Saturday, August 31, 2013

a few of my favorite things...

I'm not usually one to rush out and buy the latest gadget...and I definitely think twice about all things high-tech. High-tech means I'd have to learn something new. So I tend to stick with the tried and true! But I do have some simple favorites in my kitchen...which I use on a regular basis.

In my early days of setting up house...I picked up a Boerner V3 vegetable slicer at a home show demo.

It quickly became a favorite...and I use it all the time. If I'm making a batch of salsa or a pot of soup...all the veggies get chopped on this gizmo. The onions are done in a jiffy...almost painless. I have replaced mine with a newer model several times over the years.  Who needs a food processor...if there is a Boerner slicer handy? And no...I don't sell them!  But if you live in this area... Lepp Farm Market carries a deluxe version.

More than ten years ago we took a road trip to Alaska...and my favorite souvenir was this rounded Ulu knife (pronounced oo'loo) and chopping block combo.

It is just perfect for chopping a handful of nuts...or a can of water chestnuts...or a sweet pepper. Everything stays in the bowl. If you ever visit Alaska...don't come home without one!  After my original chopping block/bowl fell dad made me a new one.  I love it.

Next is a tip I got from Rachael Ray some time ago.  How do you mince your garlic? 

If you have a microplane zester...try using it for garlic.

It works great...and the zester is so easy to clean up. Thank-you Rachael Ray for that tip!

Let me add one more of my favorite things...something that everyone has in the kitchen drawer. Why purchase an expensive gizmo to break up ground beef while browning...

...when you can just use your potato masher? It does a great job!  We left on a road trip with the RV earlier this month...and I soon realized there was no potato masher on board!  At the next stop...I picked up a masher.  Though we never had mashed potatoes even once...I used it for browning my ground beef several times.  

And those are a few of my simple, tried and true kitchen tips for today!

Have a wonderful Saturday!


  1. I had no idea who had written this and was about to say that I have a few tools in my kitchen as a result of a post Judy did on her favorite kitchen tools. (One of them is a basting brush.) Now it appears that I need to get up to speed again!

  2. I love my Borner mandolin too - couldn't be without it! I even use it for cutting fresh corn off the cob for freezing. The Ulu knife and bowl look fabulous - what a handy tool indeed. If I ever get to Alaska .....
    Thanks for sharing your tips and favourite things.

    1. I found something similar to the Ulu knife and chopping block/bowl at Ikea. The knife has a double blade and the block is not near as nice as yours but it works great. I use it for chopping herbs. I like the idea of using it for other things as well. Thanks for all these tips, Judy.

  3. I read your blog every morning and Saturday posts have become my favourite. Thanks for sharing your tips and ideas.

  4. Thanks for the tip about using a potatoe masher to break up ground beef. I have always used a wooden spoon.

  5. I would never have thought of using a potato masher to break up ground beef
    You could probably do it on a tin of whole tomatoes as well if you don't have
    a tin of diced tomatoes

  6. I just bought the V slicer and I love it!!!! I'm still playing around with the dicing but its fantastic!

  7. That potato masher is great for mashing pinto beans for refried beans as well!

  8. Oh gosh, a potatoe masher-brilliant!