homemade food

So here’s my silly confession of the month: I always thought that you needed an ice cream maker in order to make homemade ice cream.

Maybe this mis-perception was not entirely my fault; almost every magazine ice cream recipe gives you a list of ingredients to put together and then ends the directions by saying “freeze mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.” That is, until recently. About six months ago I began to find ice cream recipes in magazines such as Woman’s Day and Rachel Ray that did not require an appliance. I was intrigued! Then when Nigella Lawson, my new favorite chef, whipped up a Margarita Ice Cream by simply mixing the ingredients together and setting it in her freezer, I knew that it was time to give some of these recipes a try.

As Paul and I gobbled down our first batch of homemade vanilla ice cream two weekends ago, I couldn’t help but be thankful for finding recipes that broadened my homemade-horizon. Now we can have it all: save money from having to purchase a small kitchen appliance (between $20-$80) as well as eat deliciously creamy ice cream with just three natural ingredients.

Now we can have it all: save money from buying a small kitchen appliance & eat ice cream w/ just 3 ingredients. Click To Tweet

Not only was I thankful, but I was inspired to research other small kitchen appliances that the world can do without.

Homemade Ice Cream and Sorbet without an Ice Cream Maker

In the last month I have made Rachel Ray’s Cocoa-Cinnamon Sorbet recipe and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Woman’s Day without an ice cream maker. These recipes were so rich and delicious that I think it is going to be hard to go back to store-bought frozen desserts. I also cannot wait to try out Nigella Lawson’s Margarita Ice Cream or Oprah’s Cheater Soft-Service Ice Cream recipes.

Appliance Cost: $20-$80+

Homemade Gourmet Popcorn without a Popcorn Maker

I never thought I could make gourmet popcorn, and especially not from home. But gourmet popcorn recipes are popping up everywhere! It turns out that you can pop popcorn in a lunch bag or on the stovetop in a deep pot. This past week I tried Martha Stewart’s Sugar and Spice Popcorn recipe and thought that it was absolutely divine. The next recipe I want to try is Cat Cora’s Vanilla-Curry Caramel Popcorn.

Appliance Cost: $20-$60+

Homemade Bread without a Bread Machine

My friend Aurora introduced me to the awesome master artisan bread recipe that the book Artisan Breads in 5 minutes a Day is based on. I have used this master recipe to make gorgeous loaves of bread, naan, cinnamon rolls, and pizza dough (my favorite is baking some of this hearty bread and eating it with butter and honey). Not only is no bread machine necessary, but there is also no kneading required!

Appliance Cost: $55-$200+

Fondue at Home without a Fondue Pot

While a fondue pot is not an appliance, I thought I would throw it in here since you do not need to purchase a fondue pot to enjoy some at home. My love for fondue started in college when I was given a scholarship to attend a week-long Model United Nations conference in Geneva, Switzerland. The night I arrived the hosts took a group of us out to an authentic fondue restaurant. Since being back in the states I have not eaten much fondue. Even though I absolutely love it, fondue restaurants are quite expensive! To cook fondue at home without a fondue pot, you have a few options:

  • Prepare the broth/chocolate/cheese on the stovetop as well as eat it on the stovetop
  • Create a double broiler such that the top pot sits slightly down into the second pot and fill the bottom pot with hot water to keep the top pot warm throughout your eating session (be sure to sit the pots on something that will protect your table; also, note that for any meat dishes you are cooking the broth must remain boiling at all times in order to cook it properly)
  • Take the pot from the stovetop and eat the food within 15 minutes (this works well for cheese and chocolate fondues)
  • Use a Crockpot if you happen to own one already

While I love Swiss fondue, I also want to try out this Red Velvet Fondue Recipe and any of the recipes from this website.

Fondue Pot Cost: $20-$50+

Most appliances were invented to save time and energy, and they generally do a great job of this. However, I hope you see from the recipes above that making homemade versions of these foods without the small appliances “needed” adds only a small amount of effort and active time to a kitchen routine.

13 replies
    • FruGal
      FruGal says:

      I am, thank you!

      We owned a bread machine growing up, but I remember that it became a fixture to dust around on one of our windowsills as it was only ever used like two times.

  1. Jessica N
    Jessica N says:

    These are some great suggestions. I have been wanting to make ice cream at home for a while now, but never really though to search through Google (the irony is i search for everything else on Google). I am really hopeful that you will find and post a few more of these extra-appliance-free recipes.

  2. Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle
    Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle says:

    I have a very small kitchen and I hate clutter. I make my popcorn in a brown paper bag in the micowave.

    I am glad you have discovered Nigella but she is only new to the USA. I am Canadian and her British shows have been shown here for years (decades?). I think a lot of men watch her show but for reasons other than great recipes.

    • FruGal
      FruGal says:

      I am loving Nigella! She’s also on The Taste now with Anthony Bourdain and two other cooks, so my husband and I have been watching that. That’s funny about the men watching her:).

  3. Pauline
    Pauline says:

    Interesting! I don’t have an ice cream maker, but do homemade yogurt that I freeze in a plastic glass. Then I take if off and blend it with a little water and some fruit (banana, apple, grapes…) it makes a delicious frozen yogurt ice cream to eat on the spot. If you freeze it back though it gets all solid.

  4. KK @ Student Debt Survivor
    KK @ Student Debt Survivor says:

    The only appliances the bf and I have that we actually use are our crockpot (I use it constantly for meals), bf’s rice maker (it’s an expensive Japanese model-he’s Filipino and eats rice daily with everything so this was not negotiable) and bf’s fancy expresso maker. Other than that we don’t even have an electric can opener. I hate how much counter space appliances take up.

    • FruGal
      FruGal says:

      I have to admit, crockpots have a lot of great uses. We also have a rice maker that I purchased in my early 20s and it has not failed us yet! Paul and I met in Japan, and we love Japanese food so it made sense to buy it (it’s gotten a lot of use!).


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