WHAT’S IN MY KITCHEN: tools I use

WHAT’S IN MY KITCHEN

Yahoo! AvatarsThese are the tools and/or appliances that I need in my kitchen, in the order in which I acquired them.

STAINLESS STEEL CLEAVERSOLID STAINLESS STEEL CHINESE-STYLE CHOPPING KNIFE
I use this for slicing big or small things, chopping, mincing… just about anything. It was my original “food processor”. I like the weight of this one, and, since it is all of a piece, the handle cannot come off. I have not found one like mine anywhere except for Pearl River Mart, in New York City, where I bought it.

VITAMIXVITA-MIX
I love my VitaMix. It was my second food processor after my knife. I lived for years with just the knife and the VitaMix. I originally bought it to make whole food smoothies. It can reduce just about anything to a puree. Another popular high-powered blender is the Blendtec

CUISINART FOOD PROCESSOR
I got a food processor after many years, because I wanted more versatility and the big bowl looked like it would be easier to to get stuff out, so I could process several things easily in one cooking session.I now have a 7C Cuisinart. I love it. It will make sauces from chopped vegetables, reduce nuts and grains to powder, make quick work of chopping, grind hard vegetables to applesauce consistency, make nut cremes, and more. I have a wonderful, black and decker food chopperhighly affordable little Black & Decker 1-1/2 Cup Chopper
which fits very nicely in a tiny space, is at least as powerful as my larger food processor, and is good at mincing garlic and personal serving sized amounts of vegetables (think chopped salad or apple sauce for one). I use it often.

CHAMPION JUICERCHAMPION JUICER
I love my Champion juicer. I can use it for juicing, of course, but my favorite use for it is to make “ice cream” from frozen bananas and other fruit. I also use it often to puree or “homogenize” nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruit quickly and easily. The easy clean-up is an added plus.

SALADACCO SPIRAL SLICER
I enjoy making angel-hair “pasta” strings of zucchini, carrots, beets, daikon, and other vegetables. I have a Spirooli (now called World Cuisine), but it does not make the fine strings that the Saladacco does.   See my spiralizer comparison article “The Spiralizer of Your Dreams” for my final opinions on spiralizers.

COFFEE GRINDER
A coffee grinder makes grinding small nuts and seeds very easy… It really simplifies life.

EXCALIBUREEXCALIBUR DEHYDATOR
You can find a lot of dehydrators out there, most at lower cost, but I swear by my Excalibur.  When I decided I needed a dehydrator, I looked at everything I could find, and decided on the Excalibur, for several important reasons.  The Excalibur has removable pull-out trays, which means that you can leave some trays in while you remove others, without disassembling the whole shebang.  This seemed important to me, as I am not one for complicated processes.  The Excalibur has square trays, which seemed easier for me to use than round ones would be. The Excalibur looked easier to clean: you can clean each tray individually, and you can hold sweepers on the empty housing easily.  I chose to buy the model with a timer, so I could have the luxury of leaving home while dehydrating.EXCALIBUR 5 TRAY DEHYDRATOR)
I was pretty much broke when I decided to buy the Excalibur.  I didn’t even have a bank account.  I saved and then I contacted the company, and they worked with me so I could get my Excalibur by sending them a deposit, and then sending them the rest of the cost later.  I have never ever regretted this purchase. It has more than paid for itself over the 10 years that I have had it.  Because of finances, I decided to go with the 5-tray dehydrator, but, if I had it to do over again, I would get the 9-tray model, as it would save me a lot of time.  Still, I love the dehydrator that  I have, and have no plans to replace it anytime soon.

KYOCERA MANDOLINEKYOCERA MANDOLIN/SLICER:
I had been working with a cheap 99-cent-store mandoline for years when I saw a recommendation for this slicer.  It has a super-sharp ceramic blade (watch out, or else you might add some of your own personal protein to your dish!)

MICROPLANE GLOVEMICROPLANE CUT PROTECTION GLOVE:
Fortunately, when I was in the process of purchasing my Kyocera mandolin, I saw an ad for a cut-protection glove.  Eureka!  Yes, a stupid glove could be bulky, but I have sacrificed parts of my thumb to food prep ventures multiple times, so I decided to go for it.  I’m so happy to have this invention (the time I didn’t use it, I had to clean up what looked like a murder scene in the kitchen, and I had to sleep with a plastic glove over my hand, as the blood flowed profusely.  I’m not even going to tell you about the pain.)  If you are going to use a good slicer, get yourself one of these gloves. I chose the Microplane glove for the price.

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2 responses to “WHAT’S IN MY KITCHEN: tools I use

  1. Any recommendations on a food dehydator? Regina

    • I adore my Excalibur Dehydrator. I researched dehdyrators carefully because the Excalibur represented such a large expenditure for me, and I decided that, if I was going to use the machine enough to make it a worthwhile investment, the Excalibur was the only choice. Basically, it is easy to use, AND easy to clean. It has a timer in addition to the standard temperature control. The timer sets me free – I can set it and go out, without worrying about having to turn off the dehydrator – it turns itself off! I was also very impressed with the company’s customer service department.

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