Thursday, January 7, 2010
My favorite kitchen things
I did a "my favorite things" post at Praying for Grace and had a thought to do the same thing here. There are so many lovely little kitchen gadgets that help make life easier when cooking, and I received a few of those things for Christmas (just a few). If you have someone to buy for, someone who cooks, you can't go wrong with gadgets.
This item is a new favorite thing. For Christmas, my husband bought me a new microwave to go with my new stove. I'm still learning how to use it; it's very different from my old one, but I love it. It has a rack inside, which makes it nice for proofing bread. I often have two pans of French bread, or rolls, and I always use my micro (not running) to proof bread, because with the stove light on, it's nice and warm, inside. I'm not one to cook in my micro, but so far I've used it for heating water and leftovers, and softening butter, and it's a breeze to use. This one is a Frigidaire.
This item is a new gadget, and is one of my favorite "chef" tools (you really feel like a chef when you're using it -- as long as you don't grate your knuckles). I actually have two of these, one is the traditional style (like this). This new one is very cute, but unfortunately didn't get good reviews from users because of the acrylic frame. My aunt bought it for me and I'll use as long as it works -- it has two little peelers along side the microplane for making garnishes. It has its own plastic cover, which is good because you don't want to blindly come across this tool in the drawer. My other one I keep in an old paper towel roll to keep from accidentally touching the blades.
This is not a new gadget to me, but one of the most used in my kitchen. If you use a lot of garlic, you should have one. It crushes the cloves in one squeeze and you don't even have to peel them first. I don't always crush garlic when I use it, but when I do, for a sauce or dressing, this tool is priceless. Though mine is a very old one (at least 10 years), I found the same one online at Target for $14.99.
This is another item that is not new to me, but one of my favorites (I have many favorites). It's a pair of kitchen shears. Mine are Wusthof and were actually a free gift to me when my mother-in-law subscribed to Cook's Illustrated for me. Happy me! I use these shears for so many tasks -- from opening packages to cutting chicken pieces -- they will actually cut right through small bones. I cut up raw and cooked bacon, I snip dough with them, cut dried fruit...they can do so many things.
During the Christmas break my college boy told me he could really use a water filtering pitcher because he and his roommate go through so much bottled water. I hate that he drinks bottled water because of the reports of the plastic bottles causing cancer, so I did some research and went shopping. This Brita pitcher is what I ended up with, and I bought him a six-cup version for his smaller apartment fridge. I can't tell you how much I love my Brita water. We have a filtered water dispenser in our refrigerator and this Brita water beats the pants off it. I don't even use ice because the water is so cold, and the taste is great. We are all drinking more water! And college boy picked up one of these to take water to class with him.
This little guy is a one-of-a-kind, but he is so cute I had to share. My aunt gave him to me with some other gadgets and he hangs next to my kitchen window, looking out at the snow.