Every year I compile a list of my top ten favorite kitchen gadgets and tools and forward it an email to all of my family and friends… this holiday season is no exception, only I’m sharing it with all of you wonderful and kitchen savvy mamas out there.
My list covers the bases for the tried and true foodie. The newbie who’s never been into kitchen stuff much. The one who can appreciate something a little out there or the mom’s that are just looking for that extra hand in the kitchen. Let’s not forget kiddos that want to be in the kitchen with you!
I hope you enjoy your holidays and let me know your thoughts on these products – I love to hear your feedback!
Joseph Joseph Index Plus
CHOPPING BOARD SET WITH COORDINATING KNIVES:
Let’s talk about making life easy… not only easy… SAFE! Cross-contamination is something I’m always worried about in my kitchen. Sometimes the kids are pulling at me three ways when I’m preparing meals and it’s easy to get confused and forget what cutting board or knife you used for what. (i.e. poultry, fish, raw meat, veggies) The Joseph Joseph Index Plus set is deigned to reduce the likelihood of cross-contamination, providing four individual chopping boards with four matching knives. It’s a no brainer! It’s color-coded and has it’s own illustrated tab, indicating which food type it should be used for! Priced at $80.00 it’s a steal! You’d spend more than that on one cutting board or knife alone. It’s dishwasher safe, and has a sleek design that would fit in just about any kitchen!
13 CUP FOOD PROCESSOR
I know everyone has a food processor and it’s probably the last thing you’re thinking about as a new and exciting gift to give… but how many times have you actually thought about NOT using your food processor because it’s just such a hassle to get open, click into place and well, by the time you’re done most of what you’re making is running down the outside of the machine, rather than inside the bowl where it should be! This is just about the only food processor I’ve seen out there that does it right! The Kitchen Aid 13 Cup Food Processor makes food processing fun! It has something called ExactSlice which means that you don’t need to adjust a million blades and dismantle the machine to change the way you slice something. It easily adjusts from thick to thin slicing just by sliding a lever from left to right on the outside. It’s perfect to accurately slice strawberries, oranges, bananas… fruit salad yummy yummy anyone? And that’s just what it does to slice things! It locks into place easily, so you won’t be fumbling around with it and I guarantee you that it will not leak! It’s got a locking system designed to prevent messes and makes sure everything stays inside of the bowl! It also comes with two work bowls, five different blades and is dishwasher safe. In typical KitchenAid fashion, it comes in four really cool colors so even if you have to leave it on the countertop if you don’t have storage space to stow it away, it’ll match your kitchen no matter what! Priced at $249.99 it’s an investment that’s worth every penny in my book! You won’t realize how much more you’ll be inclined to use it, it’s that easy! Did I mention the 1-year no hassle guarantee… love me some KitchenAid!!
27 PIECE FOUNDATION SET
Can’t leave the kids off of this list!! This is the perfect gift for those little chefs out there who are inspired to be in the kitchen, or if you WANT them to be inspired to be in the kitchen to get creative with you! Curious Chef has put together a kitchen set made with your little ones just in mind! With a chef’s hat, apron, mitts, 3 quart mixing bowl set, kitchen timer, measuring cups & spoons, rolling pin, wish, spatula, pastry brush, cookie cutters and more… it is a real line of kitchen tools! This isn’t just some plastic break away toy… these are the real deal. They’re top grade kitchen tools designed to be safe and ergonomically easy for children to use. Priced at $59.99 for the set. They also have a ton of other fantastic kitchen gadgets for your little ones… build your own set!
This one has to be one of my faves on the list! The MINT PLUS PRO CLEAN is the bomb dot com! This is not your average automatic floor cleaner. This machine both sweeps and mops hard surface floors using dry or pre moistened cleaning cloths. I use this machine daily. I don’t have to bend over, get out a dust pan and sweep or even… I gasp as I say this… I don’t even need a mop! Who has time for that! This automatic floor cleaner gets your floor clean and is efficient! It comes with NorthStar Navigation, that’s basically maps an indoor GPS of your house and it keeps track of where the MINT has gone and where it needs to go. It makes a map of the area as it goes, marking walls, obstacles and drop offs as it comes across them! It’s wireless and charges in under 2 hours. I tell you, after I cook dinner for the kids and after all day long standing up running after them, this is my relief. I let my MINT PRO CLEAN on the loose and I literally walk into a kitchen with spotless floors in minutes! You need a MINT PRO CLEAN in your life. Trust me. Put this on your list of must haves! Priced at $329.99 for the work that it does and the time that you will save. Your back will thank me.
ULTIMATE CITRUS TOOL
Let’s start this out by saying, what products don’t we love by Microplane? They have it all figured out when it comes to gadgets and tools for the kitchen! On my list this year is the Ultimate Citrus Tool…. Cocktails anyone? Perfect for making restaurant style garnishes for drinks, entrees or desserts! Grate cheese for salads or even chocolate or nutmeg for warm beverages, zest lime for a key lime pie! It has razor sharp stainless steel cutting edges and is perfectly dishwasher safe. It’s got an ergonomic soft grip handle so it’s not going to be slipping and sliding all over the place… and what I love most is the adorable colors it comes in! Adorable lemon yellow or lively lime green! Priced at $12.95 it’ll make the perfect stocking stuffer for the foodie in your life!
