Top 15 must-have kitchen gadgets
Fifteen Kitchen Gadgets is a tall order, but I love my gadgets, so here goes!
1 A counter "Slice." It's a thin, flexible cutting mat that comes in a wide variety of designs, colors and even football logos! It is very handy as you can leave it in place and it doesn't get in the way and also decorates your counter top!
2. Egg Slicer - this is a great tool if you like to make hardboiled egg sandwiches or garnish with sliced eggs. You lay the egg in the bottom section and then close it and thin wires slice your egg perfectly in one second!
3. Cherry Pitter - I freeze many types of berries in season. Michigan, where i live, is famous for it's cherries and I can buy them fresh in bulk at the local farmer's market. However, without a good cherry pitter I could never freeze and eat as many as i do with it!
4. Cordless Hand Blender - I bought this one when I started making healthy shakes for breakfast and quickly learned that it comes in handy for many other uses. I make my own salad dressings with it in seconds, toss in some vinegar, oil, garlic, pinch of salt and a bit of honey and blend for four seconds! It's also great for making creamy soups. Just cook up some broccoli or asparagus, make a rue (butter,flour,milk or cream) and whip it smooth - yum!
5. Potato peeler - not only is it good for peeling spuds and carrots, but I use it to shave cheeses onto pizza and cassaroles (fresh parmesan, romano and asiago is SO good) and it's also great for 'shaving' chocolate onto deserts.
6. Food Processor - I bought a Cuisinart food processor thirty years ago and it's still going strong! It's great for making big batches of soup - saves a lot of time chopping all those veggies! I buy bulk cheese and shred a pound in seconds. It's great for making bread dough and excellent for making pie crust. For pie crust just put the flour, ice-cold butter and a little water into the bowl and pulse it until it looks like cornmeal - your done! I mentioned the Cuisinart brand because he has a very strong motor! Friends have purchased cheaper brands and they stall at small potatoes!
7. Flexible Jar Opener - Maybe I'm just getting old, but some jars are nearly impossible for me to open lately. A flexible jar opener fits over any size bottle or jar and lets you open it with ease! There are also electric jar openers now, but I don't have one - yet.
8. Wire Wok lifting spoon. I've had one forever and this may not be the correct name, but it's a large, flat spoon made of wire with a bamboo handle and makes lifting food from hot oil very easy and lets the grease drain away quickly.
9. A pasta spoon. A metal or plastic spoon with rounded tines at the end (sort of like a spork) that allows you to remove a small amount of pasta from the pot.
10. Grapefruit Knife - If you love fresh grapefruit, this is the gadget for you. It's a short knife, serrated and curved at one end, The curve allows you to remove the grapefruit from the rind and separate the sections.
11. Melon Baller - This gadget usually comes with a large and small end - the half-circle sections are intended to make perfect melon balls, but I also use it to scoop cookie dough for uniform cookies and also for making meatballs.
12. Meat Tenderizer - A 'kitchen hammer' with a knobby end and a flat end. It's great for pounding chicken breasts into cutlets and tenderizing cheap cuts of beef, but it's also good for crushing a bag of ice for a compress or for threatening your husband when he asks "What's for dinner" for the tenth time in an hour.
13. Pizza Cutter - For years we used a knife to cut our home made pizza. Then our daughter gave us a pizza wheel-type cutter and I wonder how I got along without it. It's great for cutting slices of rolled dough and sheet cookies too.
14. Large and Small funnels. Nothing makes a mess like trying to pour those ginormous bottles of juice into a drink bottle, or pouring a big bag of flour into a smaller container. Funnels make the job so much faster and neater. I use the small one for pouring my economy sized bottle of olive oil into smaller bottles and the larger one for transferring all sorts of dry items from big bags to individual jars.
15. Large ladle - I make a big pot of soup or chili and freeze it in smaller containers. I found a large two-cup ladle in an antique store and love it because it cuts the transfer time in half!