December 21, 2009

LAST MINUTE STOCKING STUFFERS FOR THE HOME CHEF

 KITCHEN TOOLS
EVERY HOME CHEF
SHOULD NOT BE WITHOUT


1. SILICONE SPATULA ~ the essential tool for getting every last bit clinging to a bowl, container, or jar. The silicone spatula is non-stick, so it’s perfect for candy-making (caramels, marshmallows, etc.). They’re heat resistant (usually up to about 600 degrees f), so they’re perfect for stirring pots of hot stuff on the stove.


2. MICROPLANE GRATER ~ eliminates the need for such costly tools as a zester, nutmeg grater, and fine cheese grater. The microplane is positively the best zester for your citrus. Works beautifully on hard cheeses for a fine grate, and is a whiz with nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon sticks and fresh ginger. Makes those delicious little chocolate shavings on your hot cocoa too!

3. BENCH SCRAPER ~ makes clean-up a breeze. Great for cleaning crumbs from the table, removing flour and sticky dough from a counter or board, and carmelized bits from your stainless steel pans. You can find bench-scrapers in the kitchen section of most stores, or for an inexpensive option, try a broad plastic putty knife from your local hardware store . It’ll cost you just under a dollar.

4. KITCHEN SHEARS ~ not just for snipping open packages, kitchen shears are major multi-taskers. They are wonderful for snipping fresh herbs and a must-have for parents: kitchen shears make cutting kid-foods like quesadillas, grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza, and even long spaghetti in to bite-size and smaller sized portions easy. Making crustless PB&J for your child’s lunch? Make the sandwich, then use your kitchen shears to snip the crusts directly into the trash (or your snack plate). Some times it just makes more sense to snip than slice.

5. INSTANT READ THERMOMETER ~ kitchen thermometers are handy dandy, but if you have to pick just one, get yourself an instant-read. This tool is invaluable when cooking any type of meat. Simply insert in the thickest part of the meat to know exactly when to remove from oven, pan, or grill. It’s also great for checking the temperature of liquids when making a yeast bread, and for checking the inner temp of breads while they’re baking (no more mushy middle banana loaves). Reheating left-overs? Avoid the scalding finger method, and prevent potential food-borne illness caused by improperly reheated food by simply checking the temperature. Just make sure you don’t leave the thermometer in whatever you are cooking. These guys are not oven-proof.

WHAT IS YOUR KITCHEN "MUST HAVE"?

3 comments:

  1. I could not be without my coffee maker. It is the first thing I have to have in the morning. I am a addict!

    I also like the meat tester, and the scraper. I have an old fashioned can opener. Not an electric one. I have an electric wine opener. It makes getting into a new bottle so much faster.

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  2. I love my Kitchen Aide, my ice cream scoops of different sizes so I can use them for cookies and filling muffins and pouring pancakes and waffles.

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  3. When I see pictures like this, it makes me excited about becoming a parent!

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