Creating a Calm Kitchen

We put a few of the latest and greatest kitchen appliances to the test. Discover how a coffee maker, toaster, kettle and portable pizza oven can harmonise to create a kitchen of calm that transforms cooking from a chore into a mindful escape.

Wake up to a perfectly brewed coffee

The Philips 5400 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine has found a special place in my heart. My toddler loves to wake at the crack of dawn, a time most young parents are familiar with. My sleepy state of mind struggles to catch up with his boundless energy and quick-fire questions. Now, thanks to this coffee machine, I can disguise my tiredness and meet him on his level. In just a few simple touches, I have a perfectly brewed espresso in my hands. No more sleepy fumbles with manual grinders or complicated setups – the Philips 5400 Series understands my coffee cravings and my son’s demands to go for a walk immediately – and caters to them flawlessly.

When it comes to this machine, it’s not just about the convenience – it’s the customisation that really makes it stand out for me. I’m picky about my coffee and this machine lets me tweak everything to my liking. From adjusting the grind size to choosing the coffee strength, it’s as though I’m composing a symphony of flavours that dance on my taste buds with each delicious sip. With 12 pre-set coffee options that include espresso, coffee, cappuccino and latte macchiato, the machine offers a completely customisable coffee experience. It’s like being on first-name basis with your local barista, who knows your coffee order – but better because he works 24/7 and never takes a day off. Plus, he’s handsome, too, sitting sleek and pretty on my marble benchtop and effortlessly blending into my kitchen.

There’s a lot to say about the milk frothing that comes with this machine. Being able to effortlessly whip up velvety foam for a nut milk latte that rivals those from artisan cafes is a true game-changer, not to mention a penny-saver! The LatteGo milk system froths milk quickly and easily with no need for additional parts to clean. A win, win!

I also love the integrated ceramic grinder, which ensures consistent and precise grinding for optimal coffee flavour every single time. Freshly ground beans are the holy grail of coffee and very important when it comes to a good cup of joe. The aroma that fills the kitchen is enough to wake my sleepy husband from his slumber and send him downstairs for a brew.

Being a coffee lover, I understand the importance of consistency. When buying your coffee out and about, it’s consistency that is often missing. With the Philips 5400 Series, I get that cup of coffee perfection every single time. As much as I adore this machine, I do understand that it takes away some of the hands-on rituals that comes with manual brewing. But you know what? It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make for the sheer joy and convenience it brings into my daily routine. I’m a busy working mum, I don’t have time to grind coffee myself. With this machine, I can keep my pyjamas and slippers on and snuggle my son whilst sipping my favourite coffee.

To me, this machine isn’t just an appliance – it’s a member of the family – and one that my son adores as well! He loves to make his own “coffee”, a babyccino, and sprinkle the cocoa on top. It’s our morning ritual and I know we’re creating moments that will forever stay in my mind. Yes, 5:30AM is early … but having my son sit next to me on the bench and lick cocoa from his lips makes getting up at the crack of dawn worth it, every single time. The Philips 5400 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine also helps a lot, too!

A stylish kitchen

I’ve always longed for stylish matching appliances that look sleek and effortless on my kitchen bench. Now, thanks to the Philips Eco Conscious Edition 5000 Series Kettle and Toaster, I have just that.

One of the standout features of the kettle and toaster is their energy-saving designs. The clever team at Phillips have engineered these appliances to be efficient in terms of energy consumption, meaning it might use less electricity during boiling compared to standard kettles or less energy compared to other toasters. This aligns with its eco-conscious approach, which they also carry through to their branding. Not only do I love the paired back neutral tones but the appliances are also made using eco-friendly materials. Philips pay attention to the aesthetic design of their appliances and this kettle and toaster duo certainly add a touch of elegance to my kitchen countertop. Not to mention the lid! Never did I think my toaster needed a lid before I met this one. The lid keeps my kitchen looking clean and stylish.

Many Philips kettles, including this series, are designed to boil water quickly. Speed is very important on those busy mornings when I’m desperate for a cup of tea or in the evenings when I need to quickly boil some water for my son’s pasta. The toaster offers precise browning control and a cook-from-frozen option which means I have the perfect slice of toast every time. My current toast spread obsession is natural macadamia nut butter and local honey from the farmer’s markets. It is a dream combination on a slice of well-toasted bread!

The Philips Eco Conscious Edition 5000 Series offers an appealing blend of energy efficiency and environmental consciousness, paired with the practicality of quick boiling and toasting times. If you’re looking to align your kitchen appliances with eco-friendly values and appreciate modern design, it’s hard to resist these two wonderful appliances.

Pizza to go

Last month, my dear family came to visit. I wanted to mark the occasion and do something special as we don’t often get to share the same dinner table. What better way to celebrate than creating homemade pizzas in the Ooni pizza oven? My mum and dad are big campers and love to sit around the fire so I spent my childhood sleeping in swaps and chargrilling marshmallows. Over time, my parents have perfected the art of cooking over coals, creating delicious stews in cast-iron casseroles or barbequing a tasty feast. What they haven’t taken camping yet is a portable pizza oven, so they were just as excited as I was to test it out.

With my dad’s help, the oven was easy to set up and we had it heating in no time. My mum, siter-in-law and husband were in the kitchen topping our pizzas and my brother was playing soccer with my toddler. I took a moment to look around and let the afternoon really sink in. There’s music, laughter and smiles. There’s flour everywhere (thanks to my toddler) and every chopping board and saucepan we own is being used. My heart is exploding at the view and I realise that it’s moments like these that make the busy weeks’ worth it.

One of the standout features of the Ooni pizza oven is its portability. These ovens are designed to be lightweight and easy to carry, making them ideal for outdoor use, picnics, camping trips and backyard gatherings.

Ooni pizza ovens are known for their rapid heating capabilities. Some models can reach high cooking temperatures (often over 480°C) in a matter of minutes! This is crucial for achieving that classic, crispy pizza crust that we all know and love.

While primarily designed for pizza, many Ooni models can also be used to cook other recipes such as flatbreads, vegetables, fish and more. This versatility expands the cooking possibilities beyond just pizza and although we stuck to the classics like margherita, garlic prawn and vegetarian, I can’t wait to test out the fish and roast vegetables.

We sure have a bit to learn when it comes to achieving consistent and delicious pizza results with a high-temperature pizza, especially because I’m new to pizza-making. Proper technique and understanding how to manage the high temperatures are essential for perfecting your pizza – thankfully my dad was on the heat, using the infrared thermometer and, by the third pizza, we were cooking like pros. The Ooni cookbook, Cooking with Fire, is a very helpful source of information and recipes — and one I will refer to often.

Next on my “eating pizza in paradise” to-do list is the grassy knoll at the headland near my home. I can’t wait to invite some friends and enjoy multiple slices of delicious crispy Ooni pizza with them all.

For more, visit Ooni and Philips

Kate Duncan

Kate Duncan

Kate Duncan is the Editor of WellBeing and WILD. She loves surfing, creating raw desserts, flowing through nourishing yoga sequences and spending time with her new pooch, Maribou.

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