Friday, April 8, 2011

Handy Gadgets

Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I love kitchen gadgets. They make life easier and some of them are just plain fun. Here are some of my favorite kitchen gadgets that I currently own.

PASTA MEASURE. I love this thing! It's so handy to measure out 1, 2, 3 or 4 portions of spaghetti, fettuccine, linguine, etc. You could use it for soba noodles or other Asian noodles, too. And it folds back up when you're done.

ROSLE COCKTAIL MUDDLER. I was registering for my wedding at Bed Bath & Beyond, saw this little tool and instantly fell in love. At first sight, it's really fun looking. Upon use in muddling fruits in cocktails? It works really well! Simple to use and efficient.

MELON BALLER. At first glance, you'd think this tool is quite specialized. Well, it kind of is, but I've used it on much more than melons. It works well to pull the seeds and pulps out of squash. It also makes ball shapes out of other fruits like peaches or pears. And we all know how cute those little balls of fruit looking floating in a pitcher of punch or sangria...

CHERRY/OLIVE PITTER. I've not used this for olives yet, but I LOVE this tool for cherries. During cherry season, this thing barely stays in the drawer. It gets those pits out in no time! One note, though: It's best to use this over the sink or trash can, because those pits will fly and the cherry juice can spatter. Usually the inside of my trash can looks like a murder scene after I pit a whole bowl. Yikes!

MESH STRAINER. This is a great tool and I use it all the time. This one is pretty small (3-inch), but it's great for straining out the juice in small cans of olives, chilies, pimientos, etc. I use it most often for straining the pulp/seeds out of citrus juices. It's pretty versatile and comes in bigger sizes.

MICROPLANE GRATER. As a lover of kitchen gadgets, it's hard for me to choose a favorite. But this one might be it. Citrus zest can add such great flavor to baked goods and savory entrees alike. This tool makes grating citrus fruit a snap. I love using it for hard cheeses as well, like Parmesan. And for a grater, it cleans up surprisingly easily.

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