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Favorite new gadget for 2009


Darienne
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I'm very happy with my new extra-large garlic crusher thingy from Lee Valley Tools

(Many thanks to Judiu who sent me the link, which I immediately used.) 

I know, I know, one does not need a garlic press but this one is very handy for me because I do have arthritis in my hands and some tasks are difficult.  The way this one works makes the task extremely easy.

While at the site, I also "discovered"  measuring pourers.  Egads!  These are terrific.  I bought the set, which included  Teaspoon,  Tablespoon and Ounce, and also ordered the Two Ounce.

After I got them and used them, I ordered three more sets for myself and one for my daughter.

pours

They are as accurate as I need - in fact they are more accurate than two different sets of measuring spoons I have and the best part is they don't have to be cleaned after every use or between ingredients.  Especially with oils, vinegars and syrups because they stay on the bottles I use all the time.

I'm going to order another couple of sets, because I find I have more and more uses for them.

I presently have the tablespoon ones on olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sherry vinegar and sweet soy. 

The teaspoon ones are on rose water, orange flower water and vanilla (homemade). 

The ounce and two ounce pours are on various syrups.  I do have a few that are yet unused.

One of the two-ounce pourers in on a bottle of Verjus and I find that I am using it more often since it is so handy to pour. 

I bought a couple of the Trudeau Elite Graviti Battery Operated Pepper Mills from Amazon, gave one to my best friend for Christmas, then ordered two more for myself because I use several different kinds of peppercorns (from Pepper-Passion.com) and I love these mills. 

The business end is at the top and when you tip the mill it starts to grind and stops when it is again upright.  It is easy to clean, doesn't pick up yucky stuff from the counter as do the ones with the grinder at the bottom so I don't have to have them on a tray or each with its own little saucer.  I love these! :wub:

Thanks for the heads up on the garlic press. My current one is dinky and hard to clean. Takes forever if you don't peel the garlic first. The Lee Valley one seems like a dream come true. Do you really not have to peel first?

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I'm very happy with my new extra-large garlic crusher thingy from Lee Valley Tools

(Many thanks to Judiu who sent me the link, which I immediately used.) 

I know, I know, one does not need a garlic press but this one is very handy for me because I do have arthritis in my hands and some tasks are difficult.  The way this one works makes the task extremely easy.

While at the site, I also "discovered"  measuring pourers.  Egads!  These are terrific.  I bought the set, which included  Teaspoon,  Tablespoon and Ounce, and also ordered the Two Ounce.

After I got them and used them, I ordered three more sets for myself and one for my daughter.

pours

They are as accurate as I need - in fact they are more accurate than two different sets of measuring spoons I have and the best part is they don't have to be cleaned after every use or between ingredients.  Especially with oils, vinegars and syrups because they stay on the bottles I use all the time.

I'm going to order another couple of sets, because I find I have more and more uses for them.

I presently have the tablespoon ones on olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sherry vinegar and sweet soy. 

The teaspoon ones are on rose water, orange flower water and vanilla (homemade). 

The ounce and two ounce pours are on various syrups.  I do have a few that are yet unused.

One of the two-ounce pourers in on a bottle of Verjus and I find that I am using it more often since it is so handy to pour. 

I bought a couple of the Trudeau Elite Graviti Battery Operated Pepper Mills from Amazon, gave one to my best friend for Christmas, then ordered two more for myself because I use several different kinds of peppercorns (from Pepper-Passion.com) and I love these mills. 

The business end is at the top and when you tip the mill it starts to grind and stops when it is again upright.  It is easy to clean, doesn't pick up yucky stuff from the counter as do the ones with the grinder at the bottom so I don't have to have them on a tray or each with its own little saucer.  I love these! :wub:

Thanks for the heads up on the garlic press. My current one is dinky and hard to clean. Takes forever if you don't peel the garlic first. The Lee Valley one seems like a dream come true. Do you really not have to peel first?

Nope, no need to peel - however I do cut the tip of the base off if it is large and hard, but with fairly fresh garlic with small bases I just toss them into the hopper as is.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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What's your favorite new kitchen toy?

