Foodie Friday: my new favorite kitchen toy

I definitely failed on my promise from last week of planning out my meals for the week, BUT I am going to give it another try this weekend.  Ha, we will see.  One of these weeks it will happen!

I did however make a very good purchase last weekend that has help us out immensely this week.

Meet my new rice cooker.

rice cooker

I have always wanted one of these things and heard great things about them, but for whatever reason hadn’t bought one.  I had a gift card to Target, so I headed over there this weekend in search of a rice cooker!  There were a few options, none of them were very expensive (this one was under $40), and after a few minutes we decided on this one.  It’s big (you can cook a ton of rice, I think around 8 cups) and it has a timer, which was key for me. 

Sunday night I made the biggest batch of brown rice which came out so yummy and we ate it throughout the week, just adding some vegetables, or whatever we wanted to it.  We eat a lot of brown rice, so this was a definitely a great addition for that reason. 

I also am going to be setting it before I go to work on some days when I know I will want something for dinner so it can be ready when I get home.  Next week I am going to try quinoa!  I have some other ideas too on things I can make in it, it’s been fun to try out, including the steaming option for vegetables that it has.

I also have started using it for oatmeal, specifically for the can of steel cut oats that I have that never get cooked because they take too long.  Before I go to bed, I put the oats in with the water, set it to brown rice setting and set the timer for when I want them to be done.  When I wake up there is fresh oatmeal ready for me!

It was definitely a great purchase for us and a very useful new edition to our needing to cook fast lifestyle.  It has already had more use than a lot of the small appliances I have in my kitchen that I have tried out and failed out.  This one is so easy to use and easy to clean!  A definite win in my book.

What’s your favorite small kitchen appliance?

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39 Responses to Foodie Friday: my new favorite kitchen toy

  1. JanaC February 18, 2011 at 7:52 am #

    Love cooking quinoa in my rice cooker. I had some vegetable broth to the water and it tastes so yummy. I have tried both the red and brown quinoa and both are delicious out of the rice cooker. I do add a bit more water when cooking quinoa in mine than I do with rice. I also might add a bit of water (or veggie stock) right at the end to moisten it up before eating.

    Have fun!

    • Aron February 18, 2011 at 9:37 am #

      Yay can’t wait to try and I will definitely use vegetable broth too. YUM!

  2. Petra February 18, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    My favourite appliance is my slow cooker – but it’s not actually small.. Or my Kitchenaid mixer. Not actually small. Don’t think I have a small favourite appliance… Paring knife?

    • Aron February 18, 2011 at 8:25 am #

      I consider those small compared to a normal kitchen appliance (stove!) :)

      I suck at my slow cooker/crock pot. Always mess things up… maybe another thing I need to try yet again ;)

  3. Carlee February 18, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    Thanks for this reminder; we have a rice cooker. We never use it!!! I don’t know why. Yesterday I was thinking I wanted rice, but didn’t want to stick around and wait for it. Duh! Hopefully this reminder will stick!

  4. Kristy@RunTheLongRoad February 18, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    We have a rice cooker too and LOVE it. We made a ton of brown rice on Tues and I just had some for lunch with green beans :) It’s so easy. We like our slow cooker too.

  5. Karen February 18, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    I love my breadmaker. I don’t use it that much, but when I do, I’m always so happy with the result. I just dump in the ingredients, press a button, and just like that, bread dough!

    I really want to invest in a KitchenAid Mixer, as I love baking. And I know this is not the healthiest kitchen toy, but I sooo want a deep fryer. First investment when I move from my tiny apartment kitchenette to a house!

    • Aron February 18, 2011 at 9:37 am #

      I LOVEEEEE my kitchen aid mixer! I don’t use it a ton but when I do bake its the best thing in the world. We got it as a wedding present and it was the one I was most excited for :)

  6. lindsay February 18, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    i’m gonna go with the microwave, haha. i do love my big mixer though – don’t know how i ever made cookies by “mixing” the dough by hand (/spatula). so much easier to let the machine do it :)

    hmm quinoa in the rice cooker. i might have to try that out. i’ve never made quinoa period, but i could totally “cook” passively.

  7. Julie (A Case of the Runs) February 18, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    Rice cookers are seriously one of the best kitchen appliances you can own. It does more than make rice (I steam stuff in there)… but if you do eat rice, it does a pretty darn good job at it!

  8. Kim February 18, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    Oooh, I have heard amazing things about rice cookers! I love Brown rice, quinoa and cous cous, so I think this would probably be a good purchase for me! I have so many favorite Kitchen gadgets, it’s so hard to choose! I suppose my new favorite would be my food processor! It’s amazing for chopping onions and preparing items to make delicious soups!

    • Aron February 18, 2011 at 10:41 am #

      Another kitchen appliance I need to use more often! I have a food processor I stare at everyday but for some reason don’t use enough and I have no clue why, I chop all the time!

      • Kim February 18, 2011 at 10:43 am #

        I was the same way! I was intimidated by all of the attachments and the DVD help manual, but once I started using it I started to love it. It makes whipping up a fresh and healthy meal quick and easy! :)

  9. Lauren February 18, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    rice cookers work well for making quinoa and oatmeal too. Nick’s has a timer so we use it to wake us up so we can make it to saturday ride.

