...because we all have our motley moments!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Kitchen Gadgets

My favorite kitchen gadgets and their stories.

Pancake Grill: I got this for Christmas from my sister. I love to make pancakes, french toast, fried eggs, grilled cheese and quesadillas on it. I can make a whole bunch at one time so I don't have to slave in the kitchen too long. It's about $20 on sale. Worth it!
Uncrustable Maker: This is from Pampered Chef. I don't buy the Uncrustables at the store anymore because I can make these cheap at home with wheat bread! $9 before the handling charges.

Deviled Egg Holder: I am now the official deviled egg bringer-over in my family with this baby. It keeps my little eggies nice and safe for any journey. Got it at Wal-mart. You can also find a travel cooler in the camping section of the store to pack these containers in and keep them cool!

Frosting Gun: I use this more for making my famous deviled eggs look real pretty. Great for cupcakes too! I got this one from my daughter's school fundraiser catalog last year. It was inexpensive and it works great!

Egg/Strawberry/Kiwi Slicer: Saves time and cut fingers. I like to use this for making egg salad. Sure beats cutting each egg and then chopping it all over the place.

Egg Separator: I got this from Pampered Chef as well. I like to make myself an egg-white scramble now and then. The fat grams I save from not having those yolks let me add the cheese that I love in it!

This little rolly thing peels garlic in a jiffy! No smelly fingers!

Salad Spinner: I LOVE this thing! I actually bought the Wal-mart version for less than $3 dollars. It works great. Dry lettuce every time.

Tell us some of your favorites and why!


Donna said...

The garlic roller is great! They have them at the kitchen store downtown. We gave them to everyone for Christmas one year!

I really want a big griddle like yours, Maria. I just don't know where I'd put it! I think it would be worth finding a spot, though. We love pancakes and grilled cheese!

I love my pizza peel (pizza-sized wooden board with a long handle) and my zyliss pizza-cutting wheel.

I also love my good Henkels knives. I will probably have them my whole life. Mostly I use the big chef's knife. It's wide enough to crush garlic, sharp enough to slice through anything, and has a good weight to it. I try to wash my knives immediately and then put them right in their slot in the knife block to dry (that way they're not sitting around on the counter, in the sink, or in the dishwasher where little hands can reach). I also love my knife sharpener. You pull the blade through the cradle a few times on each side and you're ready to slice and dice.

We just got a zyliss ice cream scooper and it's really nice, too!

Something I learned from my friend Lita that saves a bit of money and makes your kitchen sponge last longer: cut it in half. I like to change my sponge often and the half size is really all I need to scrub my dishes clean. I feel less wasteful and get twice the life out of my sponges.

Thanks for the fun topic, Maria! I feel like 2/3's of my day is spent in the kitchen, so finding products that make that time more enjoyable or easier is great!

Maria said...

The way I like pizza, I should have more pizza gadgets! I like the idea of a pizza peel. Where do you get those? Do you also use a pizza stone?

The griddle is nice, but so big. I store mine in the pots cabinet and just pile the pots on top of it with a cloth protecting the surface of the griddle. If I know I'm using it in the morning, I just leave it out so it's ready to use first thing.

What kind of knive sharpner do you have? It is also a Henkel? We like ours too - wedding gift. These knives have outlasted every other wedding gift - 17 years later! Great investment.

The other things I love are my hand mixer and my trusty toaster oven. I use my toaster oven every day, several times a day. I really can't live without it!

Rachel said...

My absolute favorite piece of kitchen gear is my condiment spoon. Le Creuset makes it, and it's usually in a little crock next to the cash register at a kitchen store. It's a tiny silicone spoonula, and there is nothing better for scraping the inside of the peanut butter jar. I also use it to dig sticky stuff out of measuring spoons. I love it so much I gave one to all of my family members for Christmas!

I need a salad spinner! I'll have to take a look at Walmart!

FYI--I take my chef's knife to the kitchen store to be sharpened about every six months. It's inexpensive and they are less likely to destroy it than I am!

Fun post, Maria!

Pam said...

Great post Maria! One of my favorites would be a lemon zester and a pastry cutter. I use the pastry cutter often to make biscuits and breads.

Pam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donna said...

We probably got our pizza peel at the Rolling Pin (Now Village Kitchen Shop downtown). We used to have a pizza stone, but we didn't like it. I have a metal pizza pan with lots of tiny holes so the bottom of the crust really gets crisp. I do NOT like the solid round pizza pan I bought as a backup at Publix (for those times when we need to bake 2 pizzas for company). The crust did not crisp up at all in that pan. I guess the holes in the bottom really make a difference. One pizza feeds the four of us with leftovers, and they're so easy to make! I start my dough around 4pm and it's ready to go by 5 or 5:30. It's a Friday night tradition for us. It's so cheap and healthy to make our own pizza, it just kills me on those rare occassions when we order out. It's so greasy and so expensive! Pizza is one of the cheapest meals you can make!

Our knife sharpener has a handle and 2 slots to draw the knife blade through. One slot sharpens one side, then you run it through the other side. If you do this about 3-4 times on each side, the knife is sharp! I sharpen my knives once every couple of months.

I forgot to mention our Whirly Pop pot for homemade popcorn. It has a crank on it to keep the popcorn seeds moving. Our popcorn is never scorched! This is a common afternoon snack around here. Another benefit: a bag of popping corn is cheap and we control the amount of salt/seasoning or butter so it's very low-fat and healthy.

Liz said...

I like my knives. I really don't have any other cool kitchen toys, but I sure do like those knives.

Maria said...

I now have a list of new toys I need. Liz, that's exactly what they are too - kitchen toys! Of course if my hubby asks I'll tell him they are my "tools". That sounds more respectable.

fawnda said...

I like my food chopper. I am like my food processor but I don't use as much as I should.

Maria said...

Fawnda, what brand of food chopper do you have? I've tried a couple, but they/I tend to mush the veggies that I'm trying to just chop. Any suggestions?