a fantastic device and well worth the investment.  I chose this one, as it was a Which? “Best Buy” and it matched the KitchenAid Standmixer and the rest of our kitchen in London.

3.  Magimix Compact 3200 food processor is a great addition to my kitchen gadgets and I’ll be honest, it’s only within the last year that we’ve actually started to use it to its full potential!  We went for the 3200 Compact model, as it’s just the two of us, but there are bigger models for larger families:  the 4200 and 5200, and if space is a premium in your kitchen, they now offer Le Mini Plus.  The Magimix allows you very easily, to slice, grate, whizz up a cake batter, make delicious short-crust pastry, and if you purchase the additional blades, make purees, mash, smoothies and julienne vegetables.  I commonly use mine for making homemade mayonnaise, short-crust pastry, slicing potatoes for dauphinoise potatoes and grating cheese.  It’s a great timesaving gadget.

4.  Sometimes I don’t need to (or want to) use the Magimix or KitchenAid Blender for pureeing or whisking, so I bought something to use on those occasions, which is my Dualit Handblender.  It comes with various attachments, is dishwasher safe and lets me puree, chop or beat in next to no time.

5.  Breadmaker.  This was another purchase ahead of our expat assignment in India.  When we moved here 4 years ago, delicious, good quality and most importantly, tasty, low sugar bread, was non-existent.  So on the advice of the lovely Alice, we purchased one and boy, are we glad we did!  I don’t think anything can beat bacon sarnies made with delicious homemade bread!  We simply pop the yeast, flour, butter, water, a tiny amount of sugar and salt into the bread pan, set the program and voila, two hours later we have a delicious, crusty loaf of bread.  It has many features that allows you to bake cakes, different types of bread, add extra ingredients such as nuts and dried fruit, or even make the dough for pizza, rolls, buns, French sticks or brioche.  All you need to do is put the dough in the oven to cook.  You can also use the delay-timer feature, so you wake-up to the smell of freshly made bread – yum!  It is very cost effective – a medium white loaf works out about half the price of a commercially produced one.

6.  Talking of bread leads me nicely onto another one of my gadgets: our toasted sandwich maker.  Whilst not as frequently used as it once was (carbs are not our friend!), we still use it occasionally and both love the delicious toasties that it makes!  My favourite fillings are either ham and cheese, or chunky chicken in a white sauce.  The Domestic Prince also loves a ham and cheese toastie, or his latest favourite is cheese and pickle!

7.  One item that I couldn’t do without is my electric weighing scales.  I believe baking is more a science than an art, so I love how it allows me to measure my ingredients extremely precisely, ensuring that my ingredients are not one gram out (slightly anal I know!).  You can measure both liquid and dry ingredients and have the option of working in imperial or metric.

8.  Coffee maker.  Now, this is not my gadget, but the Domestic Prince’s, but since it is frequently used and brings him so much pleasure, I thought I’d include it!  The Domestic Prince loves a latte or cappuccino, so when renovating our kitchen in London, we had a built-in coffee machine installed as part of the design.  When we learned of our move to India, the Domestic Prince was really concerned about where he was going to get his daily coffee fix from!  To keep him happy, I did some research for alternatives and settled upon a Nespresso one, mainly because we could take a vast supply of coffee pods with us, and knew we’d be able to stock-up easily.  I can confidently speak on behalf of the Domestic Prince and say he is thrilled with the machine and it gets plenty of use.  We recently purchased an Aeroccino and now our lattes and cappuccinos can rival any coffee bar!

9.  Another purchase ahead of our move to India was a juicer.  We both love freshly squeezed juices and again weren’t sure we’d be able to get them in India.  After consulting Which? again, we opted for the Phillips one.  In under a minute you can have a delicious, freshly squeezed juice.  My favourite is plain orange, but you can use pretty much any fruit or vegetable you like.  The Domestic Prince is partial to an apple, carrot and ginger one.  And the best thing about the juicer?  You don’t need to peel any of the fruit or veg!