  10. Laura February 18, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    I LOVE our rice cooker too! I’ve only made rice and quinoa. I should try some of the other stuff. I’m a pretty big fan of our food processor too!

  11. Kelsey February 18, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    We have a rice cooker too…it’s great for throwing the food in the cooker, heading out for a run, and chowing down immediately…which ultimately prevents my “I’m so hungry if I don’t get something made soon I will eat that entire box of granola bars, all those chocolate chips, and that whole carton of ice cream.”

  12. Rebekah February 18, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    OH YAYAYY! I love this. I’ve been itching to get a rice cooker lately, because brown rice takes so long to make, but that’s what we prefer too! Thank you for posting this. And brilliant about the oatmeal, I’ve been in the same boat, steel cut take FOREVER. I am clearly not patient. :)

  13. Jesse February 18, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    do i really have to pick just one? i love having a rice cooker but mine sucks sometimes (rice sticks to the bottom). my crockpot kicks butt, i love it. my kitchen aid blender works great at making ice into slush for margaritas (err, i meant smoothies)! my kitchen aid food processor is key for making homemade hummus (yum). but i think my fav is my kitchen aid mixer! i hugged the box the christmas i received it from my mom. its a life saver when baking. love, love, love!!!

  14. Jessica February 18, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    I heart my Kitchen Aid stand mixer!

  15. Lee February 18, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    I’d have to say rice cooker too. Or maybe my food processor.

  16. Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run February 18, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    What a great idea with the oats! Now my rice cooker might see some more action. I really love my Magic Bullet. Use it all the time for quick shakes and smoothies.

  17. Marlene February 18, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    I have not used my rice cooker in AGES but I think I need to get it out. This sounds fantastic… thanks for the ideas!

  18. Mica February 18, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

    Alton Brown says that rice cookers are “uni-taskers” and doesn’t use them, but I think that they are really key for households that eat a lot of rice. (Take, um, all of Asia as an example…) It is also so much easier to leave the brown rice in the cooker than worrying about burning it on the stove!

    I think that might be my favorite small appliance too. Wait, ah, might be a toss-up with the waffle iron.

  19. alisa February 19, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    Does it really work for oats???? I’ve tried them in my slow cooker and they’ve come out kinda icky.

    Also, I love quinoa it’s soooooooo good.

    • Aron February 21, 2011 at 8:54 am #

      Yes it worked for me! Just had to add extra water.

  20. Roisin February 19, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    Oh man. I really, really want one of those…but I have no place to store it! I’ve heard they are amazing and so very practical. Appliance Win!

  21. brenda February 19, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    Whenever I try to save rice it never tastes the same. Is there a trick that I’m not aware of? And when you try the quinoa, would you please be sure to share recipies? I’ve only been reading your blog for a month or so but it’s become one of my favorites.

    • Aron February 21, 2011 at 8:54 am #

      No tricks that I know of? Sometimes you just have to add something (like a litle butter) when you reheat it to get the moisture back. Maybe even adding a little water or vegetable broth would work?

  22. beachbody team February 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    I love my juicer. since I cannot drink red wine, I get my dose of antioxidants courtesy of fresh fruit juices. Your rice cooker can really cook a lot!

  23. Heather February 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    I bought a rice maker about a month ago and have used it so many times – definitely a great investment!

    It makes great oats for breakfast – I love waking up to a fresh, hot bowl of oatmeal.

  24. Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef February 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    it’s a toss up between my kitchenaid mixer & my breadmaker… i use both a few times a month. and the best part is that my kitchenaid was a hand-me-down from my grandma & the breadmaker was $20 unused off craigslist. win!

  25. Seb February 19, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

    A rice cooker and a slow cooker ( crock pot ). The two kitchen appliances I use the most. Other than the coffee maker!

  26. Naomi February 19, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    So you can cook steel cut oatmeal in it!?! That is awesome! I haven’t used my rice cooker in ages, so I’ll have to get it out to try, although yours looks way more high tech than mine. I may need to venture to Target! Do you add the same amount of water as you would if you cook it over the stove?

    • Aron February 21, 2011 at 8:53 am #

      Yes it works! I add more water because its cooking longer… I cooked regular oatmeal in it this morning too which worked out well. But also added extra water. I used the brown rice setting for both. Just play around with it and you will find what works :)

  27. Jill Will Run February 20, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    I kind of want a rice cooker… especially if it will cook other grains (wheat berries, barley, quinoa, farro, etc.). I usually cook a batch of baked brown rice (using Alton Brown’s method, but I use olive oil instead of butter usually) each week and use that for lunches. But it seems like it would be nice to have an appliance cooking it, instead of turning on my oven. Especially since I avoid turning on the oven in the summers… it heats the house too much! :-) So… please, keep me posted if you experiment with other grains in it!

    • Aron February 21, 2011 at 8:52 am #

      I definitely will!

  28. Susan - Nurse on the Run February 20, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    My old roommate had a rice cooker and I miss it! I loved baking brown rice in it because I didn’t have to check it all the time and it always came out great. I would love to get a slow cooker because I hear how easy they are to make tasty stuff in…

  29. Marlene March 15, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    I finally pulled out my rice cooker… I was excited to see that it even has specific cooking instructions for steel cut oats and rolled oats in the manual! Unfortunately I don’t see anything for quinoa… have you tried that yet? Just wondering what setting you used and/or how long.



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