Kitchen Gadgets 101

I love to cook and I love to try new recipes.  I feel like I have a pretty good feel for my kitchen and I know my way around a stovetop but every once in a while, a recipe will call for a tool or technique that I’m not familiar with.  And I know I’m not the only one out there who can be a little bewildered sometimes.  How do I zest something without a “zester” or “Do I really need a baster or will a long spoon suffice?”  I won’t even get into the basics that my husband has asked me sometimes “What’s a strainer?”  or “How do I use this? [holding up a spatula]”

    Here are 5 common kitchen gadgets and utensils that I use all the time and you might too:

  1. Zester - instead of using it for citrus peels, I grate garlic into sauces or salad dressings.
  2. Food processor - my husband gave me a gorgeous CuisinArt food processor for Christmas a few years back and I was thrilled!  I took me a few tries to master all the blades but my new favorite is the shredder.  Brussels sprouts and cabbage slaw galore!
  3. Kitchen shears - or in common terms, scissors.  I love my kitchen shears for everything from cutting herbs to twine to trimming fat.  
  4. Ramekins - these little white dishes are workhorses in my kitchen.  I have a million of them and use them all the time for salt & pepper on the counter, for little nibbles of nuts when friends are over or even making mini apple crisps for my two guys.
  5. Boos cutting board - I guess it’s not technically a gadget or utensil but I don’t know how I could live without this massive piece of wood.  It’s literally the foundation on which I start every meal from breakfast through dinner.  Honestly, the bigger the better on this one - I’ve had smaller cutting boards and I’m constantly having to clean up little pieces of minced onion all over my countertops.  A nice big cutting board makes prep and clean up so much easier.

Kitchen utensils and tools are essential to making meal prep quick and easy.  The more comfortable you are in the kitchen, the faster it will be to put together healthy meals and the more you will like to cook, I promise!  Don’t be intimidated by certain products.  Challenge yourself to try them out for a week at a time and see how proud you will be of your new found skills.