Friday, 4 April 2014

Microplane Review & Other Handy Gadgets

At this stage I'm pretty sure you're aware, that my kitchen is my haven, my go to place, my centre of stress relief and my hide out. It's most definitely the most important room in my home and if I had my way, where I would spend all of my time. Unfortunately however, sometimes this little thing called reality gets in my way (how inconvenient) and causes me to have to work outside of my kitchen (i.e. at my real job), clean up and face the numerous tasks that being a grown up entails (yawn). Pretty horrific I know, but this just means that when I do get a good run at being in my kitchen, that it is of the  utmost  importance that it is filled, not only with incredibly tasty ingredients and creations but also nifty and fun tools and gadgets that help me along the way. I have always been a sucker for anything that is up for grabs in a kitchen or baking shop, and I am honestly a sucker for anything I think might help me out or be useful (and being honest maybe just things that look cool?!). 

After Christmas and the wedding I have had a few new very welcome additions to my kitchen which are worth a mention. All of these tools live in an exceptional and extraordinary place that is essential in every kitchen.....that's right, the second drawer. I am not entirely sure if the second drawer phenomenon is uniquely an Irish thing? Maybe it goes on internationally, by all means feels free to let me know. Ah the second drawer, just below the all important first drawer which holds your cutlery/eating utensils and what not. It is fair to say that absolutely anything could be found in the second drawer. Ranging from sellotape, markers, corkscrew, a garlic press, or maybe even strange tools from IKEA (you can't really remember what they're for but you know you need them). The length and depth of this drawer knows no bounds, and no matter how hard you may try to keep it neat and tidy, things ALWAYS get lost in it, always.


Microplane Zester/Grater
I had never heard of a microplane grater/zester until December 24th 2013 when one was gifted to me by my cousin. How I had never heard of one I’m not quite sure, because frankly this tool is genius, practical and indispensable when it comes to zesting and fine grating. The story of how these kitchen tools became a reality is pretty amusing, it runs along the lines of a Canadian housewife using one of her husband’s woodworking tools in the kitchen and it developed from there.The microplane is easy to use, easy clean and produces beautiful light zest. Prices start from €20.00. 

Love Heart Spatula/Flipper
Now this love heart ‘flipper’ probably isn’t the most fundamental or necessary tool for your second drawer and in all honesty I bought it solely because it looked pretty. However, I am happy to report that I have been pleasantly surprised as to how useful it is. I recently bought a set of Circulon saucepans and frying pans which I am quite precious about. So this silicone tool is actually brilliant for frying off onions, turning eggs, toast, pancakes, you name it. The heart shape though quite gimmicky and I’ll admit was bought during valentines week has actually turned out to be a really useful shape for getting into corners. I picked it up in Tiger for a thrifty €3.00 (http://www.tiger-stores.ie/).



Folding Measuring Cups
Measuring cups, very useful things, but very awkward to store. Who was the genius that invented collapsible colanders, measuring cups and bakeware? I bet whoever it was lived in a small space at some time in their lives. Apartment living isn't easy at the best of times but it’s the little collapsible things in life that make it bearable. These measuring cups are so easy to store and because of the silicone material are easy to wash (just ask my dishwasher). Available in most good kitchen equipment stores, mine were a gift from my Mom, and she picked them up in TK Maxx (i.e. Kitchen Gadget Heaven).


Everything in it's place they say, but at this rate I'm going to need to build an extension onto the famous second drawer to keep all these marvellous and ingenious solutions to problems I never even knew I had. Who knew zest could be so fine? Flipping could be so fun, and cups made of silicone were the answer to all my dreams?

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