Let’s face it, once we move past mourning of the summer season we all get a giddy excitement in the pit of our stomachs. We get to once again send our little ones off on their grand academic adventures. That is, however, until we come to the realization that some of us will be responsible for preparing lunches in the wee hours of the dark morning while juggling choking down as many cups of coffee as we can. If you’re anything like me the title “Chef” is a title that should never even step foot towards your own name. Our family is made up of picky, snack eaters for lunchtime. I’m lucky if I can get more than one food group in, and bonus points if it’s colorful. That may have something to do with having two toddlers, right? Over the past year thanks to my very own mamas, I’ve learned about a few kitchen gadgets that have saved us time, sanity, and our taste buds that even my radiant, home economics teacher grandmother would be proud of.
Once given to me as a birthday present, I questioned where this gadget would find its place in our lives. My Krups Egg Maker has been my saving grace when it comes to preparing lunches for the preschooler. There is a nut allergy in her class, so my gourmet nut butter spread with a raspberry reduction sauce (ok, fine… peanut butter and jelly) went right out the window for her meal plans when she started school. This egg cooker cooks up to seven eggs at once with little to no cleanup once you’re done. Did I mention it cooks the eggs quickly, so all you need to remember to do is turn the switch, and rinse when you’re done? A buzzing noise sounds as a reminder once the eggs are done making it impossible to forget them! This cooker also cooks eggs in a number of ways, including soft-boiled and poached. All of these options and the cooker is the size of a salad plate, so it barely takes up any counter space.
Super affordable, compact, and easy to use. This gadget has all of the elements of my kind of kitchen tool. Our family members are all popcorn connoisseurs so naturally, this item was a no-brainer to purchase. We have slowly acquired a fetish that is associated with collecting all things awesome, related to the kitchen. It also makes for a great gift and anyone that has received one from our family has loved it. It’s simple to use. You just pick your favorite brand of popcorn kernels (we love Jolly Time or Orville Redenbacher’s), add in 1/3 cup of kernels, place the lid on, microwave on HIGH for about 2.5-3 minutes (depending on microwave wattage), when you hear the popping slow down voila, it’s done! We love to add melted butter on top and sprinkle a little salt on top of it. You can also purchase your favorite popcorn toppers. It makes popcorn more affordable in the long run, and also healthier as there are no added, mysterious chemicals or preservatives.
I stumbled upon this product of beauty as a gift that was handed to me. Once I figured out how to use it, I haven’t stopped since! You can use this portable grill to grill basically anything. I cook chicken (up to 2lbs at a time), hamburgers, turkey bacon, vegetables, and even grilled cheeses on this thing. The plates of the grill pop off after use, so the clean-up is super easy but you get the similar taste of that outdoor grilling. It also has a grease catcher so it catches the grease off of the food you’re cooking for easy clean-up afterward. I’ve been using it a lot this summer, but I have a feeling it will save my healthy eating habits come winter. The grill also has a temperature and meat sensor setting so it beeps when the meat is fully cooked allowing us to be moms and worry about the many other things we have going on in our lives as our food cooks.
The cherry pitter only made my list because I’ve had a small obsession with cherries since I was introduced to them while hiking in Grand Marais. It took me twenty-seven years to really taste a cherry, and once I did I ate them for about two weeks straight. Having a three-year-old who wants to try every mystery fruit that meets our kitchen (but wants to do so independently) the cherry pitter made that happen! There are a variety of these available, but we’ve been using one that pits about six cherries at once. You pop them in, close it shut, and viola! No more pits, making your cherries toddler friendly!
Ah, all hail the handheld frother. The handled frother is a gift that should be given to any gourmet coffee shop addict. This little gadget gives my homemade coffee the barista touch so I can feel like I’m getting my gourmet coffee from home. This machine runs on batteries which is its only downfall. Batteries seem to run forever in it though because it doesn’t take very long for you to use it each day. I would easily travel with this coffee magic stick it makes my coffee taste that much better. Tilt the frother to the side on the edge of your cup, and work from a slow spin up to a faster pace spin and hold for a minute or two. It really is that easy!