10.  Ice cream maker.  I know you don’t need an ice cream maker to make homemade ice cream, but I find when I make it the traditional way I end up with lots of crunchy crystals in it.  I read that making it in an ice cream maker solves this problem and I can confirm it does.  As a gadget I wasn’t going to use very often, I went for a relatively cheap model.  Whilst it’s great and produces fabulous ice creams, you do need to think ahead, because the bowl needs to be chilled for 10 hours beforehand.  After that you have delicious, creamy ice cream in around 20 to 30 minutes.  The (much) more expensive version has a built-in freezer, allowing more spontaneity in your ice cream or sorbet making!  Look out for a post in the coming weeks for one of my favourite ice cream flavours.

I’m aware that I have quite a number of electrical kitchen gadgets, but the majority get used weekly, if not daily, I promise!  I’d love to hear about your favourite electrical kitchen gadgets – do tell!

With much love

The Domestic Princess

xoxo

Kitchen Gadgets – Part 1

I love cooking and spending time in the kitchen.  It would be very unusual for a day to pass without making a meal from scratch, or experimenting with a new recipe.  So, it’s no wonder my kitchen is full of a multitude of paraphernalia!  One of my favourite things to do in the UK is to browse for hours in Divertimenti and Lakeland.  A couple of months ago, I was reading a post on the wonderful Florence Finds authored by Rebecca Norris, about budget kitchen gadgets under £25, with the luxe version the following week.  It got me thinking … maybe I could share with The Domestic Princess readers the kitchen gadgets I have in my kitchen.  I always love hearing about the equipment in other cook’s kitchens – often resulting in me adding to my collection!  So let’s take a look inside my cupboards!

I’ve arranged my kitchen equipment into different categories: Basics; Pots & Pans; Baking and Electrical.  I’ve then decided which are essential and which are nice-to-haveEssentials – are items I pretty much use every day and nice-to-haves – those that I use less frequently.  This subject will appear over four posts; today will cover the basics with pots & pans, and baking and electronics, coming in the next few weeks.  Describing in one post the many kitchen gadgets that enthusiastic cooks accumulate would read like a large tome … yes that’s how many kitchen gadgets I have!  So, let’s take a look inside my cupboards!

1.  Oven thermometer.  It’s only since moving to India that I’ve needed to use this.  A lot of my cakes were burning and I couldn’t figure out why.  Turns out having relied on my oven thermometer I eventually discovered that it burns between 10C – 15C hotter than the gauge indicated.  And it varies day-to-day.

2.  Timer – self-explanatory!

3.  Selection of different sized wooden spoons and spatulas.  Resist buying expensive ones, I just buy the £1 ones from John Lewis or any supermarket will do.  Then, I never feel guilty for throwing them away when they start to look manky!

4.  Potato ricer for the best mashed potatoes ever!  My lovely friend Alice bought this for me one Christmas and I’ve never looked back.  It’s a bit messy, but the delicious lump-free mash is definitely worth it.

5.  Garlic crusher.  Until two weeks ago I had a regular stainless steel one, which I think I bought about 10 years ago from Sainsbury’s.  One day, I was watching one of the numerous cooking shows that I love, and saw this Zyliss crusher; I am so pleased I did.  It gets every last bit of the garlic out of the clove.  And the main reason I love it?  No need to peel the garlic cloves anymore, as the crusher removes the skin as it presses. A real bonus!

6.  Microplane grater.  Again, this is a new addition to the Domestic Princess kitchen, purchased after reading the impressive review by Esme on Florence Finds and I am so glad that I did.  It is so much better than my previous grater and handles zesting, chocolate, ginger and cheese extremely well.  A word of caution – it is very sharp, so mind your fingers and remember to keep the guard on when not in use!

7.  Silicone spatulas.  I have a few of these and they are brilliant for scraping the last drop of cake mixture out of the bowl (no more licking the bowl!) or the last smidgen of soup out of the saucepan.

