We’ve all been guilty of getting sucked into infomercials featuring products claiming to be the next new thing to save you time and money. Despite how nifty these “as seen on TV” kitchen gadgets look, most of them are expensive and unnecessary. Usually simple is best and more effective. Besides the basics; a good sharp knife, durable pots and pans, cutting boards, mixing bowls, and measuring cups, there are a few other kitchen tools that are useful, versatile, and affordable that can be a big help in the kitchen.
Below are five kitchen tools that truly will save you time and money in the kitchen.
** Kitchen Shears- A good pair of kitchen scissors will cut anything, from dough to chicken bones and lobster shells. Use scissors to quickly and easily ‘chop’ fresh herbs or trim skin from poultry or fat from meat.
** Fine mesh strainer- From sifting flour and other dry ingredients together, to draining pasta and canned beans, to straining puddings and sauces into a smooth velvety masterpiece; this kitchen essential is extremely versatile.
** Grater/zester- Grating your own cheese is cheaper than buying the prepackaged variety and freshly grated cheese melts better in dishes like macaroni and cheese. A good quality grater can also be used to grate garlic, onions (and other vegetables), lemon or lime zest, fresh ginger or nutmeg and even chocolate to top a dessert.
** Ice cube trays- Not only can water be frozen in ice cube trays, but they come in handy for freezing other things as well. Use ice cube trays to freeze leftover broth, wine, pizza sauce, pesto or even homemade baby food, for quick portioned controlled servings that can easily be added to soups and sauces.
** Food Processor- Easily one of the more expensive kitchen gadgets, but an essential one none the less. A food processor is invaluable for pureeing sauces, grinding nuts and grains, chopping vegetables or even mixing up pie dough.
Looking for a time saving affordable dinner option that can double for breakfast or lunch too? Try this Ham and Cheese Quiche!
Ham and Cheese Quiche
Prep: 15 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Serves 4-5
1 pre-made frozen pie crust, thawed
1 cup ham, diced
1 cup Swiss cheese, grated
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed
3 large eggs
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Unfold pie crust and press into pie plate. Using a fork, crimp edges of dough.Top dough with ham, Swiss and cheddar cheese, and spinach. Whisk eggs, sour cream, paprika, pepper, and salt, in bowl. Spoon egg mixture over toppings. Bake until pie crust is golden brown and toppings are set, about 25 minutes.
Chef Heather attended and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, but has been developing family friendly meals since she was nine years old in her mother’s kitchen. She is an avid crockpotter and knows how to get food on the table in a pinch. She currently serves as a writer and recipe developer for meal planning site MailScanner has detected a possible fraud attempt from "email.foodonthetable.com" claiming to be www.foodonthetable.com.