Microplanes belong in the kitchen. This year I realized there should be more than just the regular one. I brought the others in from the wood shop -- coarse, medium, fine, superfine, and tunneling-electron-microscope fine.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Gotta get a cow magnet...............if only for the story it adds to my kitchen! :biggrin:

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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Funny, I was wondering whether there was a thread like this just the other day.

This year I broke down and bought a citrus reamer. I was too cheap to spend $4 prior to this, thinking I was doing just fine squeezing them by hand. What a difference! Now it doesn't seem so expensive to make Ina Garten's lemon cake recipe or a batch of homemade lemonade because I am getting twice as much juice out of each piece of fruit! And I make less of a mess too because I can direct the flow of the juice into the container that I am using. :biggrin:

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A couple of really neat things that I do have: super magnets for the fridge.  They are knobs so you can pick them up and they hold really well and I often fasten my recipe to my stove hood or somewhere nearby to have it on hand while cooking.

I have some "super" super magnets that will hold anything to anything steel or iron.

I bought them at the feed store and they are called "cow" magnets. The purpose is to be fed to a cow so the magnet will settle into her first stomach and attract and hold any bits of metal that she may ingest, such as nails, pieces of wire fencing, etc., and thus protect the rumen.

They are incredibly strong - the one I use on the pantry fridge will hold a thick stack of papers.

The only place on the kitchen fridge that will take a magnet is on the side.

You should be able to find them at your local feed store - I usually get the "ceramic" ones but do have a couple of the alnico round ones.

cow magnets

My dad used to bring these home from work and my little brothers and sister and I had a lot of fun playing with them - we'd race them by rolling them down the fridge. My mom used them in the kitchen all the time to hold up recipes and once she sewed one into the hem of a towel so that it would hang on the stove.

I didn't really think of it til I was older when I realized my dad worked at a meat packing plant and the magnets were used... :blink:

Thank God for bleach!

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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My stainless steel jumbo tweezers!

I bought several pairs just like these in Italy this year. They're perfect where you would use chopsticks or tongs... and I dont have to poke things with a fork to move them or turn them.

Peter: You're a spy

Harry: I'm not a spy, I'm a shepherd

Peter: Ah! You're a shepherd's pie!

- The Goons

live well, laugh often, love much

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Most of these were not purchased in 2009 and some have been already mentioned

These are some of my favorite items.

Unicorn Magnum peppermill.  Yes just a pepper mill but it works really well

microplane.  Great for zests and cheeses

AeroPress coffee maker.  Unique coffee press that makes great coffee

Thermapen instant read thermometer.  Had instant reads before but this one is tops

Japanese knives and stones  I can dice a tomato like no body's business.  And just about anything else as well

the aeropress does great cold brewed coffee for iced coffee and such as well!

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the aeropress does great cold brewed coffee for iced coffee and such as well!

Man, now the wife's not going to like you.

Fortunately, I can't just run out and grab one.

For me, the best 'Kitchen addition' of this year was actually purchased on Black Friday of last year.

From (of all places...) Harbour Freight, I purchased 2 of the 3 Ceramic Knives they stock!

The 'chefs knife' was OOS, but I bought the others for myself and as a gift for a friend.

They have become my go-to knives for the kitchen, and I still return them to their cheap plastic holder that they came in (I know, I know)

98183-t.gif 3" Ceramic Paring Knife

98184-t.gif 5" Ceramic Utility Knife

98186-t.gif 6" Ceramic Chef's Knife

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I really like my Simplehuman motion sensor soap dispenser. It's so nice to get a dollop of soap by just sticking my hand or the sponge under the dispenser, and it has an optional feature I like - you can set it to blink its little blue light for exactly 20 seconds after the soap is dispensed. I wish we had these at the school where I volunteer - the kids would know exactly how long to scrub their hands before rinsing! Oh, and if I need extra soap, there's a continuous dispenser button, too.

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Most useful thing I've bought this year is an Apex sharpening kit from EdgePro. It's absolutely fantastic.

And mine is the most useful (and satisfying-to-use) thing I've acquired this year for the kitchen.

