Gadgets for the Kosher Cook

 

5 of The Best BBQ Safety Gadgets *WIN a Grill*

 

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Every summer there are new ways to make BBQ season even more fun and even more safe.  Of course it all starts with a great grill and/or smoker, check out our full guide to choosing the best one for your needs here.  Then there are lots of fun gadgets like a hamburger press, a vegetable basket that can make things a little easier.  But the most important gadgets for a fun BBQ are the ones that keep us safe.  BBQ means an open fire and very high temperatures so we need to be extra careful when cooking this Summer.


 

10 Add On Gift Ideas

 

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One of the mitzvahs of Purim is to give mishloach manot comprised of at least two different types of food.  In addition to a food basket, consider giving loved ones an extra little gift to enjoy along with their hamantashen.  Below are gift ideas for the ten “personalities” you might encounter among your friends and acquaintances.

 


 

Bread Making Kitchen Tools

 

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I have fully hopped on the no knead bread bandwagon and my family loves it.  I make the best, tastiest and cheapest bread at least once a week that tastes like it comes from a baker and it only takes about 10 minutes active time.  Read about my experiences and get my favorite no knead bread recipes here.

In addition to the various no knead breads that I make, once in a while I still take time out for Challah.  Whatever kind of bread you are making the right kitchen gadgets can make it easier and better for you.


 

The Best Salad Tools

 

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We love salads, they can be made up of any mix of vegetables, the options are endless.  The popularity of salad bars all over have consistently grown over the last 30 or so years because we also all love to make it our own and choose from lots of toppings.  You don’t have to go out to have salad bar fun, consider making your own.  Check out these kitchen gadgets to make salad bar creations that much more fun.

 


 

The Best Slow Cookers

 

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Brrr, It’s cold outside.  This is the coldest winter in years and that means we need hot comfort food more than ever.  Slow cookers make our lives easier during these short winter days.  All we have to do is throw our ingredients in the pot and set it and forget it until we come home out of the cold for piping hot dinner.  Oh and we have 135 slow cooker recipes for you to browse through on this site.

Even if you already have a slow cooker, I recommend considering another one.  First of all you might finally decide it is time to buy a dairy one.  There are lots of wonderful vegetarian dishes that you will want to top with cheese.  Second, check out some of the fun new features, some might not be ok for Shabbat (ask your Rabbi), but they are all great for every day.


 

The Best Ways To Serve Chips and Dips

 

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Whether you are having people over to watch the big game or just for snacks, we all love serving chips or veggies and dips.  Sure you can use any old plate and bowl, but let’s make life a little easier and serving a lot more fun.


 

The Best Gadgets For DIY Vegetable Chips

 

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Do you ever make your own veggie chips? It is my favorite snack and almost all vegetables can be turned into a chip.  I don’t even really like potato chips, but I love hot and fresh from the oven baked potato chips which my husband requests practically every Saturday night.  Sometimes I can convince him to have my Zucchini Chips  or my Carrot Chips.   The issue with all of these recipes is that they need to be cut thin and evenly.  The trick for the slicing is a good mandoline.

This mandoline from OXO has a nice guard and a sharp blade with a few different slicing options, you can use it for julienne cutting too.  With all mandolines be careful and make sure there is a good guard and they are very safe.


 

The Best Immersion Blender

 

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One of the best inventions of all time has got to be the immersion blender.  I mean how many people have burned themselves pouring hot soup into a blender and who can wait for the soup to cool off?  Not me, that is for sure.  One of my very first kitchen gadgets was one of these hand held blenders.  It came with a nice large cup that I loved to puree anything from smoothies to eventually babyfood.  The best part is, these little gadgets don’t take up any space.  So even in my small kitchen with two sets of everything, I can have two of these, the question is which one to choose.

I really love my Kitchen Aid 5 Speed Hand Blender you can read about here, but it does take up a bit more space and so for today I am going to talk about the basic ones, that just come with a cup.


