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Archive for the ‘Tips and Tricks’ Category

…for different folks.  Or cooks, in this matter.  A popular question is, “what are the top (insert number here) tools used in your kitchen?”  I could probably throw together quite an extensive list of things that make my life easier when I cook, but, here are my absolute must-haves:

A solid set of sharp knives.      

A hand-grater.  I first saw these on RR and yes.  They are absolutely wonderful for grating garlic, vegetables, spices, or basically anything and everything. 

A good, sturdy, nonstick skillet with a tight-fitting lid.

Now, this next list includes the stuff, just for funsies, that I use all the time and would rather have than have not.  However, they are not essential items I suppose…

A food processor (it doesn’t have to be huge).

A burr grinder.  If you love coffee as much as we do, this is not optional!!!  It really and truly DOES change the taste of your bliss in a mug.  I was not a believer until I got Schatzi this Capresso burr grinder he had been wanting for Christmas.  Now, i am a total convert from a plain old blade grinder.

While we are on the subject of coffee, a good french press.  This is the ONLY way to make outstanding black coffee.  Yes, a good pot can be made with a quality automatic (make sure you sprinkle a bit of kosher salt on top of the grounds to get rid of that bitter taste an automatic often adds), but a french press really is the way to go.  Ours is by Bodum and we love it!

A potato masher.  I use mine for everything from yes, potato mashing, to breaking up meat for a sauce.  It just makes things go so much more quickly and easily!

A scraper.  I don’t know what the technical term is, but this guy makes it a lot easier to transfer something such as chopped onions from the cutting board to the skillet.  This way, you don’t have to juggle a huge cutting board while trying not to throw onion all over the floor instead of into the pan.

A bar of garlic soap.  This is actually a bar made of some type of metal, and if you “wash” your hands with it after handling garlic, the smell magically disappears!  Truly one of the coolest inventions there is.

Salt and pepper grinders/shakers.  When it comes to salt and pepper, fresh really can’t be beat.

An onion keeper.  Sometimes recipes don’t call for an entire onion, and you don’t want to just throw it out!  Then, it stinks up your fridge and doesn’t keep terribly long.  I found this guy at TJ Maxx and it works wonders.  I also have one for lemons and limes.  You won’t believe how well it works!

A wooden fork of some sort.  Because they aren’t made of plastic or metal, they don’t get hot and burn you on the stove.

And, a wonderful husband who helps with the dishes is a GREAT addition/luxury!!

Well, there you have it.  Cooking always makes for a fantastic time, but for me, these gadgets really tip the awesome scale.  So, if you cook a lot, I really recommend pampering yourself once in awhile and adding a few to your collection of kitchen tools.

*sc

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