One of my favorite things about cooking is all the modern utensils that are available to help make every step just a little bit easier. Some items are almost a little too frivolous nowadays. A mango pitter? Special knife just for cutting watermelon? Banana slicer?
I'd like to think that my little gadget indulgences are at least a little bit practical and I'd like to share 10 of my all time favorites with you...
- Strawberry Huller. ($7.95) My friend Marcia gave me one of these for my birthday and I had never used or thought that I needed one. Wrong. Now, with strawberries in season, it gets pulled out once a week to effortlessly pluck their little green tops off without sacrificing too much of the actual fruit.
- Garlic Peeler. ($9.00) I've always silently cursed garlic for being so darn difficult to peel. It's sticky and there are a million layers and it makes your fingers reek for days. With this simple, silicon tube you just stick the garlic bulb inside, roll back and forth and voila! You're done.
- Citrus Reamer. ($3.95) I use lemon juice for just about everything. On fish, chicken, vegetables or to add a little flavor to water. A reamer is great for squeezing literally every little bit of lemon (or any citrus fruit) juice out.
- Salad Dressing Mixer. ($14.95) A dressing mixer is a must-have in every kitchen cabinet. Just add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, some mustard, salt and pepper to stir up a simple and delicious homemade dressing.
- Silicone Basting Brush. ($10.00) Use it to apply egg on pastries, BBQ sauce on chicken, olive oil on vegetables.
- Cherry/Olive Pitter. ($7.95) Okay, this one is a teeny bit indulgent but it's so, so convenient and everyone's accidentally bit down on a pit and almost chipped a tooth, right? Simply place your pitted food item inside the little holder and press down to remove the tooth/choking hazard.
- Ice Cream Scooper. ($12.95) Just say no to using a regular spoon for scooping your ice cream. Seriously, there's something so nostalgic and just a tad fancy about using one of these classic kitchen gadgets. Bonus Tip: Soak in hot water beforehand to make serving dessert even easier!
- Grapefruit Spoons. ($4.00) Grapefruits are so much more enjoyable when all you have to do is slide a little serrated spoon into each citrus wedge. That's what she said. I'm sorry, I couldn't help it.
- Bamboo Skewers. ($6.95) Pair these with a plate of meats, cheeses, pitted olives, fruit, tea sandwiches or other mini appetizers for dainty nibbling.
- Egg Poach Pods. ($9.95) Poaching eggs is a bitch. But not when you use these little beauties. Boil a few inches of water in a pan and float the greased-up silicone poach pods. Crack an egg in to each and you'll have a perfectly poached egg in only a few minutes.