I have a different schedule this semester, which allows me to be home on Thursdays. Since I had finished my grading for the week earlier than expected, I had the afternoon to myself and decided to get a jump on some of my weekend kitchen chores. I needed to make dog food and seitan--neither of which I really enjoy making, so I planned to get a big batch of each made yesterday.
We've been having a lot of work done on the house for the last couple of months (everything takes FOREVER, because contractors--UGH!), so generally when I'm home during the day, he's either here working, or I'm expecting him (I'm often stood up). I knew I was going to be alone in the house (love that!), so I took some caffeine (a rare treat for me these days), played my Pandora Prince station way too loud, and spent the afternoon cooking, dancing, and singing badly.
|Kneaded, forming equal size pieces to simmer|
|Seitan (front) and dog food done cooking. Seitan has to stay in pot until it cools.|
|Seitan chopped, measured, and ready to freeze.|
|Dog food ready to freeze/refrigerate.|
|The very helpful cleanup crew|
|Veggie broth; ready to refrigerate for the next batch of seitan.|
As I was snapping pictures, I took a quick shot of my very favorite kitchen tool--this little Ninja chopper. I picked it up a very long time ago at Target, and they still sell them for under $20. I use this every single day. It's powerful, easy to clean up, and has saved me so much time. Almost every dish I make starts out with finely chopped onions, garlic, and/or ginger. Though I have a big food processor (the Ninja blender/processor system, which is also fantastic), it's a real pain to get that out to mince a few cloves of garlic or an onion. This little thing sits on my counter, and I can do a 30-second rinse, and re-use for the next item. It's powerful enough that I often use it to make oat and almond flours as well as to completely pulverize the very crunchy cat kibble (for our toothless cat Daffy). It is seriously the best $20 I've spent.
I should add that I'm not compensated in any way by Ninja. I don't blog reliably enough to roll that way, nor could I live with myself if I sold out like that. I just really love the product and think for anyone who cooks, it's invaluable. When my last blender died (A KitchenAid, who I contacted to get it repaired but got no response from the company at all. They don't support their products, I don't buy them any more). I did a ton of research and went with the Ninja system for the following reasons: their chopper is awesome; we have a Shark Ninja vacuum that has put our old Dyson to shame (will never buy another--the parts are poor quality that need constant replacement), and they offered a lifetime warranty on their products if purchased through the website. I've been so happy with all of their products and customer support, that I purchase the Ninja duo system for my daughter for Xmas. They now only offer a five-year warranty rather than lifetime, but that's still quite impressive.