Saturday, February 5, 2011

My top 7 Kitchen Utensils, Gadgets, etc...

WOOHOO my computer actually uploaded all the pictures! It took awhile but I got them on here and I have been dying to post this particular one because for one I love cooking and have so many FUN things to cook or create with! Mainly because my mom's side of the family is Italian so we automatically love the kitchen and second because my mom and I have a tiny obsession with fun kitchen stores. We could literally spend all day in a Sur La Table! So for a nice break from my 365 of Me project (which yes I'm going to catch up on my posts with that I promise!) I figured we would dive into MY kitchen in particular! So drum roll please...and now announcing the 2011 winners of Ivy's Top 7 Kitchen Utensils!!

The Number 1 Winner is my Glass Mugs!!

Just guess where they are from too! Wal-Mart. I know, sad isn't it? Yet I have also seen them at World Market (more appropriate I think) and it is by far my favorite thing in my kitchen. I start every single morning with a cup of hot green Tazo tea. These mugs not only look so chic but they somehow miraculously keep my drink cool enough for me to sip and hot long enough for me to drink it (unless I get distracted...which I do about every 2 minutes...hold on I need to go switch laundry). Point is I love them - the look of them, the feel of them, everything. My mom and I found these first at a Bed and Breakfast we stayed at during a Scrapbook Retreat. From that moment it was a quest to get them and my mom graciously brought me four this Christmas season when she came to stay with us. I think she quickly bought her some too upon returning home :)

Number 2 Award goes to my Oil and Vinegar bottles.

I cook with Olive Oil probably every day as well. I love it and the healthful benefits of it. So when I found these two "Made in Italy" bottles at World Market about three years ago I had to have them so I could finally keep my Extra Virgin Olive Oil handily on my counter top. They've never left.
Number 3 Award will be for my newest cheese grater.

My mother-in-law gave me this grater this past year and it has been the handiest thing that I feel my other graters might be jealous and perhaps downright depressed. For one the handle pulls out to easily stand on it's own on your counter top. By doing this it also props itself at a handy angle to push easily against while grating. Then because it wasn't cool enough it added measurement markers on the side so you don't have to stop and transfer your cheese to another cup measure (in case you are one that MUST get the exact amount).

And oh I'm not done yet when you close the handle you can lay it on it's back (does it have a back? I suppose I should say lay it ON the handle) it will rest perfectly like a cupped bowl for you to distribute the cheese easily after removing the grate front.

On to Number 4 is my...okay I actually don't know the proper name for this. But I can make a fill in name for now: My Hot-Meat-Holder-So-I-Don't-Burn-My-Fingers-Thingamajig!

I think my made up name gave away too much. In case it didn't this is inserted into hot meat of any kind right out of the oven, pan or grill allowing you to cut it up as needed for the recipe or maybe just for some little kiddos mouth! I love this tool because I can't tell you how many times I forget I have to precook the meat and so I'm rushing and don't have time to wait for it to cool and so I ended up burning the heck out of my poor fingers! Do you want to hear something sad though? I received this as a wedding gift but didn't know what it is was. So I graciously placed it in my kitchen drawer hoping I'd figure it out someday. Thankfully that day did come when I attended a Pampered Chef Bridal Shower and the consultant did a cooking demonstration and happened to use that VERY tool! I was elated to say the least! And also mad that I'd had that tool all along and still burnt my fingers so often.
Number 5 is just a tool for spoiled cooks honestly. It's my egg-separator!

Again I admit - it's just for spoiling reasons. It hooks onto the edge of a bowl and you crack the egg into the wire spiral and wait for the egg to separate all on it's own - no flip-flopping from egg shell half to the other hoping that yoke doesn't break right over your bowl of ingredients!

Number 6 is similar - mainly for spoiling but serves a purpose of course! It's my miniature whisk:
I took this picture weird like that with it in my hand on purpose OK. I wanted to show you how small it really was. And my hands are TINY - just trust me. This handy tool allows me to whip up one or two eggs easily for omelets or to make french toast or Saltine Pork-Chops. For recipes like that I like to put the eggs in small bowls so as not to dirty a big bowl just at the expense of an egg or two but with a big whisk it's impossible to KEEP the egg in that small bowl so again my mom got this for me as a stocking stuffer after experiencing it for herself.

Last award - NUMBER 7 goes to my Pampered Chef serving bowls! These mini square bowls are the handiest, multi-functional things ever! I use them to put out nuts and candy with on my counter, to mix eggs up with my mini whisk for omelets, to put garnishing in when company comes over, and EVEN to flip over and set snowmen on so they sit high enough above the fake snow I pile up around them! I have two white ones and then three colored ones that came with small square trays to set them in (which I actually use just as much). I like using the trays to mix seasonings in for recipes so I don't have to take the time to measure out of 5 or 6 little seasoning bottles while something is cooking too long on the stove.

So there you have it! If you have questions on any of these products I'll do my best to give you a consumer opinion of it! Until next time, happy cooking!