Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Kitchen All Stars: Our Toaster Oven

My parents gave us a Breville toaster oven two Christmases ago.  Initially, I resented the gift.  We have an oven, and we already had a toaster - why the hell did we need a toaster oven?  It was so big and was just going to be a useless counter space hog.  I stuck the gift in the basement and ignored it.

After several months, I felt overwhelmed by guilt and hauled the beast upstairs.  I rearranged the counters and set it up, certain it would never earn its keep.  I was going to have to arrange for an unfortunate accident between the Breville and a chain saw.

I've been wrong before, but man, was I wrong about the toaster oven.  He is our Kitchen All Star.  I love to bake, but if I had to choose between my stand mixer and this bad boy, I'd be sending the stand mixer to Goodwill and mixing cakes by hand.

I'm pretty certain the Breville toaster oven was designed by wizards.  It toasts, roasts, bakes, broils, reheats and keeps your food warm.  It even has special settings for bagels and pizza.  I use it for everything: it toasts pine nuts when I'm making pesto; roasts veggies for dinner; and reheats leftover chicken for lunch.  And, of course, it's a damn good toaster, with lots of different settings for different darkness levels. 

Since it's so compact, it reaches roasting temperatures in just a few minutes.  If I'm making multiple dishes for dinner and something is ready too soon, I just keep it warm in the Breville.

With summer approaching, the Breville will probably get more action than usual.  When it's too hot for our oven, I can still use the Breville to bake treats and cook dinner. 

The Breville is the Rolls Royce of toaster ovens - and worth every penny.  If I was a poet, I would spend my days composing sonnets about its beauty and charms.