Cooking and eating at home every single day means I need a really good refrigerator to keep all my fresh produce, dairy, desserts, meats, and fish cold and fresh. And my refrigerator was getting pretty old, so I was afraid it would go out on me. I was seriously dreaming about it at night, not fun for a foodie like me, so it was time to buy a new refrigerator.
After some online research and visiting several local stores, I settled on a KitchenAid stainless steel French door refrigerator. I made this decision for a few reasons. The refrigerator is gorgeous. The stainless steel brightens the whole kitchen, plus the handles match those on my KitchenAid double wall ovens and dishwasher. KitchenAid is also a brand I have had a lot of success with in the kitchen, from those wall ovens and dishwasher to my blender, stand mixer, and hand mixer. Everywhere you look, there’s KitchenAid in my kitchen. As a bonus, many of the components of the refrigerator were made in America and it was assembled in America. I’m always a supporter of made in America goods whenever possible.
It’s not easy to switch refrigerators. I had three coolers full of food, had cut down what I bought at the store that week, and I still couldn’t save everything! Luckily, I also bought a stand-alone freezer for the basement, so all of my frozen baked goods (the important stuff) were already in the deep freeze down there. The refrigerator cooled down super fast, within just a few hours even after having the doors open for awhile cleaning it and putting in all the shelves.
The shelves in the doors are really nice, as they have a rubber insert that prevents things from moving when I accidentally slam the door. Oops! The milk, jams, and even a bottle of champagne don’t slide around at all. And while it took some time to get organized, the interior is spacious and fits the bounty of produce I buy at the store and farmers’ market. Speaking of which, when I come home from the store with tons of products that have to be stashed in the refrigerator, sometimes the temperature goes up from having the door open and adding all the room temperature, or even warm food. But the refrigerator has this Max Cool feature that quickly cools the refrigerator. This works like a charm and is my absolute favorite feature. Now I can’t imagine having a refrigerator without it.
It also has a door alarm in case I leave the door open and a humidity control, another feature I’ve already used when there was a little condensation in the refrigerator. Plus, it has this giant drawer that is suitable for meat, fish, dairy, or produce because the temperature can be adjusted to best suit what’s in it. It’s also large enough to hold a deli tray in case I’m having a party.
The freezer took a little time to get used to since it’s so deep compared to the freezer in my old side-by-side refrigerator, but now I love it. It’s tall enough to hold the bowl to my ice cream maker so I can make ice cream at a moment’s notice. I like that all of the baked goods I keep in this freezer, you know, the ones I want to eat again right away (hello Banana Bread!), can go on one shelf, while the ice cream bowl, frozen bananas for smoothies, and other frozen fruit can go on the other. I feel so organized! If you’re in the market for a new refrigerator, I highly recommend you check out KitchenAid, as they have a wide variety of options and you’re sure to find one to fit your needs.
The refrigerator did a great job of keeping the peas and asparagus in this Sweet Potato Salad very fresh, as well as keeping leftovers totally delicious. I have wanted to make sweet potato salad for a few years now, and I am so glad I finally got around to it. This is one of my new favorite light dinners or side dishes. I am imagining this at a summer picnic or barbecue. The tender, perfectly cooked sweet potatoes, with extra nutrients from leaving the skin on, are accompanied by blanched fresh English peas (my favorite vegetable right now), local asparagus, and some crunchy Vidalia onion. The whole salad is dressed with a light vinaigrette, perfect for outdoor functions and keeping healthy all summer long. Oh, and did I mention this is vegan and gluten free! This salad needs to make an appearance in your refrigerator too.
2 medium to large sweet potatoes, washed and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 bunch fresh asparagus, stems trimmed, cut in half
1 pound fresh English peas, shelled
1 Vidalia onion, chopped
¼- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon style mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt, optional
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, more if desired
Place sweet potatoes in a large pot and fill with enough water to allow them room to boil. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Once at a boil, cook the potatoes, covered, for about 10 minutes, until fork tender.
While the potatoes boil, blanch the asparagus and peas in a small saucepan, covered, for about 3 minutes. When done, immediately remove from the water and place in a large serving bowl. Place the onion in this bowl as well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegars, mustard, honey, pepper, and salt, if using. While continuing to whisk, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Taste the dressing. Add more vinegar if you prefer it more acidic, or more oil and honey if you prefer it sweeter. The dressing should be on the acidic side, as the sweetness of the potatoes and peas needs a slightly acidic dressing.