Friday, May 22

Kitchen Gadgets I Love

One of my favorite parts of the house is the kitchen. I enjoy cooking and baking but not what comes before and after. Haha. The post-cooking scenario involves tons of cleaning, and I hate washing the dishes. Good thing I have a handy helper already. I suck at prepping the ingredients though. It's not that I don't like doing them, it's just that I'm too lazy. So, I take as much shortcuts as possible.

Enter kitchen gadgets. I don't have every single kitchen gadget out there -- just a handful of what I think is useful for me and my family. I got most of them when I got married -- a blender for smoothies, food processor for chopping lots of veggies, slow cooker for cooking tender stews and a set of pots and pans. Every so often I get gifted with them -- the most amazing rice cooker a few years ago, and a really cool ice cream maker the year after. A few were purchases -- my beloved mixer and my oven for baking. I would love to get an espresso machine for my forever kitchen, but I know it's going to be just for decoration since I am not a regular coffee drinker. Haha.

I never pass up an opportunity to look at what's out there. I love stores like Crate & Barrel, Williams-Sonoma and Gourdo's. I always, always make sure to visit them. Some time ago, my friend, Michelle, invited me to her place for a crepe soiree. She had me at crepes. She also said a friend of hers can show us how to make crepes using the Severin Crepe Maker. All I could think of was, be still my heart. I was so excited that I was probably the earliest one there. Needless to say, I bought a crepe maker the first chance I got.

The soiree was such a hit that Michelle helped organized a more formal event featuring the brands that Colombo Merchant Philippines carries, Severin, and a brand I know so well, Braun. Braun was the brand of my very first gadget, the hand blender. But I gave it to my friend when we moved. Hmm, come to think of it, I do miss the convenience of using it. I shouldn't have given it away. Hah!

The event was an afternoon to remember as we had merienda that Chef Redj Baron made using the Severin and Braun kitchen tools. Every dish was created using one or more of the Severin/Braun kitchen tools featured and the food was plated perfectly.

Photo by Momma 'N Manila
I even got to try the Citrus Juicer myself when Chef Redj was showing us how to make the lemonade basil refresher. I'm too easy to convince and after trying it out, I just had to get the juicer. It's perfect for this terrible summer heat. So far, I've been using it to make fresh lemonade and orange juice with lots and lots of ice. It's so easy to operate that Allie even helps me out. The juicer is electric so just imagine how quick and easy it is to squeeze lemons. You don't even have to worry about the seeds getting into your juice because this tool keeps them out.

As part of the invitation, Colombo sent a jar of homemade mango pineapple jam, which was a hit in our household.

It came as a surprise when I learned that a bread machine made it. I always get intimidated by people who know how to make breads. But I am eager to learn. I am beyond ecstatic I got to bring the Severin Bread Maker home. I will purchase the ingredients tomorrow to make my very first bread, so pretty soon, my friends, I'll share with you the action.

I got my eye on you next, Raclette Party Grill!

It was a pleasure trying out these great kitchen tools and they surely make my domestic life easy. Thank you Colombo Merchant Philippines for sharing with us these wonderful toys, and the yummy food too!


Colombo Merchant Philippines
Unit 303, Richville Corporate Center, 
Commercial Avenue, 1780, Muntinlupa, 1780 Metro Manila
+63 2 879 4060

Facebook: /Colombophils

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Tuesday, May 5

Kitchen Renovations

If you've been following me on Instagram, you might have had an inkling that we just moved to our new home late last year. I've been posting some tiny kitchen renovations and a few laundry details here and there. I think this is becoming a never-ending renovation procrastination for me because I know that this is a temp home before the big move to the forever house, which sadly, we haven't found the ideal location yet. Someone got some high standard issues kasi! Tsk tsk tsk. Heehee.

The kitchen before.

Yes, I have a dishwasher. It's pretty uncommon to have one here in the Philippines because most households have help. I don't, so I blackmailed my husband into buying me one. I told him that he has to wash the dishes every single time if he doesn't buy a dishwasher for me.

I looked everywhere for a dishwasher that has two things -- a slim design and a local service option. My kitchen is itty bitty tiny so I really needed a slim dishwasher. My cabinets were already done so if I had to buy a standard sized dishwasher, I had to change my cabinets and I didn't want to take the additional hassle.

Most dishwashers sold here are imported from the states, and you can just imagine how much they are. A typical $400-$500 model will cost you about $2000 here. It's not even top of the line. Crazy, right? They don't even have warranty and the voltage is different! But my extensive research paid off because I got hold of a local supplier that sold dishwashers with a slim line model (around 500mm width). It was pretty affordable. It didn't have the drying element I was used to, but that's okay as long as it has hot water. It just dries slower.

Here's the kitchen after.

Quite a few have been asking me where I got my kitchen accessories here. Well, lo and behold, here is the list.

(1) My rugs are from H&M Home. Got them during the 30% off everything event. I just put a non-slip mat underneath because it moves all the time. Safety first.
(2) That vintage-looking fan there is by Hunter. It's available at Wilcon Depot.
(3) Curtains are from SM Home. I hand sewn them to size. I don't know how to sew using the machine I don't have. Learning how to sew is on my life list though. Teach me, Brother!
(4) Almost all my kitchen towels are from Williams-Sonoma (please open here in the Philippines already). I find them very absorbent and great-looking. What else do you want?
(5) The small potted plant is from Ikea, including the pot.
(6) Cookbook stand? Williams-Sonoma again. See? I'm a fan.
(7) For the non-dishwasher safe items in my kitchen, I use the Method dishwashing soap when available. Otherwise, Joy with Olay keeps your hands soft.
(8) The paper towel holder is by Polder. But I think the Kamenstein brand holds the paper towel better. Both are available in S&R.
(9) My handsoap dispenser is a gift from my mother-in-law. It's by simplehuman. I love it because whenever my hands are dirty, I don't have to touch the dispenser at all, and clean the bottle. Fangirl of simplehuman here. Our garbage bin (not pictured) is also by simplehuman. There are cheaper wannabes out there, but they're not as durable. Our bin is about ten years old and still perfect. Ten! Imagine that. Longer than my marriage. Hahaha!

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