Sharpen all your old knives properly before even thinking of buying yet another new knife!

The Apex is an utterly brilliant tool that gives great results with a minimal learning curve.

I'm just not sure about demeaning it as a mere "gadget" ... :hmmm:

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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Most useful gadget this year is the Cuisinart spice/nut grinder. My husband uses it to make small quantities of specialty flour when he bakes bread. We have made spice rubs for various grilled meats. And it's perfect for nuts if they need to be finely chopped or ground. It holds at least twice the volume of a coffee mill, but best of all, having a dedicated grinder for everything besides coffee saves wear and tear on the irreplaceable blade in my venerable coffee grinder.

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  • 1 month later...

These small silicone ice cube trays by Silicone Zone are my current favorite. I've used the larger trays for ice cubes and stock and love them, but they're too big for some other uses. Thus I've been looking for a smaller size for ages, with no luck until now.

You can't really tell from the picture, but the cubes in these trays are just under an inch on a side. Filled halfway, they're the perfect size for caramels, which pop right out in perfect shape -- ready for wrapping or dipping. I've also used them to freeze basil paste, and they were great for that as well.

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These small silicone ice cube trays by Silicone Zone are my current favorite. I've used the larger trays for ice cubes and stock and love them, but they're too big for some other uses. Thus I've been looking for a smaller size for ages, with no luck until now.

You can't really tell from the picture, but the cubes in these trays are just under an inch on a side. Filled halfway, they're the perfect size for caramels, which pop right out in perfect shape -- ready for wrapping or dipping. I've also used them to freeze basil paste, and they were great for that as well.

I love mine; found them at Bed, Bath and Beyond, at a better price. Check them out if you have a store near you.

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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My favorite "new gadget" is the Foley Fork. Let's ignore the fact that they don't make them any more, but there are all sorts of knock-off's. Since I've rediscovered this gem, I've used is at least twice a day. And oldie but goodie.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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My favorite "new gadget" is the Foley Fork. Let's ignore the fact that they don't make them any more, but there are all sorts of knock-off's. Since I've rediscovered this gem, I've used is at least twice a day. And oldie but goodie.

I have several of these, having picked them up whenever I see them at yard sales, etc.

I have some of the solid metal ones, an old aluminum one that is a bit worse for wear and one of the all stainless steel ones that I got from fantes.com a few years ago.

The earliest one I have has the "tines" slightly twisted, to make whipping egg whites easier (or so it said on the card on which it was sold).

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

This has been the year of tea for me, and I've added enough different teawares to my collection to warrant clearing a shelf in the kitchen for them. But it's still too early yet to know what I really like best of all that.

The one gadget that I think may be the best find of this year is a silicone spatula, but not just a silicone spatula. It's a silicone spatula with backbone, and a sharp edge, unitary construction that should not only make it last, but avoid the tragedy of the plastic handle that couldn't take the same heat as the silicone part; and it's a spoonula too.

Move over, bamboo paddles, wooden spatulas, rubber scrapers, and earlier versions of silicone wonders of the week:

118r%2BCIQPBL._SL500_AA213_.jpg

I bought the first one while looking for something else at Bed Bath & Beyond, on a whim, but got more this week from Amazon.com when it was clear that they are the best stirrer/scraper/scooper ever.

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I love my citrus squeezer, the thing that looks like a gigantic garlic press. (which I also own and never use). Mine has a hinged insert in the middle, so it can be little for limes or large for lemons. Works very well, squeezes out all the juice in no time, and I only have one tool instead of two in the drawer. Great idea that actually works - unlike so many other "greatest thing ever" kitchen gadgets out there.

I think I got it at Crate and Barrel, might have been Williams Sonoma, can't remember. I use this very often, contrary to a lot of the other stuff cluttering my drawers :-)

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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Where's the photo of this wonderful toy...oops...tool. Don't think I've ever seen one.

This squeezer is probably the one Oliver is referring to. I find that with the size of most Persian limes, the "lemon" size works fine, so I don't bother with two sizes. I prefer the stainless steel version; it's much more durable than the aluminum ones.

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