Cooking Tool Thursday: NutriBullet

Now-a-days, the Vitamix or similar high-powered blenders are all the rage.  And, rightfully so.  They are amazing, whizzing beasts…the Rolls-Royce of blenders.  Unfortunately, they come with the Rolls-Royce price (about $400-$600).  Holy-Pretty-Penny-Batman.

I personally don’t have a use for such a big, powerful blender.  I rarely use my standard blender and often use my food processor for big jobs.  If YOU are in the market for a Vitamix, you can get it on Amazon HERE.  They usually have the best price, customer service is great and if you’re a Prime member, you can get free shipping, for most things, in a day or 2. Hard. To. Beat.

But enough about the Vitamix.  I’m here to tell you about the humble, the amazing…NutriBullet by Magic Bullet.  I absolutely LOVE this little machine. It’s compact, taking up little space in my packed cabinets. It blends, purees and emulsifies like a champ.  And it works amazingly well for blending sauces or salsas, smoothies or anytime I need to blend a small batch of anything.  With THIS NutriBullet you can say goodbye to the days of watching your blender blades spin, not catching the ingredients you need to blend because it’s too big. 

THIS 12 piece NutriBullet set is awesome because it includes 2 different size cups, resealable lids, removable handles (for taking your smoothie on the go), and 2 different types of blades (one for emulsifying and one for breaking down dry ingredients).  It’s super affordable ($79.99) and the pieces are really easy to clean (they are dishwasher safe if you so choose to go that route).

If blending, emulsifying or pureeing is your game, NutriBullet is the name.

 

Cooking Tool Thursday: OXO Pineapple Corer

​I love pineapple.  It’s beautiful flesh provides the perfect balance of sweet and tart. It can be eaten straight up, grilled, in a salsa, in cake, muffins, and more.  Plus, it’s loaded with Vitamin C and (trace mineral) Manganese, both of which are potent antioxidants. It also contains an enzyme that may help reduce inflammation and aid in digestion. Wham. Bam. Thank you ma’am.

The one somewhat annoying thing about pineapple is it can be a pain in to cut.  Yes, I could buy it pre-cut but it costs more ($5 vs. $3 at my local Vons, for example), quality can be iffy and frankly, I’m just not a fan of pre-cut produce.  I could buy it canned but like all canned fruit, it’s mushy and tastes a bit tinny.

Enter the OXO Pineapple Corer.

It is the coolest thing since sliced bread.  Better yet, it has drastically increased the amount of pineapple we eat. It takes less than a minute to pry the luscious yellow flesh out of it’s spiky skin and even less time to get into your mouth.  Check out my amateur video to see how this baby works!  Then see my tip below on how to buy and store pineapple.

Blown away? Buy the OXO Pineapple Corer HERE!

How to buy and store pineapple: Pick one that is already ripe (fresh, sweet scent, bright green leaves and some yellowing of the skin) because it will not continue to ripen once picked.  If you aren’t planning on eating it for a couple days, put it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Once cut, store in the refrigerator, in an airtight container.

 

 

 

 

Cooking Tool Thursday: Casabella Cherry Pitter

Hallelujah!  It’s cherry season!  I love cherries because they are delicious, nutritious (high five for Vitamin C and A) and such a treat.  What I don’t love about cherries though, are the pits that are wedged deep within this glorious fruit.

I have a sooolllution!

THIS Casabella Cherry Pitter.  I love this tool because it seamlessly removes the pits from  cherries with the push of a button.  Even more awesome, the cherry is left beautifully intact (which is a bonus if you want to use them whole in say, a pie or a fruit salad).  Plus, if you are a mom or dad (or anyone who takes care of kids), you know how frustrating it can be to try to pry those suckers out with a knife.  And if you leave them in, then your child inevitably regurgitates the fruit back into your hand in attempt to spit out the pit.  Not awesome.

So, if you want to see how it works, check out my (very first) video HERE.

AND if you want to buy it (which, I know you do), click HERE to get it on Amazon.

Cooking Tool Thursday: Nut Chopper

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I love nuts. I add them to salads, baked goods, fish, chicken and more.  They add a fabulous crunch and flavor that can’t be duplicated by a non-nut ingredient. Plus, they add an extra boost of protein and healthy fat to boot.

