Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Random Loves: Our Favorite Kitchen Gadgets

I have always enjoyed cooking and baking, but as we all know it can be time consuming! Here are some helpful gadgets that help me and Lauren in the kitchen.

Garlic Press: Lauren and I cook with a lot of garlic, so when my garlic press bit the dust I had to resort to the kitchen knife and a cutting board, which was fine, but time consuming. So when asked what I wanted for Christmas, my number one item was a garlic press! I have to admit that garlic minced with a knife does produce a stronger flavor, however when you are trying to get dinner on the table while the kids are in the next room screaming, time is of the essence, so this gadget is a must! If you want a stronger garlic flavor just use more garlic. I always use more garlic than the recipe calls for anyway! When you do look for a garlic press make sure it's not plastic. I have a Calphalon and I love it.

Mesh Strainer: There were times when I wished I had a mesh strainer, so when I decided to make this Merk's Coffee Cake for Jena's birthday party it was the perfect excuse to buy one. It's nothing special, but it comes in handy when you want to sift flour or strain small pasta or grains. Lauren uses hers mostly for rinsing quinoa.

Pan Scraper: By no means do I consider myself to be a germ freak, but growing up my mom used the kitchen sponge for EVERYTHING! And to say the least I became a little grossed out, so much so that she would chase me around with it and threaten (jokingly) to put it in my bed while I was sleeping! She loved messing with me! Anyways, a few years back while visiting my in-laws I noticed a flat brown thing near the sink, naturally I asked what the heck it was. When my mother-in-law, Lori, told me it was a pan scraper I thought it was the coolest thing ever. So when I found two of them in my stocking last Christmas I was super excited! I LOVE that I can scrape off left-over bits of food without having to muck up my dish brush or sponge. (One of my pet-peeves is when food gets stuck in the dish brush.) It also has different radiuses on each corner to accommodate different types of pots and pans. So if you have a bit of a "sponge-phobia" or just need a quicker way to get stuck-on food off (rather than soaking),  I would highly recommend a pan scraper!

Apple Slicer: All I have to say about this is, if you like apples or you have kids, this gadget is a must have. It saves time and is easy to use! Lauren and I both have one and we use it on a regular basis.

Cake Tester: Lauren registered for this silly little gadget when she got married and is so glad she did. Because she loves to bake, it definitely comes in handy. Now that I have a little more time to cook and bake I will be asking for this handy gadget next Christmas. Like many people I use a toothpick or a wooden skewer, which is a bit annoying, because if you have to keep testing, you end up going though quite a few of them.

Let us know what your favorite kitchen gadgets are!

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