Three kitchen gadgets perfect for everyday use

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By: Lydia Sheaks
lsheaks@elkharttruth.com

It happened when I was struggling to put my blender back on the top shelf in the kitchen.

Standing on my tip-toes, I was stretching to fit the heavy glass pitcher in between the rice cooker and the popcorn popper when my husband cleared his throat. 

“You have too many gadgets,“ he announced. ”Do you even use all this stuff?“

And, like the shoe addict who claims they wear every pair, I assured him that each and every one of my kitchen gadgets is utilized on a regular basis. 

Still, there are some tools I use more than others. Here are my favorites, starting with one I discovered just this summer. 

The Veggetti 

My coworker Emily Pfund told me about The Veggetti from Bed, Bath and Beyond. This little handheld device basically shreds zucchini (and other vegetables) into noodle-like strands. 

I use the Veggetti several times a week to make this simple zucchini stir-fry:

Zucchini Stir-Fry

  • Zucchini
  • Olive oil
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Minced garlic

Shred all the zucchini you’ll be using with the Veggetti, then cut the pile of shredded zucchini in half with a knife to make shorter strands. I recommend one zucchini for each person who will be eating.

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep pan or a wok.

Toss the zucchini in the pan along with the crushed red pepper and minced garlic. Add salt to taste and constantly stir the vegetables while cooking over high heat. 

When the zucchini reaches your desired softness (about 2-3 minutes), remove from pan.

Rice cooker

I like using a rice cooker because all I have to do is put the rice and water into the cooker and turn it on. When the rice is done cooking, the cooker automatically switches from the ”cook“ setting to the ”warm“ setting. 

Since we eat a lot of rice, this device is used almost every day. It cooks both white and brown rice with no problems.

We have a very basic rice cooker that probably cost $10 at Walmart

Popcorn popper

We inherited this Presto Power Pop for popping popcorn in the microwave from my husband’s grandpa. I was dubious about it at first because it looks like a spaceship. 

But it’s great because it pops the popcorn using the microwave without that awful microwave popcorn taste. Plus, the popcorn never burns.

To use it, you just put one of the little paper circles it comes with in the bottom, pour in some oil or butter to just cover the bottom of the container, and add your popcorn. 

Then just microwave on high for about three minutes or until popcorn stops popping. 

What are your favorite kitchen gadgets?  Let me know by leaving a comment below. 

Follow reporter Lydia Sheaks on Twitter at @LydiaSheaks
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