Thursday, February 10, 2011

Whosits and Whatsits Galore

Well, I actually have four of five great recipes to share with you but sadly, my computer crashed and I am now using a rental. This rental does not have a memory card port like my past computer so I need to find the cord. Once I do, yummy recipes for you, I promise!


But for now, I thought I would highlight some of my favorite kitchen gadgets. In a 3 part post I will share my favorite general kitchen gadgets. Then I will share my favorite baking pans and tools and finally, my current wish list


I thought you might be wanting or needing some of these things too or looking for great gifts for the foodie or baker you know. Some may have been mentioned before but I think it might be helpful to have them all in the same place together! 


And, no, none of these are necessary at all. Are they fun, yes? Do they make you a good cook? No. Do they make me happier and more confident when cooking? Yes. 


General Fun Kitchen Gadgets:


What: Lettuce Knife 
Use: Cut lettuce without turning it brown. [The website says you can also use it for cakes & breads, which I will have to try!]
Price: $4-$8
Where to buy: Amazon or Bed Bath & Beyond








What: Mortar & Pestle 
Use: Crushing fresh herbs or nuts or whatever else you can think of. Also looks pretty. 
Price: $10 to $30
Where to buy: Bed Bath and Beyond




What: Immersion Blender
Use: Puree anything in its original container, i.e, puree soup in a pot without having to transfer. Or use it for smoothies or hot chocolate. Very convenient! 
Price: $30 to $99
Where to buy: BB & B




What: Micrograter
Use: Zest lime, lemon or orange. Finely grate chocolate for desserts. Finely grate ginger, cheeses or spices.
Price: $15 to $20
Where to Buy: BB&B
*There are various sizes of the blade for these, coarse or fine. The link is to the one I have and I like it. But choose the size you prefer!




What: Grill Pan
Use: Grill meat or vegetable easily on your stovetop. It is great for fajitas and gives those nice grill marks you desire when its too cold, or hot, to grill outside. 
Price: $18 to $75
Where to buy: You can find plenty on Amazon/BB&B but my tip is to keep your eyes open at places like Ross and TJMaxx. I found my Wolfgang Puck Grill Pan at Ross for $17.99 [I did also find it here for $24.90]




What: Food Scale
Use: Accurately measure amounts of food whether it be snacks or cooking or baking ingredients. Do you know how much one ounce of cheese is? Neither did I until I got this scale. It really helps you be aware of how much you are eating. Its also great for recipes that may say things like "4 ounces of chicken." or for measuring one serving size of snacks. 


*Definitely get one that allows you to tare: Meaning putting the plate on, zeroing out, then only measuring the amount of the food you placed on it. Also, make sure it can switch between ounces and grams so you can work with many different kinds of recipes. My Sharper Image scale does both of those. See link below. 
Price: $20 to $60
Where to buy: BB&B




What: Santoku knives
Use: These very sharp Japenese knives are great for chopping vegetables. The name literally means, "three virtues" referring to its ability to chop, dice, and mince. Although great for vegetables it is also considered a general purpose knife. Even if you have a nice set of regular knives, one of these is still great to have. 
Price: Can be very expensive but good ones are also available for as low as $15 
Where to buy: BB&B




What: Tongs
Use: Such a simple kitchen tool but I have two pairs and they are both always being used. I use mine for turning meat on the stove, flipping french fries in the oven or just in general picking up food while cooking. I have one with plastic tip and one without both are good for different things [plastic won't scratch your pans, but metal tips allow you to scrape if necessary]. Always get a pair with the locking feature for easy storage. 
Price: $5.99 for 2 or up to $9.99 per pair
Where to buy: BB&B or this is another item to look for at Ross or TJMaxx. 








What: Ateco Cutters
Use: These can be used for cutting biscuits, cookies or pastries. Or for plating food. Or for filling cupcakes or just about anything else you can think of. 
Price: $15
Where to Buy: Amazon (this is the set of 11 I have) 




What: Condiment/Measuring Bowls also called Custard Cups
Use: I use these all the time. For holding spices, mixing sauces, or just for snacks. 
Price: $7 up to $15 if bigger or with lids 
Where to buy: Amazon


Whew. That took way longer than anticipated but I hope it inspired you to do some shopping!

Also: My favorite places for kitchen gadgets are: Ross, TJMaxx, Bed Bath & Beyond, World Market, Target and Williams Sonoma. O and I have recently been finding unique and fun kitchen stuff at DI, so always check out your local thrift store!

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