Thursday, February 20, 2014

5 Kitchen Gadgets Worth Having

Even though I grew up in a family of talented cooks, I didn't really have a huge interest in cooking myself until I moved out on my own and finally had my own kitchen. I started watching Food Network and even became a Pampered Chef independent sales consultant. With my benefits I got pretty much every specialized kitchen gadget they had. Garlic press, veggie chopper, crinckle cutter, pizza slicer, you name it, I made room for it in my new kitchen. At first, I used everything. Then I saw an episode of Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals where she was saying, there isn't anything a gadget can do that my knife can't (or something along those lines). She went on to say, "Why would I want a sink full of dishes when I can just have my knife and cutting board to wash?"  That inspired me to get better with my knife and I stopped using the gadgets altogether. That is when I discovered that there are a handful of kitchen gadgets that actually do save time, make life easier and are worth the extra cleanup. 

1) Garlic Press - You can have a clove of garlic peeled and minced in seconds without even having to touch it.

This is the one we have and we like it a lot.
2) Mandeline Slicer - Having a cookout and need fixin's for your burgers? Making zucchini lasagna? Having thin, uniform slices was never easier than when I invested in one of these babies.  Just make sure you use the safety shield!  Don't want any finger tip slices ending up in there...

This is the one we have.  We purchased it at Bed Bath and Beyond.

3) Egg Slicer - Whenever I try to slice hard boiled eggs with a knife they just get crushed.  You can also use an egg slicer to slice strawberries, mushrooms, etc.  Maybe it is not so specialized after all!

This is the one we have.  It has lasted for years!
(I do not work for Pampered Chef anymore.  Just like the product.) 

4) Kitchen Shears - Use these to cut herbs and pizza, dice chicken, make canned tomatoes chunks smaller while still in the can, and the obvious, open packaging.  These are such a versatile and useful gadget!

These are a fave but any shears will do!
6) Nut chopper - When you are chopping a small handful of nuts a knife will be just fine here.  When you need to chop a lot of nuts this gadget is a must have!  We make our own cereal which calls for 2 cups of chopped nuts.  We started saving so much time after we got our nut chopper!

We have this one in black.  It worked really well for a while but doesn't stay together very well now.
My mom has a couple of vintage nut choppers that are AMAZING!  She said someday she will pass them on to me.

Like this one...
and this one.
5) Good blender - If you invest in a really good blender, you will save money in the long run.  Cheaper models tend to burn out, get dull or just don't pulverize anything at all.  You end up buying model after model trying to find a cheap one that actually works.  We wished we had just invested in a good one from the start.  We have a Vitamix and LOVE it.  We make smoothies and soups, use it for mixing batter and even have replaced our food processor with it.  It is that good.  It also has a pretty amazing warrantee which was a must have for such an expensive gadget in our opinion.  The company really stands by their product and after having one for over a year now, we stand by it too.

This is the real deal!
I have also heard good things about Ninja and Blendtec
* If you are one who makes a lot of pies, apple sauce and such, a bonus gadget is a apple corer/peeler/slicer. Those things are pretty magical and time saving if you ask me!

They peel potatoes too!

There you have it!  Five kitchen gadgets that I think are worth making room for in your kitchen and worth washing at the end of the day.

Which kitchen gadgets can you not live without?


Flashback!  Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "The Five Love Languages"

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  1. Why have I never thought of using my egg slicer for strawberries or mushrooms?

  2. Oh my gosh Sarah. I've made your Paleo Crunch Cereal twice now and I'm addicted! I love dicing an apple and banana and just sprinkling the cereal on top with some almond milk. It definitely fills the cereal craving, especially since my hubby liked to eat cereal as a dessert. I know you modified a recipe and the changes are perfect :)

    1. After making that cereal, I'd love a nut chopper! I have been using my blender or the "Slap Chop" but that looks so much more convenient.