Over the years my kitchen drawers have mysteriously filled themselves with gadgets, tools, spatulas and a few things I have no idea how to use.
A minimalist at heart, I’m always trying to narrow my kitchen down to items that get frequent use. So when Leslie had the idea to share her favorite/most used items, I said “YES PLEASE”!
Now I need to have a garage sale. And go shopping.
PS: Will you share with all of us your favorite kitchen tools?
GIRLS LIKE TOOLS TOO: by leslie manning
Some girls have shoes and some girls have purses. Me? I have kitchen tools. This foodie, while at any stuff mart store, can be found in the kitchen section. My studio, aka my kitchen, is where I feel most creative. Here is a list of my fave kitchen tools beyond my beloved baking stone, handy food scale, classic cast iron pan and good kitchen knife. The following tools work hard to make my list and must be affordable. In fact, nothing is over $20 and only one is even close.
Microplane Zester Grater (40020)
This tool has changed my citrus life. I mostly use it for grating lemon and orange zest. I use zest in my baking, pasta salads, and over granola. I used to cut my hands up badly before I bought one. You can also use it for hard cheese. It’s super easy to clean and hasn’t dulled in the decade I’ve had it. (Amazon.com $12.95. Just so you know, 456 people gave this tool FIVE STARS, you will too!)
Mini Silicone Spatulas
These tools get as much attention as my children. I use them several times a day. You can scrape jelly and peanut butter jars, yogurt containers, and get the last drop of maple syrup out of a measuring spoon. For the person in your life who has everything, you can even personalize them! (Amazon.com $6.22, not personalized or Williams Sonoma $14, personalized)
Mini Mesh Strainer
This tool makes sugar fairy dust possible. It also makes me a gourmet cook in under ten seconds. What else can make these promises? I sprinkle fairy dust (or powdered sugar) over brownies, lemon bars, pancakes, waffles, and pretty much every moving food target. I also love this for sprinkling cocoa powder or cinnamon over whipped cream in lattes and cocoa. (New Seasons Market, $2.99)
These are sometimes called herb scissors or herb shears. This is the number one tool I have that friends say, “That is SO cool! Where did you get that?” These make my herb life much easier. They have five blades, are razor sharp and chop herbs at hypersonic speeds. (The WEBstaurant, $6)
Oxo Good Grips Julienne Peeler
I snapped up the best dealio on this in the clearance area at Marshalls, about $3. My best use for it? Zucchini! (Quick recipe break: Make “noodles” out of the zucchini using this tool, add some sun-dried or fresh tomatoes, and toss with pesto.) For those who eat cheese, sprinkle some parmesan on top, amazingly easy! Who doesn’t love healthy and easy? (Amazon.com $8.99 or Bed, Bath & Beyond $9.99-use a 20% coupon and it’s cheaper than Amazon.)
Bamboo Toast Tongs
Nobody wants to burn their fingers. May I make a confession? When a piece of toast or bagel gets stuck down in my toaster, I grab my bamboo tongs and reach down into the toaster abyss as if I’m playing the game Operation and try to get the small broken piece out without it buzzing and turning red like the game. Okay, my toaster doesn’t really buzz. Especially when you unplug it first. (Amazon.com, $3.46)
Mini Serving Spatula
I love this spatula! I have had it for years. It scoops brownies out of difficult pans and is just the right size for your cookies on a cookie sheet. The following is a true story. Not being of sound mind and body, I brought this spatula to a potluck as a serving utensil. When I went to pick it up after the potluck, the unthinkable happened. It. Was. Missing. I guess I was a bit…let’s call it “frenzied”…because everyone thought I had lost my daughter. Oops! No, just the spatula. My spatula. It had fallen on the ground. Found her! I mean, found it! (The Pampered Chef, $5.50)
Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat
Another item I use almost every day. Think of it as a green alternative to parchment paper which is usually used once and thrown away. Bonus: it’s easy to clean too. I reheat pizza on it, bake cookies, scones, and toast nuts on it. I use a perforated cookie sheet underneath it for even baking. (Amazon.com, $19.83)
Thanks for letting me share my fave kitchen toys. If you have another use for one of the tools I mentioned, or if you have a favorite tool that I didn’t mention, we definitely want to hear from you. Happy creating!
- June 2, 2012
- The Kitchen