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Have Fun With Food: Labor Saving Kitchen Cooking Gadgets

Gabriel Wilson loves to cook, eat tasty foods, and drink a glass of wine—without having to do the washing up.

I Love Lots of Garlic in My Hummus

Homemade Hummus

Homemade Hummus

Are You a Gadget Lover?

Gadgets can be great fun, but not always great at the job they're supposed to do. I've looked into a few gadgets I myself use religiously when I cook. I admit some are a little tricky at first, but once you are familiar the job in hand is easily done.

I have listed four gadgets that I have personally bought and used from Amazon: a garlic crusher, a vegetable chopper, a mushroom brush and a mandaline slicer, I use all four gadgets regularly in my kitchen and I highly recommend any cook to invest in these efficient easy to clean time saving kitchen gadgets.

I've added a few at the bottom I have yet to demonstrate, but found intriguing. Are you the chef in the house? It may be time to add a few desirable instruments to your pots and pans. It's often the thought of preparing food before we even cook it, that can be a major put off. Buying prepared foods is costly, so it may be time to invest wisely and fill your presses with a few handy kitchen gadgets to cut down on the time you spend in the kitchen preparing meals.

  • Love Garlic:

Garlic is my pet hate to prepare, crush, dice, slice, mash, whatever... It's also the smell of the garlic left on my fingers tips that I don't much care for. I have the solution, one that works a treat: My garlic crusher (FIG 1).

Garlic butter with mushrooms, or steak. Garlic bread. Garlic prawns. Garlic in soups, stews and stir fry's. Garlic sauces and chutneys not to mention hummus and pesto. Roasted garlic with potatoes, tomatoes or a joint of meat. I love garlic and I love my garlic crusher more.

  • Love Onions:

Where would we be without onions? Tasty white onions and sweet red onions. Chopped in salsa, soups, sauces, stuffing's, tarts, pastries, burgers, meat balls, potato salad, coleslaw, dips and marinades; must I go on... Where would I be without my onion slicer? Crying into my coleslaw no doubt.

  • Love Vegetables:

I won't admit to being a huge lover of vegetables, however I do enjoy them in a soup, stew, casserole or roasted with garlic. As long as I don't spend hours chopping I will try anything - with my veggie chopper (FIG 2) that's exactly what I can do, try anything. I also really like three other veggie gadgets.

My Mushroom Brush

This little gadget is fabulous (FIG 3). Mushrooms hold a lot of water as it is, so washing them not only adds more water but steals their earthy flavour. This brush has gentle but effective bristles to wipe your mushrooms clean.

My Corn holders

I do like corn on the cob. BBQ corn on the cob or griddled corn on the cob is really tasty and good for you. A big blob of garlic butter and I'm thrilled, delicious. Using corn holders for this tasty finger food means easy to eat, no mess corn on the cob and I don't have to wait for the corn to cool. Perfect.

My Mandoline

I do have another favorite vegetable dish; thinly sliced potatoes layered liberally with diced onion and crushed garlic in a deep bottom oven dish, drizzle with olive oil and top with knobs of butter. Season well and place in the oven on a medium setting for about 30 minutes (until soft in the middle, but crisp on the top). My mandoline slicer (FIG 4) comes in very handy with this dish. The mandoline is a real handy gadget for slicing vegetables thinly and makes great veggie chips.

  • Love Citrus:

How often do you add orange, lime or lemon zest to a dressing, salad, dip, sauce, soup, marinade, soufflé or cocktail. Whether it's a starter, a main contender or your just desserts, zest is always at the helm.

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A winter warmer or a summer cooler from mulled wine to lemon sorbet, zest is best and a zest-er is even better.

  • Apple Lover:

Applesauce with pork. Apple pie or apple crumple. Sticky toffee apples with custard.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, peel, core, chop and eat. In that particular order using an apple peeler will get the job done so much more easier.

  • Cherry Lover:

Popping cherries is a must when making cherry pie, gorgeous cherry cheesecake, sweet cherry jam or a scrummy cherry sauce. It's a delight to pop a cherry with a cherry pitter. This gadget is really cool and great fun to use.

FIG 1) My Garlic Crusher: garlic plays a huge part in my cooking however I have long tired of peeling and chopping; I love my durable easy to clean garlic crush

FIG 2) My Brilliant Veg Chopper: no more tears when I chop onions and excellent for chopping all vegetables and fruit even crushes ice

Make Homemade Bahjis and Delicious Soups Easy With a Vegetable Chopper

Homemade Onion Bahjis

Homemade Onion Bahjis

Easy Homemade Soups

Easy Homemade Soups

Brush Your Mushrooms for The Best Results: no more soggy, watery mushrooms

Delicious Mushrooms in Garlic Butter

Delicious Mushrooms in Garlic Butter

FIG 3) My Mushroom Brush: I gave every cook I know one of these for Christmas: excellent fine bristles, gentle and effective to remove the grit and dirt and eas

Make Easy Dauphinoise Potatoes With a Mandoline Slicer

Thinly Sliced Potatoes

Thinly Sliced Potatoes

FIG 4) My Mandoline Slicer: this is the ultimate gadget for vegetable lovers, ideal for thin potatoes; I also use it to make veggie chips

Gadget Down Load...

