Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Gadget Line-Up and a Little Chinese Love

PoshMama article for this week:

Today is gadget day! I was thinking about what gadgets I couldn't live without, but convincing everyone that they need a can opener, a spatula and a whisk would be pointless. Instead, I thought about utensils that make cooking easier and more fun. (Psst, all of the gadget photos are links to where you can find them online.)

First we have this little guy right here:

I never realized how handy a dough scraper (or dough cutter or baker's scraper) was until I started using one. Sure it separates dough like a champ, but it also cleans off your countertops after you've rolled out dough. You don't even need to get a rag dirty, just let the mess dry for a few minutes, then scrape it all into the garbage can! You can use this to scoop up chopped veggies from your cutting board, too.

Next up is this sleek number:

Oh, how I love my microplane grater! I used to hate using citrus zest in recipes because it was so hard to scrape the stuff out of the grater holes. Not a problem here. This razor-sharp grater comes in all different shapes and sizes. I use mine mostly for citrus zest, hard cheeses, and fresh ginger, but you can use it for anything you'd use a grater for -- even whole spices like nutmeg or cloves. I always get giddy when I take mine out of its sheath and use it. (I'm such a dork.)

Now for the grand finale:

"A knife? Oh REAL creative, Nat."

I'm not joking around with this one. Do you hate chopping vegetables? Well, that's probably because your knife is about as sharp as the backside of a spoon. (Unless you honestly hate chopping vegetables, but if you had one of these babies, I don't think you would.) Good, sharp knives aren't cheap, but you don't need to buy 20 different ones. At the very least, invest in one good chef's knife to replace all the cheap-o ones you have in your "knife drawer". (I know you have one. Everyone does :))

The shape of the one above enables you to chop til your heart's content without your knuckles hitting the cutting board or having to use your pointer finger to press the blade down. The brand of the one above is great, too. Cutco is another great brand, and they're supposed to stay sharp forever.

Just be careful and don't cut yourself. It happens. Yep, that's my thumb.

And now I go completely off topic to introduce this week's recipe. Before I do, I do not, in anyway, proclaim to be an authority on Chinese cuisine. In fact, the Chinese would probably laugh at this recipe if they knew it had cream of chicken soup in it. BUT, in honor of Chinese New Year (Feb 7th), I thought you might want to brush up on your chopstick skills with this yummy stir-fry casserole dish.

(Since I posted this recipe on my blog already, I'll just link you to it :))


Chelsea said...

okay, I don't know about that knife, simply because I've never used it, but I had this roommate of mine who would go to the oriental/asian/chinese stores here in Provo and got this awesome supersharp knife that looks similar to that. And it was only around $3, however it didn't stay sharp forever, I must say, after about 2-3 months they'd toss that knife and go buy a new one and seriously, it was AMAZING. Although, I just did the math, you could get a new cheapo knife every 2-3 mos for the next 4 to 4.5 years and it would equal the same $ amount as spending the $70 now...and if that $70 knife would last 10 yrs or so, I'd invest in that.

I totally have to get a dough scraper. It's actually on my Birthday list, along with a funnel, a spoon rest (that sits on the pot, it's awesome), and a few offset spatulas (for cake decorating).

Thanks for the reviews!

Dani said...

A santoku (sp?) knife, YES! We just bought one and we LOVE it.