The household entertainer is not only judged by the food and drinks they make but often by the fun gadgets around their kitchen and bar. It’s more fun to spice up your kitchen with neat tools than fancy spices to help make cooking fun. We review some great kitchenware that is helping bring some life to your kitchen. Check out these cool kitchen gadgets!
Recently my husband, the kids and I made the trek to my parent’s house all the way out in Portland to collect a few goods I left in their basement when I moved into the city. Despite a few great kitchen supplies that I’ve managed to collect here and there, our kitchen has been pretty barren. We fight over our one pot whenever we have more than one meal to make. Until now. Heaving a huge, plastic container chock full of kitchen goodies was worth it. A woman can never underestimate the power of a great sauce pan, a kicking Crock Pot (dinner ready for me when I get home? Heck yeah!) and a cute vase for kitchen flowers. Let the cooking games begin!
I recently saw this ice cream maker on the Food Network. It is always inspirational when you see the re-invention of something that hasn’t changed in decades. For example, the traditional ice cream maker, which conceptually hasn’t changed from the hand crank model except for the addition of an electric motor. Wow, combining something fun like a ball to toss around and making ice cream. Who could have imagined? Well, obviously the inventors of the Play and Freeze ice cream maker have!
This human powered ice cream maker is also eco-friendly because it doesn’t require electricity. You can also customize the flavors and ingredients to individual tastes. It makes a perfect activity for a pool party or family picnic. I’ve found some yummy organic ice cream flavorings including hazelnut, edible lavender, French vanilla syrup, and matcha green tea. Or add your organic fruit like strawberries, blueberries or mango.
The Play and Freeze come in two sizes and a rainbow of fun bright colors. I love the idea of creating your ice cream, burning off some calories in the process and then enjoying the yummy treat – guilt free! Yumm-o!
The product description states that it may be used to “stream fresh or frozen vegetables in minutes without adding water, eliminating the need to wait for the water to boil and clean pots and pans.”
Included in the bags is a card with instructions for cooking some other foods, including eggs and hot dogs, as well as some recipes for the consumer.
You can also use the bags as storage before or after use.
In testing the Glad microwave steaming bags, I found myself limited to two trials, and, therefore, tried my best to use two very different applications. What I found is this:
First of all these bags are very easy to use. Just fill, seal, and microwave according to the directions on the package. Couldn’t be simpler. The bags stand very well, with a flat and wide bottom that makes for easy filling and serving.
They also work very well to store your leftovers after you have cooked them. Just re-seal and toss in the fridge. I had no problems with re-sealing or reheating my leftovers using the same bag.
For microwave cooking of vegetables, these bags are great! I used my first bag to try heating frozen broccoli. I liked the way these turned out. The vegetables retained their color and flavor, and they also came out with a nice texture, not too mushy, not too hard.
Most importantly, they passed the kid test. My kids ate them with no complaints.
I got bold for my second trial and decided to try out an omelet, which was one of the recipes included on the instruction card in the package.
It was less than successful. The eggs turned out very wet and runny from the steam in the bag, and I had to cook the omelet for a lot longer than instructed in the recipe to achieve a texture I was happy.
In the end, it did not produce a good result. To get the whole thing cooked, some of it became overdone; the rest was all right, but not the same sweet flavor you get in the pan.
Even though the eggs did not come out to my liking, it is not a deterrent to using these bags. They are an excellent way to cook veggies quickly and with little to no mess. We have veggies with almost every meal, especially with our dinners.
While I may not be so inclined to use them a lot because of the price (you get 10 for $30.00 – not cost effective if you are using them every day), these bags are quick and easy, and definitely, lighten the load when it comes to doing dishes.
If you’re reading this, then it’s likely you already have a reusable coffee cup, but you can take a small step towards living greener by adding a reusable cup sleeve too. In the US, 16 billion cups are used for coffee each year. It equals about 6.5 million trees. Overall, North Americans use 58% of all paper cups, amounting to a staggering 130 billion cups – including hot and cold beverages. But other countries, notably China, are starting to catch up.
When I started looking around, I saw a lot of really cute and stylish reusable coffee sleeves but by far my favorite is this Hug Your Mug Cup Cozy Reusable Coffee Cup Sleeve. The cup sleeve is reusable and has a soft fluffy feel. This eco-chic insulated alternative to throw-away cup sleeves would make a great gift too!
This rechargeable wine bottle opener from Oster opens bottles with the touch of a button so you won’t have to struggle to do it manually. The ergonomic design fits comfortably in the palm of your hand while the grip prevents slipping. The opener, which features a brushed metal finish, removes natural and synthetic corks. An attractive charging base doubles as countertop storage.