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Kitchen Items I Love May 21, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in uncategorized.

I have a zillion kitchen items–pots, pans, utensils, gadgets, towels, small appliances, medium appliance, large appliances, that one thing Ryan fell in love with on an infomerical and used once, a mini-burger press, a big burger press, an ancient rice cooker, cookbooks by the dozen, miniature spoons, spices from all corners of the globe, and about 20 coffee mugs, even though neither of us drinks coffee.

But this is not a post about why I should clean out my cupboards (though maybe it should be….).  It is a post about the few items I use almost every day and love, and want to spread the word in case you might love them, as well.

Exhibit A: Tomato Knife

tomato knife

I added this to our wedding registry on Amazon a few years ago because I thought it looked cool, but after three years of using this thing almost daily, I can tell you it is well worth the $7.00 investment.  It has held up remarkably well (though I am very careful about always returning it to the red case it lives in) and cuts like a champ, even though it has never been re-sharpened.  It has a half-serrated blade (is it even possible to resharpen serrated blades?) and a little fork-like end that can be used to cleanly remove the stem of a tomato.  I use it to cut avocados and cheese as well.  You can find it on Amazon: Komachi Tomato Knife.

Exhibit B: Trays from Ikea

The trays we have don’t look like the ones above.  Ours have elephants and a blue/gold/yellow/orange  patterned design.  But they are long gone, from the Ikea 2009 collection.  If you like elephants, you are out of luck.  The birds are what you get for 2010.  But they are pretty cute, as well.   I got two of them for Ryan and I to use when we eat on the couch (which is…ahem…often) and our buddies AJ and Sean were so enamored by the ease of couch-eating the elephant trays provided that they went to Ikea and each got one of their own to leave at our house.  Isn’t that cute?  So now we can all watch American Idol together and eat our meals off perfectly-sized and easy-to-clean melamine trays from Ikea.  I’m into that.

Exhibit C: The Dutch Oven

So you want a dutch oven, but you are not rich and can’t afford a Le Creuset?  Not to fear—I am here to tell you that the Lodge Dutch Oven is a fine substitute at about 1/6 of the price.  Here is the secret.  Go to Amazon, search for “Lodge Dutch Oven.”  Pick the nice blue one above, because it is the cheapest, for some reason.  The other colors cost more.  Look below the picture—see that section where it says “Frequently Bought Together”?  That little metal knob is the key to success with this thing.  The Lodge Dutch Oven is shipped with a plastic knob that is oven-safe up to 400 degrees or so, but if you are going to use it to make no-knead bread or anything else that requires a high temperature, you will be faced with a melted plastic mess that will ruin any plans you might have had for using the dutch oven more than once. But if you get that little metal knob and replace the plastic one as soon as you get it, then you will be set for life.  Bonus: the little metal knob says “Le Creuset” on the top, so if you care about those things, there you go. Amazon: Lodge Dutch Oven.

Exhibit D: Egg Spatula

Confession: I am HORRIBLE at making eggs.  It’s because I don’t really like them.  I’ll eat eggs if they are scrambled up and disguised with the taste of cheese or pesto, but eating just an egg?  Not for me.  Ryan likes eggs, though, and I will sometimes make him two eggs in the morning before work.  I still think I am pretty bad at it, even after years of trying, but he eats them and claims they are just fine.  I think this little egg spatula is the reason I have any luck at all making those things.  It’s small and flexible enough to get under the egg and flip it perfectly, almost every time.  My mom found it at Marshall’s, but you can find it on Amazon as well, if you want a little egg spatula in your life: Egg Spatula.

Exhibit E: KitchenAid Mixer

So, I don’t use this every day.  It doesn’t fall into the same category as the four items above, but I love it nonetheless.  I was fortunate enough to receive the mixer as a hand-me-down from my aunt, and I immediately fell in love with it.  A mixer like this makes baking a snap, and I haven’t even scratched the surface of what I can do with it.  I want to try making pasta with some of the special attachments, and pizza dough with the dough hook.  But even just using it as a straight-up mixer is light years easier than anything I’ve used in the past.  I’ve seen good deals on these on the internet, but they never last long, so you have to be ready to buy when you come across one at a low price.

That is all for now!  What kind of kitchen gadgets can you not live without?



1. Tom - May 24, 2010

Heya, just a quick tip…

That cast iron dutch oven shows up about once a month on the Friday Sale. Just check in every week–you’ll save a bit over the standard everyday price. Good tip about the knob, though, I hadn’t seen that before.

I’ve also bought a ton of Calphalon hard-anodized aluminum cookware for very cheap on the Friday sale–http://www.amazon.com/Calphalon-Commercial-Hard-Anodized-12-Inch-Everyday/dp/B00006FX83/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1274730863&sr=1-1 is almost always there, but you can also occasionally find a nice grill pan or even a giant stock pot.

2. Sesame Noodles « Tuesdays with Angela: Making Food for Friends - May 27, 2010

[…] heating up to a boil, saute the veggies and tofu.  A dutch oven is perfect for this!  See my post Kitchen Items I Love for the one I […]

3. Mom Pilchak - June 1, 2010

When I saw that knife, I really wondered how good it would be. Very glad to hear it’s a keeper. The color is so great! The herb chopping board thing is the best! I know you didn’t show it, but I love that thing!!! I was glad you let me in on the secret! (ha)

4. Mom Pilchak - June 1, 2010

I too, like this little spatula! Once you master it (haha) it really works. You forget how light it is when you are flipping, at least I do sometimes:):)! G-ma was the first to give anything with an egg face on it. The egg beater is still with us!! So when I saw the spatula—–!

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[…] because it marks the first time in my LIFE I have ever hard-boiled an egg.  Remember when I told you I couldn’t really cook an egg?  That didn’t only apply to fried eggs…it applies […]

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