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Essential kitchen gear for a new home: Appliances that make your life easier

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Must-have kitchen gear

Whether you are newly married or fresh out of the dorms, moving to a new house or apartment is steeped in excitement. While you settle in to nest, you get to transform your living space into a home that proudly reflects your personal style. And this includes the appliances you choose for your kitchen. Here are this year's kitchen must-haves - not only are they en vogue, they also make your kitchen time a delicious joy.

Kitchen appliances to make your life easier


Mr. Coffee Espresso Maker and Cappuccino Maker

Mr. Coffee Espresso Maker and Cappuccino Maker

Imagine waking up every morning to a strong demitasse of espresso topped with perfectly frothed milk.

No need to run down to Starbucks for a $5 drink, simply turn on your own espresso maker and have one – or two – cups of eye-opening brew in two to three minutes. And for those special mornings that beckon for a creamy top off, the machine is equipped with an easy-to-use frothing arm. In addition, the coffeemaker's removable water tank makes refilling and cleaning a hassle-free convenience.

Cups not included.

Retail: $89.99
Available at Meijer and MrCoffee.com

If café Americana is more your thing, the new Mr. Coffee 12-cup Programmable Coffeemaker will have a pot waiting for you when you stumble out of bed. The coffeemaker comes equipped with a brew timer and will keep your coffee warm for two hours (ideal for those mornings you accidentally – or intentionally – sleep in). You can also personalize how strong you want your coffee brewed. The Mr. Coffee 12-cup Programmable Coffeemaker retails for $49.99 and is available at Wal-Mart

Oster 450 Watt Juice Extractor

Oster 450 Watt Juice Extractor

Juicing is one of the healthiest techniques to add to your health-conscious lifestyle. A freshly juiced glass of fruit is a refreshing wake-me-up and far more authentically delicious than store-bought juices consisting of mostly sugar.

The Oster 450 Watt Juice Extractor is equipped with an extra wide feeding tube that fits whole fruits and doesn't require that you pre-cut fruit into smaller pieces. If you have roommates or frequently plan breakfast get-togethers (or if you just want fresh juice on hand in the refrigerator), the extra-large capacity juice container makes juicing for a crowd a snap.

Retail: $59.99
Available at Kohl's

Oster 3 in 1 Hand Blender, Mini Chopper and Electric Knife

Save space and money with Oster's 3 in 1. This handheld must-have blends, chops and cuts, allowing you to exercise your culinary creativity on everything from making baby food, smoothies or purees for sauces, soups Oster 3 in 1 Hand Blenderand dips to cutting vegetables and grinding nuts and spices. With the electric knife, no large piece of meat will ever be a challenge.

Retail: $39.99
Available at Target

 

 

Sunbeam Rocket Grill

Sunbeam Rocket Grill

If you live in a third story apartment without a patio or you simply love the taste of grilled food all year round, the Sunbeam Rocket Grill quickly grills both fresh and frozen foods ranging from steaks and chicken to sandwiches and vegetables.

The Sunbeam Rocket Grill is a one of a kind vertical grill that uses parchment pouches that not only keep your foods juicy on the inside, they also leave natural grill marks on the outside.

Even better, the parchment pouches reduce the fat in your grilled foods and are easy to clean up – you just remove your food and toss the pouch away.

This handy indoor grill comes with 48 parchment pouches, tongs, built-in timer, grill guide, recipe book and instruction manual.

Retail: $149.99
Available at Sunbeam.com, Amazon.com, Target, Wal-Mart, Kmart, Sears, Kohl's, Macy's, Linens n' Things, Bed Bath & Beyond, Ace Hardware, JC Penny, Dillard's, Sam's Club, BJ's, Costco, Meijer, Fred Meyer, and Best Buy

Bahamas Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker

Bahamas Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker

What's a fun-filled weekend without a refreshing drink? Though ideal for backyard summer parties, this frozen drink maker can turn an indoor winter bash into a tropical fantasy.

An automatic "shave n' blend" cycle will shave and blend up to 36 ounces of frozen drink mix in one easy step. You can also customize your drink consistency with manual shave-only and blend-only settings.

The types of frozen drinks you make in the Bahamas Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker are limited only by your drink ingredient imagination.

Retail: $199.99
Available at Margaritavillecargo.com (visit the site for tasty recipes, too), Linens n' Things, and Bed Bath & Beyond

And if you live for frozen drinks, you can step up to the Fiji's Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker. This machine has four completely automated, pre-programmed drink cycles that know just how much ice to shave and exactly how long to blend to create perfect margaritas, daiquiris, slides and smoothies (up to two and a half pitchers). It retails for $379.99 and is available at Margaritavillecargo.com.

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