Friday, December 28, 2007

Kitchen Gadget - Silicone Muffin Cups and Pans

There's nothing quite so frustrating as creating the perfect batch of blueberry (carrot, oatmeal, chocolate chip - you pick) muffins, only to find you can't get the litle glories out of the pan when they come out of the oven!

Easy solution? Silicone muffin cups or baking pans. Use the muffin cups - in either grand, regular or mini size - on top of regular sturdy cookie sheets. You don't even need to grease the muffin cups beforehand, and still you'll be able to slide out your baking delights with no worries!

Or, even easier, invest in a high grade silicone muffin pan and you won't even need to use a cookie sheet underneath. Either way, your muffins will look perfect and intact - not misshapen and embarrassing!

Or...for the cutest silicone muffin cups EVER, check out these little lovelies by Wilton - Silly Feet Silicone cupcake holders with silly silicone feet! They're adorable and a surefire hit with kids of all ages.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Kitchen Gadget - Say Goodbye to Wooden Bread Boxes with this WMF Stainless Bread Box

Goodbye clunky bread box! Hello shining, stunning WMF stainless bread box.

This one will keep your bread, bagels, muffins and baked goods fresh and out of sight, while still looking stylish and streamlined. Bravo bread box, bravo!

Ice Cream Gadgets - my Favorite Ice Cream Scoop - Zyliss Right Scoop Ice Cream Scoop

The Zyliss ice cream scoop is the best I've ever used. I love the fun colors, and the intelligent design of this product:

When you first hold this ice cream scoop in your hands, you'll feel the difference right away. This Zyliss ice cream scoop has an incredible, substantial weight - it just feels RIGHT. It is designed to fit snugly and comfortably in your hand. That weight, together with that clever design I already mentioned - the edges glide right through even hard ice cream - makes this an absolute winner! I have the lime green - love, love, love it! Hard ice cream just seems like a joke now, not an intimidating foe.

Here are some cool (haha, pun sort of intended) ice cream topping recipes posted on my other site. Enjoy, ice cream fans!
Ice Cream Topping Recipes

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Kitchen Gadget - Onion Goggles

I already shared with you the secret of preventing onion odor seepage in the fridge. Now, I'll wipe up your onion-cutting tears, or as a matter of fact - prevent them in the first place with - Ta Dah!

You guessed it. Onion goggles! A fantastic novelty gift OR a truly practical gift for anyone who hates to chop onions because of the inevitable tears.

These onion goggles create a tight seal around your eyes, and work well to prevent any emotional outbursts over the chopping board. At least any caused by onion chopping - the rest is your business.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Kitchen Gadgets - Lovely Stainless Measuring Cups and Measuring Spoons

I know, I know. I say that a lot of things are necessities. I guess that comes from being a kitchen gadget nut! BUT...having one good set each of stainless measuring cups and measuring spoons really are vital in any kitchen where ANY sort of real cooking goes on.

Here are my picks for top stainless measuring cups and measuring spoons. I love them because they're functional, adorable AND ultra durable. All very important things, and yes adorable CAN be important in the kitchen! It keeps your morale up when you've been cooking for hours and are feeling very UN-culinarily inclined.

Their clever elongated design means that you can dip these spoons into ANY jar, and they'll easily fit. Plus, there are 6 different measurements included: 1/8 tsp, 1/4 tsp, 1/2 tsp, 3/4 tsp, 1 tsp, 1 TBS

- Dishwasher safe (hurrah!)
- Constructed of 18/10 stainless steel - a lovely high quality stainless
- Chain to keep all these lovely spoons together, so no losing your spoons!

If you want the Best of the Best, it has to be this lovely All Clad set:


- All Clad makes incredibly fine all stainless products that are meant to last - not just years - but decades and decades. They have a beautiful, substantial weight that proves their quality. You'll love using these!
- Made just like their pots, they also have the traditional All Clad handles - just like the pots and pans have!
- Handy inside measurements - for example, the 1 cup measuring cup has a line inside where the 1/2 cup mark is. Helpful when baking...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Bestseller Kitchen Knife - Kuhn Rikon Colorful Paring Knives with Protective Cases - Ultra Sharp Paring Knife!

At the kitchen shop where I work, we literally sell box after box of these - and each box has dozens of these gorgeous little paring knives tucked inside:

This is my favorite paring knife. Ever. End of story.

