With back-to-school time comes the desire to rejuvenate our kitchens and get our culinary mojo back in gear. Those weeknight dinners aren’t going to make themselves! And a few new kitchen gadgets might put a little pep in those dinner preparations, and maybe make the kids more excited to roll up their sleeves and help out, learning one of the more valuable life skills around.
Here are a few of my favorite new toys for the kitchen–yes, some of them might be a bit gimmicky, and we all have to think about how to allocate our kitchen storage space, BUT we all need a few new kitchen gadgets every now and again!
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Let's start off by saying that this has a serious blade in it, so if you are using this with children you’ll need to supervise very closely. It’s a tiny mandoline, perfect for smaller vegetables, and it does have a food chamber and a pusher so that your fingers are protected as you slice. An angled, stainless steel blade cuts small vegetables into even slices quickly and safely. It closes up compactly and safely for storage. It’s perfect for small vegetables like mushrooms, Brussels sprouts and radishes, which can be sautéed, used in salads, and more. I had a great time playing with a bunch of vegetables and ended up with this gorgeous salad.
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This functions as a regular cutting board as well, but at one end there is a channel for putting tube-shape vegetables (such as zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, with slots on each side, so you can cut clean, even slices just by inserting your knife in the grooves. Nice for anyone who is not so happy with their knife skills, and with an age-appropriate knife and a softer vegetable, this cold help the kids start to get comfortable with slicing. A rubber rim around the bottom helps hold the cutting board in place.
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I definitely didn’t think I wanted this….until I saw it in action. What I love about it is that you can cut onions into thick slabs, then pop them in, and end up with perfect diced onion, which sometimes is just so much nicer than roughly chopped onion. Fewer tears as well, since speed things up. And of course you can use it for other vegetables and fruits as well.
It has a convenient opening for easy pouring without lifting the lid and the removable grid helps clean between the chopper blades and snaps back into place after removal for easy on-board storage. A 2 1/2-cup capacity body collects chopped food and non-slip base provides stability while chopping.
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While a sharp heavy knife is all you really need to chop herbs, this is fun for kids who are old enough to be near sharp blades. You use two hands for better handling, control, and increased grip cut and mince your favorite fresh herbs by rolling the cutter back and forth (it looks like you’re holding a little driver’s wheel). With a push of a button, the gadget folds flat for compact storage in your kitchen shelf. The blades are detachable for easy cleaning and everything is dishwasher safe.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Ok, why would you ever need a gadget to peel eggs? Because this peels your eggs perfectly, so your deviled eggs look great and flawless, and you don’t lose any of the white as you are peeling it, diminishing your egg salad yield. You just boil your eggs, give them a quick dunk in an ice bath, put them in the Negg and shake 4 to 8 times, and then the shell peels off easily and completely, leaving you with a pristine hard boiled egg. And it’s fun; you might be fighting with your kids to see who gets to shake the eggs. BPA-free and dishwasher safe.
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Even if you have a couple of liquid measuring cups, you may want to check out these squeezable versions. The honeycomb pattern on the outside dissipates heat and keeps hands protected, and the flexible silicone is microwave safe and ideal for melting butter, chocolate and more. The most important part is that the body and spout are flexible for easy, precise pouring – you can gently squeeze it as you pour out the contents, so it can get sauce into the narrow opening of pitcher without dribbling everywhere, for instance, or help transfer hot soup to jars. The three piece set includes one 2-cup, one 1-cup and one 1/2 cup measuring cup. Dishwasher safe and BPA free.