The tricky part about nuts as an ingredient (as opposed to whole nuts for snacking) is, they can be a pain to chop. Yes, you can buy your nuts pre-chopped but I find they don’t taste as fresh and are less cost effective. And, chopping nuts with a chefs knife is fine, if you don’t mind the possibility of nuts in the eye, all over the floor, or in your windowsill garden.

Enter the Progressive Nut Chopper.

It’s pretty basic, affordable, compact and easy to clean.  Plus, it’s VERY easy to use.  You put the nuts in the top compartment, crank the handle on the side and voila…chopped nuts.  It even has 2 different types of blades inside.  One chops coarsely and the other more fine.  PLUS, the bottom half of the gadget is marked with volume measures, allowing you to easily eyeball your nut volume.  :giggle:

The only nut that you can’t chop with this awesome tool is…me.  I’m too big.

Take my word for it.  You want this. Get it RIGHT HERE.

 

 

 

Cooking Tool Thursday: Citrus Juicer

FullSizeRender(11)Lemons and limes are a pantry staple.  They are fairly inexpensive, loaded with vitamin C, and brighten almost any dish, baked good or adult beverage. That means, a good quality citrus juicer is something you simply must not live without.  I prefer this style of juicer because it squeezes every last drop of juice out your fruit, all while catching the seeds before they end up in your food (or drink).  THIS particular juicer (the one I have) is no joke. It’s has a “dual-gear mechanism” that squeezes out more juice than your average hand held juicer yet it’s design actually reduces the amount hand strength needed to squeeze the daylights out of your fruit.  Plus, it’s made from stainless steel so it’s durable and will last forever.  

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or lemon cake.  Or a lemon drop martini.  With a citrus juicer, the possibilities are endlessssss.

PSA: Your lemon goes in butts up so as to not squirt yourself in the eyeball. I was using up a very thick slice of a lemon at the time of the photo!

Cooking Tool Thursday: ‘Ove’ Glove

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Ever feel like a clumsy crab when wearing oven gloves?  I do.  So when my husband got me the ‘Ove’ Glove years ago, I was stoked (This is what happens as you get older.  Oven gloves are exciting.)  Well, I DO use my ‘Ove’ Glove almost every day.  It’s always the first one I grab when I need to grab something hot.  What’s soooo great about it?

Well, first of all, you get to use ALL your fingers.  Yep.  That’s a big one.  I have so much more flexibility and control over the piping hot pans, dishes, etc. with this lovely glove.  And, unlike your typical hot pad, it provides complete coverage, protecting you from burns on the top, sides, or palm of your hand.

See those blue lines?  Gorgeous, right?  Kidding.  Those actually help grip what you are grabbing AND provide an extra layer of protection.  The glove itself is made with layers of heat and flame resistant material (up to 540 degrees Fahrenheit) which allows to you to hold the hot stuff longer.  Plus, it’s machine washable.

And one last thing?  It would look great in an Easter basket :). Buy it HERE.

Cooking Tool Thursday: Bench Scraper

The name “bench scraper” sounds like a painful new-age exercise.  Don’t fret…it’s actually a wonderfully useful kitchen tool.  A bench scraper is a metal or plastic rectangular tool designed to scrape your bench (a.k.a, your work space).  It is used a lot in baking to scrape up and cut dough or clean up excess flour.  But, my favorite use for a bench scraper: scooping up chopped veggies, herbs, etc. to transfer them to their pot or pan.

For example, the large counter space in my kitchen is across the way from my stove.  Life before my bench scraper was spent scooping stuff up with my hands, clenching my fingers tightly together while my dog eagerly awaits the pieces I drop (except green beans…he HATES green beans).  Or awkwardly carrying my cutting board to the stove, trying not to scrape in the peels or ends that inevitably end up stuck to my board.

Which one should YOU get?  Mine looks like THIS (as seen in pic).  I think it’s awesome because it is sturdy, easy to clean, and it’s got a great edge.  My favorite part, though, is the ruler on the side which I often use it to make sure my dice is just right or measure my baking pan or skillet to make sure they are the size I need.

So, the next time you clumsily transfer ingredients across the kitchen, stop. Put down your knife and CLICK HERE to get your very own bench scraper.

Come here little onions…

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There you go.

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