Wow!  I can’t believe it’s the holiday season again!  This year’s gone by so fast!  Well, now that Thanksgiving is done it’s really time to get down to work on the winter holidays.  I know there’ll be a lot of cooking and baking going on.  Before I start on my serious holiday baking I like to make sure my kitchen’s ready.  That means organizing and stocking the pantry (I did that before Thanksgiving), making sure all the appliances (large and small) are ready to work hard, and checking that I have all the handy kitchen gadgets I need.

Almost every year I find a new kitchen gadget that I feel I can’t live without, it doesn’t always work out for me, but I  just love kitchen gadgets so I keep buying them!  Over the years I’ve accumulated some really handy kitchen gadgets.  I know I can’t live without them!

Here’s a list of my favorite kitchen gadgets and why I love them.  I won’t say they’re “must haves”for every kitchen, but they sure do make my life easier!

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kitchen gadgetsDash Go Rapid Peeler peels fruits and veggies in minutes.  I picked this up a couple of months ago to replace my batter powered peeler I purchased in Beijing almost ten years ago.  I loved that old peeler, but it finally fell apart 2 years ago and I haven’t been able to find a replacement until I found the Dash Go Rapid Peeler.

This handy kitchen gadget is even better than my first peeler!

The Rapid Peeler uses 4 “AA” batteries.  It will peel apples, potatoes, oranges, and just about any fruit or veggie you want.  I used it to peel apples for my homemade apple sauce, that’s the most tedious part!  The Rapid Peeler cut my prep time 75%!  I can’t wait to try it out on oranges so I can make some candied rind!

Here’s a short video of my Rapid Peeler at work!

kitchen gadgetsPotato Ricer makes perfect mashed potatoes.  I’ve had this kitchen gadget for well over 10 years.  It’s probably the best kitchen gadget investment I ever made.

This Potato Ricer is the easiest way to make mash potatoes!  Forget peeling and mashing.  I just wash the potatoes, boil, cut in half, then place each half (skin side up) into the ricer; squeeze and the potato comes out leaving the peel behind.

The resulting mashed potatoes have better consistency than potatoes pounded by a regular masher.  It’s thicker and more substantial and robust.  Of course I stir in butter, cream, and garlic to make the best mashed potatoes ever!

Potato Ricers come with 2-3 inserts that have holes in varying sizes.  They can be made of stainless steel or plastic and cost anywhere from $8 – $30.  I have a plastic one with 3 inserts that I purchased so long ago I’ve forgotten the price.  Obviously it was well worth it because I still have it!

By the way it’s also a baby food strainer!  So for moms who make homemade baby food (my daughters and daughter-in-law do, as I did when they were babies) this is a handy kitchen gadget. Just steam your veggies and squeeze them thru the ricer, healthy baby food every time!

kitchen gadgetsMake perfect gravy every time with a Gravy/fat separator.  The best gravy is made with meat drippings, but no one wants greasy, fatty, gravy.

Solve that problem by pouring the dripping into a gravy separator. Grease/fat floats up so you can pour it off before adding the drippings to your pot.

There are many different separators out there.  Some with fancy lids and spouts.  I’m happy with the simple plastic one, I’ve had my for years.

kitchen gadgetsA Digital cooking thermometer is a must have in my kitchen.  I’ve used one for over 20 years.  Ever since I worked in the food industry where it was a requirement.

Digital cooking thermometers take the guesswork out of cooking.  I use it for roasting, baking, grilling, and candy making.

Back in the day they were pretty pricey, but now you can pick one up for under $10.   Definitely worth it!

kitchen gadgetsThis Herb Mincer is a handy kitchen gadget if you love to use fresh herbs.  It’s super handy when you grow your own herbs like I do.

I love cooking with the fresh herbs I grow on my kitchen window ledge.  This mincer makes it easy.  I just snap off what I want to use, toss them in the mincer, and I have fresh ground herbs to sprinkle on anything I want.

It grinds dried herbs too!

 

kitchen gadgetsCookie cutters are always handy!

They come in all shapes and sizes.  These are my metal Christmas cookie cutters I use during the holidays.  You’ll definitely need some to make your Christmas cookies!

Don’t think cookie cutters are just for making cookies!  You can cut bread to make cute finger sandwiches, dough to make ornaments, and other crafting materials.  You can even use them as stencils, tree ornaments, and gift ornaments.

I tie one on to a jar of homemade cookie mix I give as gifts to friends and family!

 

kitchen gadgetsThis Cordless Cookie Press makes beautiful Spritz or butter cookies.

My daughter-in-law gave me this for Christmas a few years ago.  I think the brand has been discontinued, but Wilton makes a very similar one.

This cookie press makes baking cookies a breeze.  Just load the cookie dough in, choose a design, and squeeze cookies on to a cookie sheet.

It also comes with decorating tips for icing.  I’ve not used the decorating tips, I prefer to use regular tips with a pastry bag.  I just feel like I have more control, but that’s just me.

 

 

kitchen gadgetsI love my Silpat Silicone B Non-Stick Baking Mat!  It makes baking a joy and clean-up a breeze!

The mats help keep the food from burning or over browning, and from sticking.  You can also knead dough and make candy on these mats.

If you don’t have them no worries, you can use parchment paper instead.

kitchen gadgetsCake Decorating Tip Set & bags are a must have for anyone who loves to bake and cook.

Decorate cookies and cakes and ice cupcakes with decorating tips.  It’s easy!  I also use larger tips to pipe filling for my deviled eggs and cream cheese on open face tea sandwiches.

It makes your baked goods pretty and your tea parties fancy!

 

 

 

 

kitchen gadgetsCoffee Grinders aren’t just for grinding coffee beans.  I have a separate grinder I use to grind nuts, hard candies, and other food.

Making my pecan pies is a breeze with an electric coffee grinder.  No need to smash the pecans with a mallet, that can be messy!

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kitchen gadgetsMake perfect hard boiled eggs and other dishes when you use a Kitchen Timer.

I like this simple 60 minute timer because it’s loud.  I can hear it from anywhere in the house.  It avoids the waste of burning food!


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