Like most of you, my mailbox is stuffed full each day with every kind of catalog you can imagine. While I try not to fall prey to what is in the catalogs, invariably I do find so many things/gadgets that I don’t think I can live without and order them. When they finally arrive the new item falls in either one of two categories – a. what a joke, or b. this is really cool! After all of the gadgets I have purchased over the years, here are 5 that really work and are worth the money.
The Garliczoom XL – I don’t know about you but I hate to chop garlic, or anything, for that matter. But with garlic, I can never seem to get it minced quite as small as the pros. Then I found the Garliczoom XL – a garlic chopper on wheels . Just load in several cloves of peeled garlic inside the Garliczoom and then run back and forth on the counter and you will have the finest minced garlic ever. I haven’t tried using shallots, but I am sure if you cut the shallot down into smaller pieces it would work great. The Garliczoom is easy to clean and you can even put it in the dishwasher. This little guy is under $15 and is well worth it!
Microplane Herb Mill – Okay, so I have this thing about chopping. Here is another gadget that makes chopping herbs so much easier. The Herb Mill is a cylinder with a stationary and rotating blade that minces herbs in no time flat. Just load thoroughly dried herbs with the stems removed into the Herb Mill, twist the top in a back and forth motion and you have perfectly minced herbs. I know a knife and a chopping board can do the trick, but sometimes you end up bruising the herbs and they turn black. Not with this. Besides, just throw it into the dishwasher when you are done! The Herb Mill is under $20 and is a real time saver.
Cuisipro Herb Keeper – Speaking of herbs, how many times do you buy parsley, cilantro or other herbs and within a few days in the refrigerator they are just a limp mess. The Cuisipro Herb Keeper is a tidy, easy container to put all of your herbs in that will stay fresh in the refrigerator for a long time. The Herb Keeper suspended tray holds herbs together with the stems immersed in water at the bottom of the container for freshness. You can also use it for asparagus or celery to keep them fresh and crunchy longer. I actually have a couple of these since they are so handy. The Herb Keepers are around $20, but will save you a lot more in less waste of your produce in the long run.
Shun 6″ Ultimate Utility Knife – Knives are not usually considered a gadget, but this one is so good, you don’t need another knife in your kitchen. The Shun Utility knife is has an ultrasharp scalloped blade which cuts effortlessly through crusty breads, meats, cheeses and vegetables. Shun knives are made by Japan’s leading blade manufacturer for a lifetime of use in the kitchen. While I have a large assortment of knives in my kitchen, this is the one I use the most. Shun knives are not a small investment, but the Shun 6″ Utility Knife can be found for a little over $100.
Signature Secrets Culinary Thickner – While this doesn’t technically qualify as a gadget, it is a great kitchen secret and something I can’t live without. This all purpose instantthickner requires no cooking and gives you much better results than flour or cornstarch and is the fastest thickner I’ve used. It dissolves instantly in hot or cold liquid and can be used to thicken thicken soup, stew, gravy, pudding, fillings – just about anything. How many times has your gravy or a soup turned out to be too thin and you end up using flour that can leave a floury taste if you don’t cook it long enough? Just using a little of this thickner will instantly thicken and you can add more to your liking. The only place I have found this is on line at King Arthur’s Flour – it comes in an 8 oz. package and is about $6. It is worth giving it a try – you won’t be disappointed.
So there you have it – 5 gadgets that really work! I am interested in hearing from you about gadgets that you think really work to share with readers in a future blog. I invite you to leave your comments with the type of gadget and why it works so well for you! A blogging we will go!