Loving the DeLonghi
Cooking healthy meals is often a huge challenge for student living on their own or time-crunched singletons. One way to help the kids discover their inner gourmet is to give them a counter-top appliance that’s versatile and easy to use. My kids use our Breville Smart Oven all the time and over the years, have begun to make (slightly!) more sophisticated meals with it.
It sounds like De’Longhi’s new Toaster Oven and Panini Press/Contact Grill (shown above) fits the bill, too. It does all the good stuff a traditional toaster oven does, but there’s also an integrated Panini grill. Pressed sandwiches are high on my go-to week-night menu; I tend to grill extra veg — onion, zucchini, pepper, mushrooms — and leave them in the fridge. My veggie-loving daughter can then use them, along with a slice of cheese or meat to make a quick bagged lunch for work or school (see healthy meals above!). Recently, I've noticed that the kids have been adding globs of President’s Choice Smokin’ Stampede Mayo, which does add a nice flavour to paninis.
The cavity for this oven can fit 12-inch pizzas, six slices of toast, an entrée and, I’ll bet, a small chicken. About $220.
I also like the de’Longhi hand-held mixer from I tested this week. Great for salad dressings, quick chopping, whisking eggs, whipping cream, and blending sauces. It comes with a wire whisk and blender attachment, a chopper bowl and blade, as well as a beaker. The bowl lids are good-quality and fit nicely, so you can easily store what you’ve made. That means there’s really no reason EVER to buy bottled salad dressing again. If you’re unsure, start simply; plop some mustard in the beaker, add the vinegar and oil of your choice in a 1/3 ratio, toss in some herbs, garlic, or shallots and blend. Sometimes I use lemon juice instead of vinegar. This baby would also be great for making home-made mayonnaise.
There are five speed settings, plus a “turbo” setting for hard-core blending. A little tip – if you do buy this item, hang onto the little plastic blade covers that come with it. Using them will help you avoid cutting your fingers accidentally when you reach into the cupboard to fetch it.