Just like going out
You can whip up these favorites in your own home
There is so much fast food out there tempting our taste buds we’ve forgotten anything tasting that good can be made at home. There are gadgets and appliances that, with a little elbow grease and a lot of love, will help make the same goodies you find in your favorite deli, restaurant or coffee shop.
1. Fall is on the way and it’s football season. Sure, you can pick up a bucket of chicken or a pizza, but where’s the fun in that? It’s a piece of cake to roast a mouthwatering sirloin or turkey breast, add your own special seasonings and serve up your own cold cuts. And how cool would it be to have your own deli slicer, just like Kramer on Seinfeld? You can do it with Chef’s Choice Premium Electric Food Slicer ($129.95 at The Galley).
2. Now that you have all the sandwich fixin’s, you’re going to need some really tasty french fries. You could open the freezer and cut open a bag of OreIdas, but they taste so blah. Delicious french fries are made from fresh spuds—haven’t you seen the workers at In N Out Burger? With the NorPro French Fry Cutter ($19.95), you simply stick a potato in, push down on the lever and voila: ready-to-be-fried potatoes.
3. OK, so you’re not a football fan. How about embracing your European side and enjoying some delicacies like homemade dinner crèpes, cappuccino and a desert of crème brulée? One of the reason people don’t like to make crèpes is because they can’t find the right kind of pan to cook them in. Villa Ware Crèpe Maker ($39.95) is foolproof and includes several recipes. Mix the batter, pour it into the dipping pan and flip the crèpe maker into the batter to coat the surface. Turn the maker back over, let it cook until the crèpe is golden brown and peel off.
4. Once you’ve served your stack of crèpes and fillings, it’s time to focus on a nice, warm after-dinner drink: a cappuccino. Authentic cappuccinos don’t come from a mix in a can. With a traditional espresso maker, the water goes in the bottom, the espresso goes in the middle disk and the top part starts out empty. When the water heats up, it steams through the coffee grounds and fills the top. Then, pour it into cute little cups with matching saucers, garnished with a tiny spoon and a square of obscenely dark chocolate. Now this process is even easier with Bialetti’s Mukka Express ($89.95) electric espresso maker with a fast-heating base.
5. And don’t forget the frothed milk! You can easily whip that up with the handy Bonjour Café Froth ($14.95) and spoon or pour the milk into your cappuccino cups.
6. To make a perfect crème brulée, you’ll need to whip up some tasty vanilla custard in a ramekin. You’ll want to make the custard ahead of time, feeling free to mix in fruit or chocolate. Once prepared, you’ll want to chill until the dinner dishes are cleared away. Then the fun: Add sugar to the tops of the custards and torch with the miniature flame thrower to caramelize the crunchy tops that make this dessert such a classic. All the ingredients (minus the custard) can be found in the Bonjour Crème Brulée Set ($34.95).