Sunday at the Home and Housewares Show

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Yes, I know it’s late on Monday and I’m writing the Sunday blog.  But Sunday was just way too much fun.  Kristina and I literally crashed last night, and if I had attempted to write a blog it probably would  have been incoherent!

Our day began bright and early with Kristina on a panel discussion about social media, followed by a twitter party later in the day.  Lots of good info for those wanting to know more about social media for their websites. 
In between, we wandered the floors and found some great new products.  First stop was Vitamix.  Seriously, is there anything better than a Vitamix?  So incredible.  This is the newest model, to be on the market soon.  It has all the great features of the Vitamix we know and love, but it is now countertop height for easier storage in your kitchen.

A housewares show would not be complete without Kitchen Aid.  This is probably my favorite photo.  It’s a sea of Kitchen Aid mixers.  I can’t imagine how long it takes to set this up!

Here are two new colors for this year!

Did you know about Kitchen Aid gift crates?  If you need a great gift for a wedding, Christmas, or other occasion, look into the crate ideas!  There is one for every kind of cooking enjoyment.

And of course, I always seek out the cookbooks.  These are fabulous!

Next stop was Fiesta Ware and their newest color, Flamingo.  We love Fiesta!

The new color “Marseille” for Le Creuset:

Here is one product that Kristina and I loved.  We found out about “Top Chips” at the Mario Batali party, from a sweet couple we met while eating Mario’s fabulous food.  They own a kitchen store in  Chattanooga, Tennessee called “Mia Cucina” and they said this was one of their best selling items.  It’s a way to make fat free chips of all kinds, like potato, sweet potato, carrots and other vegetables, along with apples and other fruit.  The kit, which retails for around $20, includes a mini mandoline for shaving off thin slices of vegetables or fruit, laying them on the disk, and microwaving.  That’s it!  After removing the cooked slices from the disk, let them sit a minute to crisp up, and you have wonderful, crispy chips.  We tasted a sample and they were amazing!  No fat is used, and you can season them before microwaving with your own choice of seasonings or the company also makes some, including sea salt and vinegar (our favorite) and an apple pie spice for apple slices or other fruit. 
And last but not least is Cuisinart.  How we love Cuisinart.  Between Kristina and I, we have, and love, so many of their appliances. A kitchen is not complete without a Cuisinart food processor!
Kristina and I were more than thrilled to be invited by the wonderful people of Cuisinart to an intimate party at one of Chicago’s best restaurants, “Girl and the Goat,” owned by Top Chef Stephanie Izard.  Upon arrival, we were led down a series of stairways and turns, in an almost tunnel-like environment, that we wondered if it was formerly a speakeasy from Prohibition days.  We finally reached a door which led to smallish room with a beautifully decorated table and candles everywhere.  There were about twenty fascinating people in attendance, most being food writers, cookbook authors, and national food magazine editors.  To say we had lively foodie conversation is an understatement!  Along with the amazing food, it was pure heaven. 
The food was served family style, with so many dishes, I can’t name them all.  They included lots of dishes with goat meat (obviously) such as smoked goat rilette empanadas, confit goat belly with a bourbon butter, and a whole roasted goat leg with assorted sauces.
The empanadas with romesco, marinated goat feta and hummus
 The meal started out with warmed marinated olives and an assortment of breads and homemade butters of every flavor.  There was even a peanut butter butter!  We adored the chickpea fritters, pan fried shishito peppers, wood grilled broccoli, escargot ravioli, fried loup de mer, and a kohlrabi salad with fennel and pears in a ginger dressing.  One food item I have never tried before is duck tongue.  The crispy little pieces of bacon-like tongue were served with roasted shiitakes, thai basil, and crispy wontons. 
After the fabulous dinner, we left for the exclusive Curtis Stone party at Paris Club, the new hot place in Chicago.  However, we almost didn’t make it there because we had the worst cab driver in all of Chicago, and maybe New York.  Not kidding.  We thought we wouldn’t live to try Curtis’s new cookware….  but there are many Curtis stories which will be the next blog.  Stay tuned once again…

Now it’s time tonight for another industry dinner at Crofton on Wells.  We are looking forward to another evening of good food and good conversation.

5 Responses to Sunday at the Home and Housewares Show

  1. Yenta Mary March 12, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    I’m not usually a fan of kitchen toys, but I love the notion of the fat-free chips! And the Kitchen-Aids look so enticing in all their gorgeous rainbow of colors … 🙂 What fun to peruse!!!

  2. Debbie Vanni March 12, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

    Mary, we were happily surprised how the fat-free chips turned out, and can’t wait to try it at home with other items besides potatoes. And yes, those Kitchen Aids are a sight to see all lined up. My camera did it no justice – they look like a painting!

  3. lisa keys March 13, 2012 at 6:02 am #

    love all the new colors and news on the latest gadgets

  4. Priscilla March 13, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    Great to hear about the new gadgets and the food at those wonderful parties. I have made nearly fat-free chips in the microwave, but just placed them on a plate. Is the disk in the kit made of a mesh? It would probably work faster to dry the chips.

  5. Debbie Vanni March 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    Priscilla, the plate is a silicon mesh-like surface with the edges elevated with a harder surface for air circulation and easier handling. It makes the chips in three minutes. The person demonstrating said to slice the vegetables/fruits very thin and to blot them with a paper towel before microwaving to remove all excess moisture. We really liked them.

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