*This article has been updated May 2020 for accuracy and additions.
Give yourself a private kitchen shower – you deserve it
Now that winter is here, I am spending more time in my kitchen. I am also looking forward to the holiday season and some family gatherings with meals produced by ‘many cooks’ in my kitchen. It all leads me to upgrade some of my kitchen tools. I have traveled this summer and been a guest in other people’s kitchens. I have some good ideas to share with you.
These silicone measuring beakers feel good in my hand, have nylon cores for heat resistance to 650 degrees, are safe in the microwave, and they will not break if they get dropped when a ‘helper’ is making Mickey Mouse pancakes. The set of three includes 1, 2 and four cup beakers. I use a whisk to mix ingredients in the beaker and then snap on the lid to store my sauce/batter until I use it. In green or orange, $34.97.
These clear silicone measuring cups are microwave and dishwasher safe. They ‘pinch’ to pour easily from any spot on the rim. The body of the cup is textured for grip and the translucent silicone makes measurement easy. The four cup size doubles as a mixing bowl for the batter. The outside stays cool to the touch even with hot liquid inside. The silicone measuring cup -1, 2 and 4 cups for $24.95.
This stainless steel strainer/steamer is practical and folds away for storage in small apartments or full kitchen drawers. The handles are heat resistant, so drain that pasta with abandon. It is dishwasher safe. $29.95.
I don’t open cans very often (see articles on locavore, farm to table…) but it is winter and I have some great recipes which include canned tomatoes, beans and sometimes coconut milk. Bartelli has come up with a better mousetrap – I mean a better can-opener. Put this innovative opener in place on any size can, and it opens it automatically – without sharp edges. The resulting top is so perfect and smooth, you can use it as a lid on the can if you do not use all of the contents.
In blue, green or red. Requires four AA batteries. $25.
Cleaning Up? Subscriber Frannie B. swears by this Full Circle Bubble Up ceramic soap dispenser & dish brush set. The green plate in the ceramic base has a spring underneath. Add a little dish soap to the bowl, press down with the brush, and the bristles get soap – ready to clean your pans. When not in use, the brush rests, dry on the plate above the soap. The handle is bamboo and you can order replacement brushes. It is good looking, helps avoid wasted soap and ‘green’. There are a range of colors. 5” x 3” x 0.7”. $9.19.
These reusable silicone sponges can be used on non-stick cookware and they scrub the tough stuff – then you can toss them into the dishwasher. Choose from 8 colors. $9.
I like to cook with olive oil, and increasingly I use other, specialty oils. My mom has a pourer spout on her olive oil bottle which keeps all of the dust and most of the air out when she is not pouring. It is a great idea. This Jokari Silicone Pour Spout is a self-sealing spout so that no air can get in when it is upright. $7.95.
Seal these stoppers with the little cap when you are not using them. Keep oils and vinegars handy. Bartenders use these for liquor bottles. Two 12-Pack Stainless Steel Bottle Pourer Spout Cork Stopper Dispenser Olive Oil. Two for $5.90, six for $7.99.
Now I am thinking about specialty oils. Check out the ASE article to expand your repertoire at Specialty Oils
These citrus squeezers will give you convenient juice for your wintertime Vitamin C. They are durable and have a special design to give you great leverage and therefore more juice out of each fruit.
Lemon Juicer $23.00.
Orange Juicer $27.98.
We have a ritual on Sunday mornings in our household which involves my granddaughters and Mickey Mouse. We make pancakes or eggs in the shape of Mickey, and they decorate them with chopped up fruit. The red silicone pancake ring is 6.1 inches by 5.3 inches. It says that it is dishwasher safe, but several reviews suggest washing by hand and that is what I do. It is expensive at $22.99, but trust me, the smiles will be worth it. Pancake/Egg Mickey.
Want more? The following ASE articles all involve new kitchen tools.
Sous Vide Cooking (pronounced Sue-veed).