Three Kitchen Gadgets I Would Rather Not Live Without by Erika

Well, here I am as promised — a new voice on Kate’s blog. She is busy and cozy at home with her 4 day old daughter (and eating all the meals that she made and froze during the last few weeks of her pregnancy) I don’t have any recipes to share today, but I don’t how I could make any recipes at all without these 3 little gadgets.

A note about my criteria for putting these gadgets at the top of my list. I am a practical person who has a small kitchen. So, my rating system here is dependent largely on size and practicality. Since I don’t have a lot of storage space or work space, I want my gadgets to be small and easy to store, and I love it when something has multiple uses. Gadgets also need to be easy to clean. If they aren’t, chances are I’ll be too lazy to use them, knowing I’ll have to scrub or soak them.

Microplane Grater/Zester

I use this all the time to grate small amounts of hard things. It is right there when I need to grate a smidge of nutmeg onto my oatmeal, some parmesan cheese onto my pasta, or some lemon zest into my pound cake batter.

Hand Blender

This is wonderful for making a smoothie, pureeing soup or sauce, chopping herbs or nuts, whipping cream, and so much more. I don’t know what I did before I had one of these. Mine has a whisk attachment, a blender shaft, and a chopper. Basically if you have a smallish amount of anything that you want stir, blend, chop, or whip… this guy does the job fast and is cleaned up in a flash. I used mine so often, that I eventually stripped the screws that were holding its convenient mount right out of the kitchen wall.

Cone Coffee Filter

My Swissgold brand cone coffee filter was purchased in Seattle when my husband and I were living there and enjoying really good coffee on a daily basis. Then, we moved to the East Coast and discovered (quite accidentally, in a Dunkin Donuts), that we were coffee snobs. With this filter, it’s just like being back at Zoka Coffee Roasters, our favorite Seattle haunt. My husband and I can each have a cup of coffee custom brewed as strong as we like it, which is great for our tastes, and also it doesn’t waste coffee. We make what we want, when we want – just boil some water. It also frees up some valuable counter real estate if you don’t have a drip coffee maker sitting there. I like this better than a French press because it is easier to clean, it’s fast — the water filters though and then is ready to drink, and no waiting to plunge. Best of all, though, is the taste and texture of a cone filtered cup of coffee. Depending on how fine you grind your beans, you can regulate how much sediment there is in your cup. Me, I like to chew my coffee a little bit.