Tricks are for kids: favorite tricks in the kitchen

Anything that can make life easier and more efficient in the kitchen is something I can “get on board” with–cutting board, cheese board, pretty much anything that will help me get a meal to the plate and be cost efficient.  If I’m sharing my hopes and dreams here, I would LOVE to own a bright red industrial kitchen aid mixer….someday….or maybe I’ll just keep asking for Amazon dollars for the next few holidays.  I may also resort to marrying myself like Carrie in Sex & the City in order to get the mixer, I have no need for high heels.

I love kitchen gadgets.  Who doesn’t?  I always look forward to getting new kitchen scissors usually because mine are dull as dead when I finally get around to buying some, but I recently came across some new helpers in the kitchen that I can’t get enough of and have been using on a daily basis since they were removed from their hermetically sealed packaging and washed for first use.

One of my newest and quickly becoming a favorite is my Multi-purpose scraper/dough cutter.   I love this thing! I picked mine up at TJ Maxx on a recent splurge and I’ve used it every day since.  I swipe onions and veggies off the cutting board and into the pan, I split meat to form patties, and swipe off the counters when bits get stuck. I love this thing! Mine even has some handy measurement cheats on it just in case….

Something else that makes life much more pleasant is a bread machine.  I put all the ingredients in and a few hours later a fresh, healthy, whole grain loaf comes out.  Voila!  This adjustable bread box helps keep the loaves fresh, has it’s own built in cutting board, vents to provide the right amount of moisture, and expands and contracts with ease. A colleague with a bread machine turned me onto this when she found out I had acquired one via craigslist and it was money well spent. This cleans up beautifully and contracts to a relatively small box when it needs to be stored.

**I used amazon.com as the default for the links to products I purchased.  There is no other reason for this other than I love amazon and their two day shipping. They aren’t paying me.  Trust me on that 😀Iced coffee concentrate.  I know I’ve posted about this before, but it’s halfway through summer and I cannot get enough.  Every day I enjoy a glass of homemade iced coffee.  This mason jar is holding concentrate that I started this morning as soon as I emptied it. 

Last but not least: cubes. I’ve started cubing and freezing as much as I can as a way to preserve and have it available in perfect portions.  I make a ton of homemade pesto each year and converted to the ‘all cube’ method this year.  I can grab two or three cubes to add to pasta. I freeze chicken stock  that’s left over from boiling off a whole chicken in the crock pot so I have it on hand for soups, gravy, or to add to greens as they cook down.  Last but not least, coffee to make cubes to add to my iced coffee so it doesn’t get watered down with ice cubes if it sits for a bit. I brew four servings and let it cool before adding it to the cube tray and freezing it down. I might be a bit cube crazy…..

What helps you get supper on the table?  What prep secrets do you keep?  What’s your favorite kitchen gadget?

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