Anolon Nouvelle Copper Stainless Steel
Do you have a favorite piece of cookware? You know the one that you reach for the most and use to cook just about everything in? Well this one is mine! The 12” French Skillet from Anolon Nouvelle Copper Stainless Steel cooks evenly and cleans even easier. There are no rivets inside of the pan so there’s really nothing to clean around. It’s a smooth even surface that cooks everything perfectly every time. With even heat distribution and how well it holds the temperature, even if you’re the type that likes to cook on high heat… this one’s for you! You can go from cooking right on the stove to throwing this in the oven! It’s also not super heavy so you don’t need to worry about lifting it up. With a lifetime guarantee, it’s one of those pans that are going to last you a lifetime! Reasonably priced at $79.99, it’s a great value. If you can swing having someone buy you the set for the holidays… do it! Cooking will become so much more fun!
Four Piece Steak Knife Set in red
Add a splash of color to your table setting while using extraordinarily sharp knives that won’t dull on you! I’m a huge fan of Wusthof knives in general. They were actually the first set of professional quality knives that I acquired my first year in Culinary School. I love them and stand by them religiously. This Four Piece Knife Set in Red is fun, durable and man oh man can they slice like “buttah” through steaks, pork and poultry! They’re fantastic for every day use and because it’s forged from a single piece of high carbon steel, it won’t stain and will keep it’s sharp edge longer! They’re not super heavy, ginormous knives… they’re just the right fit… and I’m loving the red color they come in. This set of four knives is priced at $149.95 and your friends just might start showing up with steaks to BBQ at your house just cause they wanna use your knives… yes, I’m serious. Ok, maybe not show up with steaks… but they’re gonna love those knives!
Speakers? Now I know you’re probably thinking to yourself how is this a kitchen tool and why is this on a top ten list for kitchen gadgets… well allow me to explain myself! When I am in the kitchen I love to put on some of my favorite tunes and get into my groove of cooking! I sing. I dance. Yes, I dance! My kids even join me sometimes! We have the best time! I don’t really have room for a big stereo or boom box thingie on my counter and these speakers are just the perfect size and offer the right boom boom boom! Don’t let the size fool you! The X-Mini Capsule Speakers deliver quality sound despite their pocket size! As their saying goes… “We are small, but it’s not the size that matters!” Ya gotta laugh!
The best part is, all you have to do is hook it up to your mobile phone, MP3 Player or even your laptop and you can be boogie-ing and bumping to the Black Eyed Peas and makin a fool of your self in your kitchen in a matter of seconds! They come in a few colors and they snap down to no larger than the palm of your hand! Priced at $19.90 for the system, this is my best bargain on the list!
Stainless Steel Wine Saver Gift Set
Wine, oh wine how do I love thee. Sometimes after a rough day, as a mom, a wife, a worker bee… you’d like to just sit back and slowly sip (or gulp… hey I don’t judge) a nice glass of wine. Just one…. Maybe two… but you’re not looking to finish the entire bottle all in one sitting. Well this affordable and precise wine saver from Vacu Vin will save you from turning that expensive wine in to expensive vinegar! The Vacu Vin Stainless Steel Wine Saver Gift Set uses a manual vacuum pump to extract the air of an open bottle and will reseal it with a reusable rubber stop. It’s the same quality that is used in most restaurants and it will help slow down the oxidation keeping your wine fresh for 7-10 days! Priced at 19.95, it’ll save you more in the value of the wine alone in just a few uses! Makes a fantastic stocking stuffer for the wine enthusiast in your life!
Herb-Savor Mini Pod
Last but certainly not least on my list has to be on of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while. As a chef I know that I like to cook with fresh herbs… it’s the staple to a cook’s kitchen! I know there are many home chefs out there that like to do the same. I’m lucky that I have a little herb garden, so it’s super handy for me to just run outside, snip snip snip and pick what I want. But, I have a friend who doesn’t have quite as green of a thumb as I do (It’s not that green) and she’s constantly buying those fresh herb packets from the supermarket. She probably spends about ten bucks a week on them… they dry out and become mushy so fast! Well, the Herb-Savor Mini Pod from Prepara ends all of that! Time to think green and prolong the life of your fresh herbs! These pods will actually preserve the life of your fresh herbs for up to three weeks! You just need to place your clean fresh herbs in the pod and then fill the stopper with water and voila! It’s BPA free, fits inside of a refrigerator door, which means that it’ll always be in constant view and won’t rot in some drawer in your fridge… and is dishwasher safe. Not to mention, it’s really modern and cool looking! Oh, you can also use it to keep your asparagus fresh too! The perfect storage gadget! Priced at $29.99 for a set of three.