Culinary GameChangers

I can find my way around a kitchen. I may not be as fussy about cleaning up as Miska would like, but on the whole, I do alright.

Allow me to share with you three kitchen gadgets that have changed my world.

[1] Double-walled tea cup. I love tea cups without handles so I can cuddle with the warmth. However I do not like first-degree burns on my palms and fingers. With this cup, burns begone.

[2] Egg-Perfect Egg Timer. We eat lots of boiled eggs in our house. And everyone in the fam likes theirs cooked differently, which provides a problem for someone as haphazard and chaotic as me. This little beaut is a godsend. With lines inside indicating the various preparation levels (soft / medium / hard), all you have to do is drop the timer in the water with the eggs and watch it do its magic. As the timer heats up, the color changes in sync with the level to which it has cooked. I can not tell you how amazing this is.

[3] Pampered Chef Butter Softener. First off, two words: Pampered Chef. ‘Nuff said. You are welcome to invite me to your party anytime. I love butter, real butter, like the stuff that actually traces its roots back to cows. I love soft butter, the kind that doesn’t require a hacksaw to spread evenly on your bread. However, I do not like margarine or anything that surprised me that it is not butter. In other words, I do not like to eat plastic. This little culinary marvel allows you to drop your (real) butter inside, pour a little water in the lid (don’t ask me how this works) – and sit this technological miracle on the cabinet (yes, cabinet – it doesn’t even need to be refrigerated). Then, sweet mary! whenever you have a late night hankering for toast, you are one happy little chef.

Any marvels you care to share? And if you know a way to salvage the train wreck that happens every time I try to peel the shell off our boiled eggs, I will rise up and call you blessed.

9 Replies to “Culinary GameChangers”

  1. Plunge your boiled eggs into ice cold water and let sit a few seconds. Should peel much easier. Well, at least, it works for me.

  2. Boiled Eggs: When boiling is complete, pour off water. Shake the pan briskly (w/top on)to crack the egg shells. Fill the pan w/ cold water to cover eggs. Let it sit a couple of minutes (it won't make the eggs cold). Then the shell should slide off in huge pieces. Oh,so sorry to correct you, but that butter thing is not pampered chef. I was w/ Miska when purchased. I've had one for years. It was purchased at the Williams Sonoma Outlet here, but it's actually a European old world gadget. Sorry but my experience w/ pampered chef is that they copy other gadgets, put their name on them & make themselves some good cash. You can usually purchase their items minus their name at T.J.Maxx for much less. But then again, this is just your bargain hunting mother-in-law, so take it as you will. Not a theological genius here, but since you entered my domain now, it was imperative that I respond. I love you bunches.

  3. The butter thing is called a butter bell & it's french.

    The boiled egg timer is a neat gadget, especially since ya'll like it cooked different. I lightly boil for 5 minutes & that's perfect for me.

    A favorite gadget for me is my avocado helper. It has one end to take out the seed & the other to slice it with one motion. But I also do love my butter bell. After all Julia Childs said there was nothing like real butter.

  4. That's funny – Miska had just told me that she bought this @ Williams Sonoma. I first saw a friend's – and they had bought it at Pampered Chef…

    Thanks for the egg peeling ideas, I'll try it. And the avocado helper sounds good too.

  5. I've been on an hard-boiled egg kick the past few months, and I've noticed that older eggs are much, much easier to peel then new eggs. In fact, the difference is noticeable enough that I pretty much refuse to boil eggs now until they've been in my fridge for at least 5 days. The overall experience is so much better. A boiled egg that refuses to peel really can be quite the trainwreck. Own the eggs for a week or so and then give it a shot. Hope it works for you too.

  6. old eggs….that's one I would never have considered. I saw on youtube yesterday that dropping a little baking soda in the cold water afterwards slips them right out.

  7. Winn,

    Another good trick with the eggs is to use a spoon. You hit the egg on the top, peel the broken part back a little bit, and slide the spoon around the inside of the shell until it comes off.

    One of my favorite kitchen gadgets is a mandolin. Imagine clean, uniform cucumber rounds or julienned potatoes for fries without much effort. It saves a lot of time which helps in the kitchen.

    Also, what did people do before salad spinners to dry their lettuce?

  8. I have a new peeler that I got at a high end cooking store in Charlotte, saw them the other day in Target – they are square shaped and have a ring on the back for your finger. Super sharp without the risk of cutting yourself – probably great for the kids if they want to help!

  9. My favorite butter softener is simply to leave it in its covered dish on the table at room temperature. Too soft is better than too hard.

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