Okay, I'll provide a few more details than that! I adore this knife, and once you try it you will too. Don't let it's colorful and playful exterior deceive you. This knife is unbelievably sharp. (Case in point - last Saturday when a poor little girl actually cut her finger on one, even though her Mom had warned her not to take the protective cover off! But don't worry - she was okay. We gave her a Tinkerbell sticker and all was well...)

This little powerhouse of a knife is created with carbon steel - the same type of steel as pricier brands like Wusthof and Henckels! Then it's powder coated with a non stick coating, making it another perfect choice for slicing through cheese! (Hurray! This is what I use the most when cutting through cheese.) I've had my knife at least seven months now and it is still incredibly sharp. It has exceeded my expectations on every level.

This paring knife by Kuhn Rikon (another of my favorite brands) is an absolute must. Don't be foolish and buy one, because a family member/friend/coworker will likely end up 'borrowing' it for an extended period of time. (Forever.) Instead, buy about three or four, and hide one for yourself to use! :) It really IS that good.

Kitchen Gadgets - Cheese Gadgets - The Perfect Cheese Slicer

A nice piece of cheese is a gorgeous, gourmet event to me. Whether it's rich aged cheddar, or a chunk of pungent blue cheese - it's all cheese heaven to me! Which means that I like a good cheese slicer as much as the next cheese lover...

For a lovely version complete with a hardwood board, try this cheese slicer by Prodyne. It has a superior wire for cutting through hard or softer cheeses with ease. Handheld slicers are okay, but once you try this baby you'll be eating more cheese than ever!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What is a lemon reamer?

What is a lemon reamer, you ask? A lemon reamer is often a small wooden gadget that works perfectly to squeeze into the fleshy halves of fresh lemons, to extract as much of the delicious lemon juice as possible. (Of course, you can also use your reamer for other citrus fruits, such as limes and oranges.) It's ridged edges squeezes out the maximum amount of juice.

I love traditional wooden lemon reamers, such as:

But you might prefer something funkier, like this:

or even this snazzy stainless option...

Whichever style floats your boat (or squeezes YOUR lemon), a lemon reamer makes juicing lemons and other citrus fruits a real breeze! And we all know that the freshest possible juice makes the tastiest possible recipes.

Kitchen Gadget of the Day - Microplane Zester

The Microplane zester is one gadget you REALLY truly need. From grating fine little strands of citrus zest, to making great piles of fluffy parmesan cheese (or perfect little gratings of delicious chocolate) - this gadget is a necessity in any cook's kitchen. Microplane makes zesters that are incredibly sharp, and they stay sharp (as they should) for absolutely ages.

This is a tool that is multi-purpose, and you'll find yourself reaching for it often.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Jamie Oliver Strikes Again - the Flavor Shaker is a Huge Hit

Just toss in all sorts of lovely culinary essentials - oil, vinegar, herbs and/or garlic cloves - and add the wee ceramic ball into the flavour shaker. Give it a really good shake up, and then VOILA - a gorgeous emulsified blend of goodness for all of your cooking creations!

Just like last year, we can barely keep these in stock at the kitchen shop where I work. Not sure if it's the flavor shaker itself, or the fact that the ladies just LOVE Jamie Oliver. Regardless, this is a funky little product that is truly unique.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Kitchen Gadget of the Day - Whirley Pop Stovetop Popcorn Maker

Today's gadget of the day is a Whirley Pop popcorn maker. Remember making delicious, homemade popcorn on the stove with a heavy-bottomed pot? Remember standing over the said pot, shaking it constantly in case it burnt? (And nothing is quite as nasty as the smell of burned popcorn!)

The Whirley Pop makes the most mouth watering popcorn - just like you get at the movie theatre. It has a 25!! year warranty (amazing, really) and comes with a bag of popcorn and topping to get you started. This stuff will take you back to when popcorn was a real treat, not just something we threw into the microwave for a few minutes and then tore into.

Enjoy, popcorn lovers, enjoy!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Another cool Chef'n Gadget - Palm Peeler for Veggies

I love Chef'n products. They're cleverly designed, fun to use, affordable AND they work well. The latest of my Chef'n obssessions is the Palm Peeler - a handy peeler that fits snugly over your finger to nestle inside the palm of your hand - creating an easy way to peel potatoes, carrots, apples - whatever needs peeling! This ingenious design makes a boring chore in the kitchen much easier - and it's an adorable little gadget to boot. A winner!