Thursday, April 9, 2009

Gadget and Tip Thursday

Thought I would mix things up and throw in some tips and gadget recommendations. Disclaimer time: The gadgets are just my personal favorites. I do not have any affiliation with any manufacturer or retailer. I just love me some good gadgets.

Gadget of the week:
Garlic Press
Seriously, I do not know how anyone lives would out at least two or three of these trusty little items. I have two myself. I just cannot get enough. Greediness aside, when one is in the dish washer you have another one ready to use. My overall favorite is made by Pampered Chef. It is nice and compact, easy to store, it is easy to clean, actually comes with a little cleaning tool and best of all you need not peel the garlic before you put it through the press. This is the best feature, by and far this is why it is my favorite. One possible down side, Pampered Chef products are only available from a Pampered Chef consultant. So, you must either go to or host a Pampered Chef party or order directly from a Pampered Chef consultants website. The usual direst selling extra fees apply. My second garlic press is from Williams Sonoma. It is a bit larger, so takes up some extra room in the drawer; BUT it is larger because it also has a garlic slicing option, which of course comes in very handy. Not only was the two features nice, but you can just pick it up at the mall. Either way, you cannot go wrong. Both are in my opinion great products.

Pampered Chef garlic press

Williams Sonoma garlic press
When picking out a garlic press you should be sure that you can at least hold and touch it before you purchase it. They are not the cheapest kitchen gadgets with prices ranging from $15 to $45. If you are able to attend a Pampered Chef party you should be able to see the press in action and you might even be able to try it yourself. They also do cooking demonstrations at Williams Sonoma stores, so you could get lucky and have an opportunity to see theirs in action as well.

Tip of the Week:
Freezing leftover cooking ingredients
Do not throw away that left over broth! Freeze it. You can pour your leftover broth into an ice cube tray and voile, you have easy to store broth for later use. Just pull out the number of cubed to need (this depends on the size of your trays) and let them defrost in the fridge. You can do the same with leftover sauces or any other liquid leftover ingredients. In my freezer I have frozen cubes of tomato sauce, pizza sauce (defrost later for dipping), chicken and vegetable broth, and coconut milk.

Have you ever made a recipe that called for one tablespoon of tomato paste and then you are left with the rest of the can? You put it in the fridge and it will go bad. So I measure out the remainder of the can onto a plate using my tablespoon measurement, put the plate in the freezer. When the tablespoon sized tomato paste drops are frozen you simply pry them off the plate, drop them into a freezer bag and you are ready to go. You have a bag of already measured tomato paste! Just take them out when you start your recipe and you are good to go.

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