 

The Best Citrus Squeezer/Juicer

 

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For the longest time all I had to squeeze lemons was a little plastic piece that was so flimsy I didn’t even like using it.  I use lemons and limes often in food, but usually it is one at a time so I just did it with my hands.  Then I started getting into cocktail making and I really enjoy a frozen mint mojito in the Summer and other citrusy drinks in the Winter.  I finally got myself a real lemon/lime squeezer and I can’t believe it took me so long.


 

Best Rice Cookers to Buy

 

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From my experience it doesn’t really matter which one you buy, all rice cookers make good rice, it is really more about you.  No matter what, getting a rice cooker will change your life.  Sure you might say, I make great rice on my stove top or in my microwave, what do I need another gadget for.  If you only make rice once in a while then sure you are right. If you only make rice out of a box with a mix of flavors then you probably don’t need it either.  However, if you like rice regularly, a rice cooker is a valuable gadget and doesn’t even have to cost a lot of money.


 

Best Grilled Cheese Gadgets

 

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The classic grilled cheese sandwich has saved many a harried person of all ages.  It is my go to lunch for busy days when the kids are home.  College kids practically live on them and now there are even restaurants popping up that pay tribute to them.  Everyone always has cheese and bread on hand and now you can even make them easier or better with these great grilled cheese gadgets.   Grilled Cheese Toaster Bags

I discovered this neat little tool at the Fancy Food Show.  It is not something I would have ever though to buy especially since I have a toaster oven, but since I got the sample, I let my son try it out.  My toaster oven has a nasty habit of burning things, but using this little bag, the grilled cheese came out perfectly crisp with a gooey center and not burnt.  It worked so well and was so easy for kids to use especially if you have a regular toaster.  Saves on mess too!!


 

Bento Boxes – Getting Creative With School...

 

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My friend wants you to make her a lunch,” said my daughter, Cadence, as she got off the bus from camp. “Mine too,” added my oldest daughter, Laine. Later on that evening, I received an email from my oldest daughter’s camp counselor expressing how impressed she was with Laine’s “extraordinary lunches.” This was good news; not only were my children eating their lunches, they were making their friends envious. Before you hate me, I must confess, this was not always the case.

As a mother of two extremely picky children, I faced my fair share of uneaten lunches and complaints. It wasn’t until I walked by a Japanese restaurant one afternoon when the solution finally dawned on me. The restaurant boasted an impressive display of very realistic-looking plastic food in the window, presumably menu items, each arranged and garnished beautifully. One of my daughters pressed her face up against the window and, on the verge of salivating, exclaimed, “That looks yuuuuuummmy.” No argument from me there.  It did look yummy. But, what was she talking about? She hates eggs.
And seaweed.
And fish.
Shall I go on?


 

How To Choose The Right Bento Box For Lunch

 

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Before you start putting together fun lunches for your kids with a Japanese style you have to pick the right box.  Here is an overview of what is available:

What’s Your Style? Although the concept of bento is Japanese, just about anything can be used as a bento box, as long as it’s easily washable, and relatively watertight.


 

The Best Julienne Peeler

 

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We recently posted a recipe for Zucchini Spaghetti that really is best made using a Julienne Peeler.  This kind of peeler has little rivets on the blade that allow it to cut the food into long thin, even strips.  Sure you can use a regular peeler and then cut it, but to get perfect uniformity and do it in seconds you need one of these peelers.  You can do so much more with it too, cut up carrots or cucumbers for salads or for sushi rolls into thin julienne pieces. The only question now is which one to buy?


 

How To Choose the Best BBQ Smoker

 

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What kind of equipment do you need to get started with BBQ Smoking? There are a number of choices available at your local hardware mega-store. Each has pros and cons, but with practice, they can all provide good results.

The offset, barrel smoker (under $200) offers versatility and a huge space for cooking. A fire is built in a separate chamber, outside of the main cooking area and the hot smoke passes across the food in the cooking chamber and out via a chimney. If you build a fire in the main cooking chamber, you can also use this smoker as a charcoal grill. This kind of smoker requires a lot of babysitting to produce good results.