8.  Silicone tongs.  I have an array of sizes that pretty much get used everyday.  But, the mini ones are my favourite!

9.  Good set of basic knives to include:

  • 7cm Peeling knife – for peeling small fruit and veg.  This is the Domestic Prince’s tool of choice for vegetable prep.
  • 12cm Utility knife – for peeling and slicing.
  • 14cm Sausage knife – hhhmm, I don’t really use this for sausages, but for chopping tomatoes!
  • 16cm Meat fork.
  • 20cm Bread knife – I don’t need to say anything here!
  • 20cm Carving knife – for carving roasts and filleting fish.
  • 20cm Cook’s knife – for everyday chopping and dicing.
  • 23cm Sharpening steel – great for ensuring my knives are always razor sharp.
  • Kitchen shears – brilliant for cutting up meat!

10.  Measuring jug.  I have a Pyrex one, but am considering getting the Oxo one on my next trip home, as it lets you see the measurements from above and the side.  Oh, and it’s plastic too, so probably safer in my hands than a glass one!

11.  Set of measuring spoons and cups.  I have two sets of measuring spoons and a set of measuring cups.  My one set of spoons go down to a quarter of a teaspoon, which I find extremely useful (thank you again Alice!) and the measuring cups are perfect when following US recipes.

12.  Set of different size glass bowls (small, medium and large).  I prefer glass ones – not sure why, maybe it’s because this is what my mum used to use?

13.  A selection of different size whisks, including some silicone ones for use in my non-stick pans and Le Creuset dishes.

14.  Silicone pastry / basting brush.  As I mentioned in the chicken pie recipe, I much prefer a silicone brush, as I feel it’s more hygienic and we’re less likely to find a rogue hair in our mouth when chomping on our pie!

15.  Pestle and mortar.  This is great for making spice mixes, however, I have been toying with the idea of getting an electric grinder, as I can’t always get the pestle and mortar to grind the spices as smooth as I like it.  Have any of you got an electric grinder?  If so, is it worth buying?

1.  An avocado cutter and chopper.  This most definitely is a nice to have.  However, being quite klutzy, especially around certain times of the month, the Domestic Prince felt this was an essential addition to our kitchen to avoid me stabbing myself with a knife when cutting the avo!

2.  Blow torch.  I love using this and feel ever so professional when scorching the top of a crème brulee or caramelizing a mountain of meringue on a Baked Alaska!  Obviously anything that needs to be torched can be done under the grill – but this is so quick and easy!

3.  Potato chipper.  This is probably the height of laziness, but the control freak in me loves how uniform my chips are when I use this!

4.  Mezzaluna.  I use this for chopping up herbs, as you can get quite a good and quick action going.  However, a regular chopping board and a 12cm knife, will do the job just as well.

5.  Mandoline. This is great for getting vegetables and fruit in a uniform shape; perfect for potato dauphinoise.

6.  Baster.  I am a big fan of roasts, so anything that can help make it even tastier, is a winner with me.  It helps add extra juiciness and flavour to your meat.

7.  Fat separator.  This is perfect for making your gravy less fatty.  I don’t always use this though, as it’s the fat that helps give gravy its delicious flavour!  But when a joint or chicken has produced too much fat, it’s great for taking some of the fat our, but leaving the delicious juices behind.

8.  Flavour injector.  This is great for infusing flavour into meat, cakes, jam into doughnuts or surprises into cookies!

9.  Onion chopper.  If I weren’t living in India, this piece of kit would definitely be on my “essentials” list.  I bought this before coming to India, because I hated chopping onions for the normal reasons:  streaming eyes and smelly hands that lingered for days!  However, I’m now lucky enough to have help in the kitchen, so the onion chopper has been relegated to the back of the cupboard.  But rest assured, once I’m on onion chopping duties again, it’ll be back on the essentials list!

10.  Hot & cold food whipper.  Another new purchase and if I’m honest, yet to be used!  The purpose of this little gadget is to help you create mousses, whips and froths….I’ll let you know what it’s like when I’ve used it!

I tend to buy the majority of my kitchen gadgets from John Lewis, Amazon.co.uk, Lakeland, Divertimenti and Williams Sonoma, as they all have a wide-range of products.

So, there you have it, the basic items that are filling my cupboards!  Are there any basic items that I’ve missed that you can’t live without?  If so, please share them!  Keep a look out for what electrical kitchen gadgets are in my cupboards soon!

With much love

The Domestic Princess

xoxo

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