Tuesday, May 26, 2009

10 Favorite Kitchen Gadgets

  1. KitchenAid Mixer: It took me many years to convince myself that I needed a KitchenAid. They seemed so big, so expensive, so difficult to move around (and you know I am a girl on the move). But once I did it, I never looked back. I use it at least 3 times a week. At least. I whip, mix, knead, fold and stir my way to deliciousness, transported on the frothy, well-mixed wings of my KitchenAid.

  2. An edited selection of Sharp Knives: If I had to choose 2 indispensable cutting utensils, it would be a Santoku knife and a large serrated knife. The Santoku because it's a solid all-around knife which can take the place of a carving or cook's knife, and in a pinch, be used as a paring knife. I use mine every day. I have a 5" Santoku, but would love to have a 7" also. I like the serrated knife for slicing tomatoes and bread. This pretty much covers my slicing and dicing needs. I don't think I'd ever buy a big knife set again. I thought it would be nice to have the options, but end up using 2 or 3 knives for 90% of what I do.

  3. Non-Stick Bakeware: Yes, I've posted about the Williams-Sonoma goldtouch bakeware before, but it's worthy of another mention. I love it. I love to bake, but used to dread it because I never knew if that cake was going to slide out or stick to the bottom & fall out in chunks. Who needs that kind of disappointment? Now my bread slides out of the pan EVERY TIME - no sticking, no worries. I am really careful about cleaning them by hand, and I think that with proper maintenance, these will last for many, many years to come.

  4. Silicone Basting Brush: This one is a little silly, but so very useful. I have a basting brush similar to this (pictured here in a set, with a sauce pot which I do not have), and I use it far more often than I thought I would. Yes, I use it for BBQ'ing, but also for basting roasted turkey & chicken, oiling bowls when I bake bread, applying a thin layer of sauce to anything, etc., etc.

  5. Food Processor: Again, a gadget I lived without for many years, and which I now use far more often than I expected. Whether I'm making noodles, whipping up hummus, blending a salad dressing, or pureeing fruit for jams, I go straight for the food processor.

  6. Mini Bowls: I don't have these exact bowls, but similar ones. I use them for TONS of stuff. Prep containers (garbage bowl), a serving of baby food, a mini ice cream bowl, a dollop of whatever. Seriously inexpensive, and seriously useful.
  7. Whisk: Whisk? What do I need a whisk for? Isn't a fork just as good? Um, no, no it's not. I have 3 whisks of varying sizes, and use them all. Whether I'm whipping scrambled eggs, blending my flour-salt-baking soda mixture, or mixing brownies, I choose the whisk.
  8. Measuring Cups & Spoons: Would you run a marathon in your Converse? Not me. Just because you CAN use sub-par measuring devices doesn't mean you SHOULD. Mine are a substantial metal, and offer a wider range of measurement than 1 cup, 1 teaspoon, and 1 tablespoon. I never knew measuring could be so much fun.

  9. Crock Pot: Meat & veg in the pot, dinner in 8 hours. Easy-peasy. That being said, my current crock pot is a little temperamental {I think someone snuck in a turbo-charger when I wasn't looking}. I always use the 8 or 10 hour settings no matter what I'm cooking. Anything else and I end up with a burnt mess in the bottom.
  10. Tongs: There is a HUGE difference between a good pair of tongs & a cheap pair. Cheap ones won't close properly, don't grip well, and they fall apart or rust after just a few weeks. Good ones can help you serve pasta, flip grilled chicken, transfer meat to a serving platter, or distribute your favorite green salad. Yum!

PS: I'm not sure what motivated me to post the above list. At the Favorite Things party a few weeks ago, a friend noted that each person's "favorite thing" revealed a little bit of them. So I guess the above list reveals a little bit about me - in the kitchen. Look for more "10" lists to come.

1 comment:

Rosie said...

I love this list. By far, my #1 favorite kitchen gadget is my two knives: my serrated knife and my 8" chef's knife, though I wish I had a 10".

I also have substantial measuring cups and spoons. They are from W&S and I have had them for 13 years. Still good as new.

I love my good whisk.

I have 3 pairs of crappy tongs and really should invest in one good pair.

Love my kit aid, don't own a food processor. I recently melted the pastry brush I'd had for ages when I tried to brush melted butter on a pan for crepes. I need a silicone brush.