Below listed are a few more gadets and ones I use regularly in my kitchen. I would put my digital food probe down as one of the most essentail gadets that I own and I would list my panini toaster as my daughters favorite gadget.

  • Get Probing:

I hate to admit it, but I'm a CERIAL meat cutter. When I cook meat in a pan, under the grill or in the oven: I have to cut it. Why? to see if the meat is cooked through of course!

To be honest I know perfectly well, that the worst thing you can do to a prospective succulent piece of meat is cut it before it's cooked. When you cut through the meat all the juices that keep the meat juicy and tender leak into the pan and stay in the pan. The chewy bit of meat that's left is your average rubbery meat.

How can you solve the problem? The middle of your meat reaches the perfect temperature when perfectly cooked. All you have to do, is read the temperature of the meat with a kitchen probe thermometer, simply insert the probe into the center of the meat or the thickest part. The temperature reading will show if the meat is cooked through or not. Say goodbye to tough meats and more importantly undercooked meats.

  • Stop Stirring:

I have wiped my kitchen surfaces more times than I care to know. Mostly it's when I make a soup, casserole or stew. It's always important to stir these dishes from time to time and of course to taste for seasoning.

Oh! the spoon... where it lies... and where to put it... on my spoon rest of course. No more messy counters for me.

  • Pastry in Line:

Why is it when you try to cut your pastry with a plain old knife from your cutlery drawer, it never works?

The pastry always gets stuck to the knife blade and drives me nuts. I'm bewildered! Oh! for an easy life. A pastry cutter is just what I need.

  • Cakes or Us:

I'm all for different shapes and sizes, it adds balance to the world. From a posh scone to a kids cookie, it's all about fun.

Now I've got all the perfect sizes... and the perfect selection of cake cutters to make dozens of different shapes.

  • Pizza Base or Pastry Case:

Roll out your pizza base or your pastry case with ease using a retro slim french rolling pin.

I love this rolling pin because it doesn't take up a lot of space in my kitchen drawer like the traditional wooden rolling pins do.

  • Weigh it Up:

The exact amount or measurement of ingredients is often crucial in cooking and baking recipes.

Invest in a good quality kitchen scales and prevent any mishaps: uncooked cakes; flat souffles; dry breads before they get a chance of happening.

  • Griddle with Ease:

I must admit I use my panini griddler all the time. It makes the best panini and toasted sandwiches ever. This is truly my daughter's favorite gadet of all time.

Saturday mornings would never be the same without my beloved panini maker and my layered sandwich of crispy bacon, melted brie cheese, finely diced spring onions and freshly sliced tomatoes panini toasted with pickled gherkins, mustard mayo and lastly topped with bbq sauce. To use the word delicious, would be underrated.

Funky and Fun...

The gadgets described below are new on my list of must have kitchen utensils.

  • A gadget for cooking eggs in the microwave is definitely on my Christmas list. Eggcellent!
  • As for the other handy gadgets trial and error will soon tell. Although a tea maker sounds like my kinda gadget. I wonder does it deliver tea in bed? Now that's a must have gadget surely!
  • A cake maker sure sounds like my kinda gadget. There's nothing better than a big slice of cake and a mug of tea.
  • I like the idea of fun fridge magnets. It's a great way of sending out those messages that you are too polite to say in person. I recently saw one that said: Make you're self at home, clean my kitchen :)
  • Lastly it's got to be a breakfast tray. There's a big hint behind this gadget if any one who knows me is reading this. Breakfast in bed please...

Slow Cooking is Cool

My last gadet is the most efficent yet one of the oldest gadgets: a slow cooker. Slow cooking is one of the easiest ways to cook. One of the great things about slow cooking is everything goes in one pot, like a stew or casserole. Another great thing of course is you don't have to stay in the kitchen and supervise the cooking. You can do something else... go for a walk; do a bit of gardening; relax with a book; chase the kids.

Get Cooking

Why not put your culinary skills and fancy gadgets to good use and whip up a Sunday lunch for all the family to enjoy. A Sunday roast with all the trimmings...

The perfect way to end the week.

  • Calorie counted Roast Sunday lunch
    Chose a nice lean tender joint of topside beef for roasting. You will need 1 1/2 Ib in weight. Cook your joint for 20 min per pound for rare beef, 30 min for rare medium and 40 min for medium well. We 're...

© 2010 Gabriel Wilson

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