My Favorite Kitchen Gadgets

I was trimming the fat off our chicken tonight thinking about how much I love my kitchen shears.  That gave me the idea for this post.  Yes, I need a life.  Anyway here are my favorite kitchen gadgets.  I define gadget as something under $20 (since all these are under $20) that stands up to daily use/washing.  Okay that definition makes no sense.

Stay tuned for another post containing my favorite kitchen investments (including my stainless salad spinner that I received last year and use every day for so many things other than spinning salads).

Kitchen Shears — $10-20

I’m pretty sure I got my Silvermark kitchen shears at Target for $10, but you can also get Wustoff shears that may last longer at Williams-Sonoma for $20.  Make sure the blades are stainless steel, and make sure they pull apart for cleaning, and better yet make sure they are dishwasher safe.  I use them to cut off chicken fat(which alone makes them worthwhile), cut meat/poultry/fish into small pieces, cut herbs, cut scallions or green onions, open bags of vegetables, etc.

Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons — $10

I’m not a big fan of measuring when I cook, but when I’m baking (and I have to) I love my stainless steel measuring spoons.  Always accurate, never stain and so easy to clean.  I have plastic measuring spoons, and I never use them.

Tiny Stainless Steel Spoons — $3 each

I picked 4 of these tiny spoons up at Crate and Barrel last year on a whim, when all the hooplah came out about dangerous chemicals in plastics for children… the nightly news was instructed me not to use plastic spoons for my kids.  These spoons are a little small for my 3 year old (he prefers a regular teaspoon), but he is willing to use these little ones when we’re out and about town (nice and small to pack).  They are the perfect size for my 1 year old.  We have the forks too.  Also, they are the perfect size spoon to serve with my adult tea cups when I have my friends over for book club or whatever.  They are much higher quality than the stainless flatware that is meant for children (e.g., these do not bend, etc.).  This hammered stainless look is pretty popular at Crate & Barrel, if you happen to like it.

Garlic Press — $18

All this does is press garlic, but I use it every day to quickly add garlic to anything.

2-Cup Pyrex Glass Measuring Cup — $10

I have 3 of these 2-Cup Glass Measuring Cups, and I use them every day.  They are microwave/oven/dishwasher/freezer safe.  On hot summer days, I heat water in my tea kettle then add 2 tea bags and the hot water to this cup, then pour the brewed tea over ice.  Pyrex just makes the best liquid measuring cups in my opinion.  Mine doesn’t have a plastic lid like this one, and I don’t think I’d really use the lid either.

Pyrex Bakeware — $5-8

We have had lots of different expensive types of bakeware, and this regular old 2-quart cassarole is the piece I reach for every night to bake our main dish (e.g., chicken, fish, cassaroles, lasagne, brownies, you name it, etc.).  You can’t beat this price and I love how easy it is to clean.  They carry this stuff at Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Linens N Things, Williams-Sonoma, etc.  It takes a couple of times of cooking with glass to learn how it cooks (faster, in case you haven’t used it before).  I’m also a big fan of the pie dish for $6.  I get all my Pyrex at Target.

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