Saturday, January 31, 2015

Saturday in Bev's kitchen - Gadgets

For today's post I thought I'd talk about a few lesser known gadgets that I use in my kitchen.
You may be familiar with these and use them as often as I do but for those who don't, here are 
three things I love to use.
This first gadget is a wooden tool with two different sized knobs, one on each end.
Any guesses?


It is a tart pastry shaping tool. Form your pastry into 1 1/2 inch balls (for the smaller tart cups) and push the small end of the tool down on to the pastry ball until a tart shell forms around it.
It's as simple as that. No rolling out and fiddling with small pastry rounds. 
For the lovely cheese and parsley pastry in the photo, check out the Red Pepper Jelly appetizer tart recipe on page 25 of our "Celebrations" cookbook.


Here's an antique cookie jar full of one of my most used tools.
These can be bought by the bagful at Ikea or at some kitchen stores.


They are bag clips and do a terrific job of sealing in freshness.  I use them for chips, nuts, bags of frozen vegetables as well as for anything I make and store in a bag for the freezer.


 My final gadget is something I found in Denmark on one of our business trips there.
They came in several shapes but these are the two I chose.


The are silicone trivets. I use them at the table under hot serving dishes as well as under pans that I take hot out of the oven.  The nice thing about these trivets is that they can go in the dishwasher. I think they are pretty classy looking and very useful.



Have you got some less than common gadgets that you use often?

19 comments:

  1. I have a tart shaping tool as well and I think it is the greatest thing. I do not know what I did without it. Love the bag closers, but mine are in a drawer and wish I could find trivets like yours. They look so nice. If I had those I would not have to hide them in a drawer until I need them. My handiest gadget is a set of scoops that I have. They are small, medium and large. I use them for cookies, for the balls of dough for my tarts, meat balls, basically anything that needs scooping and I love that everything is a uniform size and bakes evenly when I use them.

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  2. I love my Ikea bag clips! They are so handy. One tool I found is a silicon tube for cleaning the skin off of garlic. It works great. I like the silicon trivets you found. Have a great weekend!

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  3. This is the first time i ever saw the tart tool and the ikea clips. I really like both of them, and as for the trivets, i agree that they are so nice! Thanks for sharing those ideas.

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  4. I have a silicone trivet, but yours are so much prettier :) What a great idea for storing your bag clips. They will always be in the right place when you need them.

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  5. I have silicone lids that can go on pans and skillets on the stove or cover bowls. They are very handy and I love being able to easily cover a cast iron skillet while I am cooking.

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  6. My daughter Christine bought me some of those Ikea clips for Christmas and I love them too. I have a small scoop that I use for making cookie balls, it's so quick and they are all the same size. Another little gadget I love is a small round rubber mat that I use to peel garlic with. It's quick and I also can use it to open jar.

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  7. I have the tart shaping tool and clips, as well. One of my personal favs is my adjustable rolling pin. Perfect for uniform rolled out cookies! http://www.thebay.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/thebay/adjustable-rolling-pin?site_refer=CSE_GGLPLA&gclid=CKa73OnnvsMCFQ6NaQodRQIA8A

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  8. What is your countertop? We are getting ready to remodel our kitchen and countertops are one of many things I'm looking forward to! I'm guessing you have Cambria Berkeley. Do you like it? I'd love your opinion!

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    1. You got it first try! We saw a 12 foot piece of Cambrian Berkley at a home show and fell in love with it. We got the ogee edge as well and both of us just love how the edge complements the quartz. My countertops are so easy to maintain and are a dream to work on. Just a tip though, a friend of mine has a dark, more solid pattern (hers is granite) and said she'd not do that again as it really shows the water marks when you wipe it.

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    2. I have debated back and forth between granite and Cambria, and then the design. We actually ordered Berkeley last week with an eased edge. I'm glad to hear you like it... I hope I won't be disappointed.

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  9. I love gadgets. I love my bar tool for zesting citrus. I love my olive spoon which lets me take olives out of the jar leaving the brine behind. I love my specially curved pickle fork that grabs those pickles and doesn't drop them back into the jar. I really love my porcelain ginger grated that I use all the time for grating fresh garlic cloves. Mashes garlic into a smooth paste in seconds.

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  10. Love your gadgets Judy - especially the tart pastry shaper! Your Ikea clips look so pretty in the antique jar. Something I use almost every day and couldn't be without is my Microplane zester/grater. I am a kitchen gadget junkie!

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    1. Roselle, I'm glad you like the antique jar, it was my dear Mother in law's and I cherish it. I also love my microplane. It's amazing how much fun it is to cook when you have the right tools and places to keep them!

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  11. I have one of those tart makers - love it!

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  12. I saw a post on pinterest for gift bags folded over and closed with a painted clothespin. I painted a package full and had leftovers (blue and yellow with polka dots) after shower favors. I use them as bag clips and love them! They are my new favorite thing!

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  13. Well - I went to Amazon and ordered a tart tamper right away - I finished baking some tarts with cookie crust dough and they were a struggle and didn't work well with my fingers doing the pressing - can't wait for this to arrive - I am ready to make lots of tarts.

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  14. Very interesting blog. A lot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that attract others, but I'm most definitely interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know.

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  15. I have seen those wooden tart tampers at estate sales, but didn't know what they were. I couldn't figure out why anyone would need a wooden club in the kitchen!! (To protect against muggers in the kitchen, maybe...??) Now that I know what it is, I will watch for it at future estate sales. Thanks for the education. I'm always learning something on this site.

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  16. I love the bag clips as well. FYI, you can get a bag of them at most Dollarama or Dollar Stores.

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