Immersion Blender Photo 1

product review: cuisinart immersion blender

Immersion Blenders. Do you have one? Want one? Love them or hate them? Do you even know what they are?  We have been selling the Cuisinart SmartStick, blender for some time, but wanted to take a fresh look at what it can do for you in the kitchen. What exactly is an immersion blender? Well, it’s kind of a culinary multi-tool used primarily  to blend, puree or otherwise chop/mix ingredients right in whatever bowl or container you may be using. We like to think of it as a smaller, handheld food processor with a few usage modifications.

Immersion blenders first came on the American scene in the 1980s but the original was invented by Roger Perrinjaquet in Switzerland in 1950. He called his design the “Bamix” coming from the French “battre et mixer” meaning beat and mix, cleverly enough. By the 1960s, the blenders were already well established in professional European kitchens.

Today, there are quite a few models to choose from. We decided to test out Cuisinart’s Smart Stick and report back to you. This blender has a cord and a 200-Watt motor in addition to a detachable and dishwasher-safe blending shaft. We found that clean up was a breeze, a quick rinse was all it needed for most jobs before the shaft was snapped back on and was ready to go again.

We were surprised by how this immersion blender won such admiration in our kitchen. Suddenly, we were using it for everything: emulsifying sauces and dressings, whipping up a quick summer pesto or making crepe batter. The Smart Stick also excelled at one of the immersion blender’s top claims to fame: pureeing soup. We used it on a summer squash and fresh corn chowder (no cream!) and had absolutely stunning results. Our only negative finding? While the size of the blade head is small enough for most vessels, it is a bit too small to reach and blend large chunks of ice in smoothies or mixed drinks. It’ll whip up ice-free smoothies in a jiffy but you might want to leave the ice crushing to the counter-top blender.

blade of the Cuisinart Smart Stick Blender

 

Though it may seem like another extravagant gadget, we found the immersion blender to be anything but. It has more than earned its (particularly compact!) space in the kitchen. While we don’t want to get too hasty in thinking about school just yet, and immersion blender could be a wise addition to a newly-independent and space-deprived student as it can perform most of the functions of a bulky food processor and an unwieldy blender at a fraction of the size and cost. Not to mention it’s really perfect for smaller portions and so easy to clean!

This test definitely convinced us of the value of an immersion blender and the Cuisinart Smart Stick could be the perfect choice. If you agree or are at least curious to find out, stop by the store to see for yourself.

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ceramic knife_1

product review: kyocera ceramic knives

Most chefs and home cooks agree: a good knife is the most important tool in the kitchen. If one makes the investment upfront and doesn’t skimp on maintenance, a good knife can last a lifetime.

How does one select the perfect knife? Even if we narrow it down to the category of chef’s knives, there are literally thousands of options. High-carbon stainless steel knives such as Wusthof or Henckels are commonly cited as favorites.  We have carried Henckels for many years and have recently started carrying Wusthof.  Both companies offer excellent options for high quality knives. However, in recent years, a surprising new contender has entered the arena.

We’re not going to lie, when we first saw Kyocera’s collection of white bladed ceramic knives, we thought they looked dull and plastic. How could anything with a name evoking fragile porcelain possibly stand up to such strong traditional carbon-stainless knives?  We decided to try it out for ourselves and took the knives home for a test.  Turns out, this knife was just as sturdy, sleek and sharp as its shinier metal counterparts while offering even more benefits.

[Read more…]

Black Rice recipe page

Black Rice Salmon Salad

This fresh and healthy recipe is perfect for summer gatherings, and has become a favorite at the Hewitt household. Black rice has become recognized as a ‘super food’ because it is so high in antioxidants. In this salad, it is mixed with salmon and fresh vegetables. [Read more…]

Behind the Scenes in Preparation for the Summer Sale

Behind the Scenes: A Sale Sneak Preview

Anticipation is growing….

With the Cupboard’s Annual Summer Sale starting this Thursday July 12th, final preparations are being made and hundreds of amazing products are marked down and waiting in the wings. Where, you ask? At the super-secret Summer Sale Annex, of course!

Here is just a taste of what’s to come, and a sneak peek into the store behind the scenes. Check out the cache of amazing kitchen products and home goods that will be waiting for you at the sale! There will be great samples, our same top-notch products at unbelievable prices, and a lot of fun. Join us for the Annual Summer Sale with early kick-off at 9:00 a.m., Thursday, July 12th (Come early for coffee from Jackie’s Java and mini scones from Starry Night!)

The sale will run though Saturday, July 14th

Check the events page for details and swing back by the blog for further updates. We hope to see you then!

The Summer Sale is coming… We’re ready, are you?

 

Bodum Photo 1

product review: bodum ice tea maker

It’s time for that most quintessential of summer holidays: Fourth of July. While we here at the Cupboard will be hard at work this Independence Day (open from 11 am to 4 pm for all of your last-minute party needs!), we hope you’ll be out enjoying warm weather and freedom with family and friends, regardless of whether there’s literal fireworks or not. With a state-wide fire ban affecting all of us here in Northern Colorado, we offer the perfect solution: colorfully festive infused waters using Bodum’s lovely new Iced Tea Pitcher.

We’ve been enjoying the sleek Bodum pitchers for a while, some of you may even have gotten a chance to sample the refreshing flavored waters in the store. The design is modern, relatively basic and extremely efficient. It consists of two dishwasher- and refrigerator-safe plastic components: the pitcher itself and the smaller filter insert which allows you to brew loose leaf ice teas in a single step. Simply place a few spoonfuls of your favorite loose leaf teas in the insert section, pour in hot water to steep, and either top it off with cold water and ice cubes or throw it in the fridge for a couple hours prior to serving. We love the extremely smooth pour provided by the innovative straining spout and the fact that the plastic repels any odd food odors in the fridge.

The pitcher is also an awesome pick for the Fourth as you can easily add a little fun to your summer beverages without too much effort. Our idea? Fill the filter insert with fresh or frozen berries before filling the pitchers with water. This turns these versatile pitchers into bright displays, earning their own small space in your party spread. Adding the berries was so easy, fun even, and the layers of blueberries and strawberries we chose are just the beginning! Lemon, lime and/or mint could be added for extra flavor and you could also use carbonated water for a little extra sparkle. One could easily use the Bodum for spiked beverages as well, filling the filter insert with complementary fruits, herbs or maybe even something purely decorative like a flower?

Obviously, we’ve been inspired by the Bodum Iced Tea Maker’s clean shape, flawless functionality and ease of use. We’re also excited to see more of the pitcher at the dinner table, smoothly serving drinks but also providing visual appeal that’s truly centerpiece-worthy.

Swing by the store to score samples of infused water and check out the Bodum Ice Tea Maker for yourself.

The Cupboard will be open for Fourth of July from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.