Pssst…I have a confession. I like nifty gadgets! Just like men covet and worship women, tools, heavy machinery, and bitchin’ cars, I love kitchen gadgets. Not just any old gadgets, because for one, my kitchen is smmmmalll, and I go for function and versatility. But most importantly I love anything that will simplify my life and let me have fun while doing so, I’m cool like that…snicker if you must, but my German Shepherd Jaxx, thinks so, my teenage kids do as well, (most days) and well Henry, that’s a given, he knows the lucky man that he is marrying me!
Which brings me to the point I almost made without diversion, gadgets…So for the longest time I put off getting my Pink Breast Cancer Edition, KitchenAid stand mixer. For one thing they are pricy and we have three kids, you do the math, for another, I felt I was already turning out some banging desserts and such with my hand mixer. If it was good enough for my Mom and Aunts before me, well damn it, it was good enough for me! So I stubbornly, yet longingly, put it off, pinning away from afar, the same way I do for Charlie Hunnam, from Sons of Anarchy and Queer as Folk fame. (Charlie, holler if you’re ever in Edison,…sigh).
So one day I gave in, and said, “Screw this, I’m worth it,” and bought one on sale at Macy’s, and I have NEVER looked back! The attachments are amazing, I have the pasta maker trio, and I just purchased the sausage maker and grinder combo, “hello lovely homemade spicy sausage and sexy freshly ground hamburgers!”
Then there is the Spiraler for the “Zoodles” kick everyone is presently on. You know the low carb answer to pasta, which I was doing years before it was trey chic! I just used a good ‘ol sharp paring knife and thinly sliced the zucchini and yellow squash, but I like the sexy spirals you get with the spiraler! More pasta like to trick the mind into believing it is eating spaghetti! Sadly my stomach knows the difference, but it is a good subsitute and I love veggies!
Next up, my mandolin, my husband Henry, likes scalloped potatoes, you know, those thinly sliced glorious spuds, loaded with heavy cream and cheese that most kids growing up in the late 70’s consumed with meals back in the day? So this is the perfect tool to get those potatoes paper-thin. Now, it comes with a finger guard for a reason! The reason being, the blades are SHARP!!! So one day not too long ago, I was feeling particularly fearless, and thought to myself, they never use the finger guard on Food Network shows when I am watching Bobby Flay or Giada, so I am not using it! The first potato I executed beautifully, a sight to behold! The slices were perfection! Moving ahead to potato number 2! That good feeling was cut short, (pun intended), by the immense pain and realization that the potato was perfectly crimson! I sliced my thumb down to bone! So bad in fact, that my fantastic doctor, Dr. Aziz, could not stitch it. He had to fineness the thing back to its thumblike shape, bandage and speedy-dry the blood. So lesson learned! This tool is a finger killer. Luckily I have most of my thumb in tact today. And yes, I am still using the mandolin much to the chagrin of Dr. Aziz and my husband who both urged me to throw it away! Which I did not. But I am happy to report that I am NOW, always using the finger guard!
So let’s talk emulsion blenders, I use to puree soups in my blender, and for my Sunday gravy I did the same, or left it somewhat rustic and chunky. Then I heard it call to me one day, when I saw it on Amazon and it was so cheap, I had to make it mine. I have the Pro-version which is pretty powerful! The brand is Norpro, I use it for soups, frothing milk, and for my Sunday gravy! I just love a smooth gravy! So we are clear, I am Italian, in our family “Gravy” is what non- Italians call sauce. Now in some Italian families it is referred to as sauce, in my home it was never called sauce! I know this sparks some debate on social media, but I am not changing my mind on this one! But do try the emulsion blender! You wont be sorry!
Next on the list are my everyday gadgets. They are almost exclusively OXO. Why you may be thinking? Well the cost, superior quality, and ease of use. They are by far better than most lines I have come across, and TJ Maxx usually has a great surplus and the price is even better! I have a garlic press, cheese grader, can opener, I use a manual one, no counter space for the electric one, and who needs that really? Micorplane, spice grater, tongs, whisk, to name a few. These are my go to’s for everyday cooking, and I would be lost without most of them!
Lastly, I didn’t provide a picture for, but I will add it to the list anyway, because I use it quite a bit, I got rid of my food processor as a result of this, I had a pretty good one that I used often, a Cuiesenart, but two years ago I bought a Ninja, and this thing is all I use. If I need the versatility of a chopper, my emulsion blender has a chopper cup for onions and carrots. But my Ninja handles that perfectly. I even use it to make banana ice cream with frozen bananas and a splash of heavy cream! Its perfection!
I am all about saving money, maximizing time and efficiency and anything that will improve the ease and quality of the food that I serve. These nifty gadgets fit the bill and make cooking even more fun! I also want to stress that I AM NOT receiving anything from any manufacturers of the products I reviewed, and I did so to help anyone who may find them invaluable as I do, or if you are deciding which brand to purchase. So with that, I leave you for today, hopefully amused, educated, and eager to hit the kitchen, TJ Maxx, or Amazon for some inspiration!