Favorite Gadgets

These are some of my all-time favorite kitchen gadgets. This list doesn't include necessities like
knives and bowls -- just the fun, nice-to-haves that really make kitchen tasks more fun. They're not in any particular order because I can't bear to make them jealous. They each think that they're my favorite.

Stand mixer. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways! For mixing bread dough, cookies, batters, frosting -- you spin me right 'round, baby, right 'round.

Microplane. Grates stuff like nutmeg, chocolate, parmesan, garlic, and citrus peels in a jiffy. This little tool adds zest to my life.

Rice cooker. Or should I say rice cookers? One for the hubby and kids who like white rice. One for me because I like whole grains. My cookers will cook everything from white, brown, and sweet rice to porridges and cake -- and then keep them warm! The timer feature makes it a snap to have food ready at a particular time. Want steel cut oats for breakfast? The night before, just set it and forget it! I love Zojirushi's fuzzy logic, too. It might take longer to cook rice than other brands do, but rice turns out perfectly every time.
Manual food processor. My dad brought this slicer/grater back from Amish country for me. The best way to describe it is an old-fashioned manual food processor. I think the brand name is King Kutter. It has various interchangeable cone-shaped slicers for making different types of cuts. It works surprisingly quickly with very little noise -- just a pleasant whirring sound as the cutter slices into your fruit or veg. Added bonus -- whenever I pull this out of the cabinet, the kids fall over themselves to help.
Immersion blender. Gone are the days when I'd have to pour soup from pot to blender to a bowl and finally back to pot in batches. This thing is easy to use, easy to clean. No extra dishes to dirty. And it's great for other stuff like smoothies, sauces, batters, and dressings, too.

Mortar and pestle. I know this is sort of old-fashioned, but if I only have a few spices or a couple cloves of garlic to pound, this works quickly and quietly. Like the King Kutter, it also has great kid appeal. Got to get those little hands helping in the kitchen!
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