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Old 12-16-2009, 12:20 AM   #1
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What is your favorite "can't live without" tool?

I am looking for a Christmas gift (or two) for my wife. Is there something you use in your kitchen that you think every cook should have? (tool, certain knife, spatula, grater, appliance, etc)

I figure what you all love, my wife may love.


Thanks!

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Old 12-16-2009, 12:25 AM   #2
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My Henckles 8" santoku knife and a bamboo cutting board. If she uses lots of fresh herbs, an Alaska knife with cutting bowl.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:43 AM   #3
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If you are smart it will be a pair of diamond earrings!!
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:45 AM   #4
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And on a less serious note.......does she have a kitchen scale??

I also get a lot of use out of my double ended magnetic SS measuring spoons.

Progressive Magnetic Measuring Spoons - Set of 5 by Progressive at Cooking.com
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
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If you are smart it will be a pair of diamond earrings!!
It's hard to cut into a good ribsteak with a diamond earring
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Old 12-16-2009, 01:32 AM   #6
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Then again. if the cook is unhappy and burns that ribeye to a crisp, who cares how good the knife is??
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:38 AM   #7
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OK - here are my very favorite and most heavily used items in my kitchen - i love epicurean cutting boards in an almost unnatural way - they are fabulous:

This silicon spatula (comes in several colors). You might find it at a fred meyers or target but don't accept a substitute: Chef'n Switchit Dual Ended Long Spatula - Avocado - Yahoo! Shopping

This cutting board, in this size (you can find this in black as well - which looks great). Thin, lightweight, bullet proof, washable, heat proof. Mine survived an entire summer of cutting porcelain tiles during a remodel and still looks great - seriously. Amazon.com: Epicurean Cutting Board - Natural (22x10.25"): Home & Garden
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:07 AM   #8
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A high quality electric mixer, such as KitchenAid or Viking, a good chef's knife, such as Henckels or Wusthof, a microplane grater, a good food processor, such as Cuisinart, and an ice cream maker!
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:40 AM   #9
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Cheap and simple, I love my measuring glasses. I have three different sizes: shotglass, four oz., and just shy of two cups (I think it's really 12 oz. but I'm too lazy to go downstairs and look). Now don't get the idea that I'm cheap...those earrings sound like a winner to me! And as suggested by "merstar", a microplane is great too. Among other things,I use mine for Parm. & Romano cheeses...nice, fluffy, quick to melt on your spaghetti. Yum! Lastly, if you have fish regularly, consider a fish spatula. It's got lots of slots so the liquid stays behind when you lift the fish onto your plate. Silly little thing, but I love having it when I fix fish (in our house it's at least once a week).

FWIW, I like opening presents. I would rather have six inexpensive gifts than one big, expensive one. Or maybe it's just that I like to see my hubby have more to wrap....
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:45 AM   #10
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We're talking basic here, all somewhat less than romantic: a good quality veggie peeler - my current favorite is an Oxo, which fits my hand well and makes peeling less of a chore; a mandolin for slicing veggies into those nice, thin slices (my daughter calls mine the 'Watchee Fingee' and cautions me to use the plastic guard that comes with it). I hope Santa brings me a silicon baking sheet, which I would really like to have right now for Christmas cookies. A large and a small good quality whisk.
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:58 AM   #11
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More than just one thing, but I find these indispensible:

Long handled tongs
Ordinary scissors (not kitchen carcass scissors)
A pair of long handled slotted jaw pliers (for caps that are small and caps that are stuck)
Pump dispenser of kitchen detergent (handy for on the spot pot or dish cleaning, and for washing hands without cross contaminating anything.)
Dough scrapper (comes in handy for anything cubed or diced, in addition to making bread.)
Wooden mallet (For meat tenderizing, flattening, or breaking up ice cubes.)
8" cake icing spreader (Great for reaching the bottom of jars, such as Mayo, Peanut Butter, Anything.)
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:46 AM   #12
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Cast Iron cookware........


Enjoy!
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:20 AM   #13
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My husband says that the best gifts are those that one can do without. So he got me a luxury-brand handbag for Christmas! Not that I'm complaining!

Anyway, in the kitchen, I can't live without:

- my Braun food processor (600 watt hand blender and various attachments)
- IKEA stainless steel pots with heavy bottoms
- Le Creuset or Staub dutch ovens
- Henkel or Global Chef's knife, Bread knife, Paring Knife, Boning knife, Cleaver
- Cast iron skillet
- VitaMix blender
- MISTA oil atomizer
- Oster Foodsaver
- WMF pressure cooker
- heavy-duty granite mortar and pestle
- Silicon spatulas
- OXO centrifugal salad dryer
- Spice grinder
- Microplane
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:05 PM   #14
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A good thermometer or two. I have an instant read and a remote wireless one. The remote makes smoking a dream, being able to watch the box temperature and the food temperature from inside the hose is wonderful.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:17 PM   #15
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My personal suggestion would be to think about what cooking your wife does and then see what appliances/gadgets would make those chores easier.

You might find some more ideas here: Favorite Kitchen Tools or Gadgets
And, you might get some ideas here, too: Useless kitchen tools
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy_ View Post
If you are smart it will be a pair of diamond earrings!!
Take from a woman who knows.....

otoh... a pair of tongs that are long enough to keep her hands away from spatters; silicon "pot holders;" a digital probe meat thermometer; a set of the new OXO liquid measuring cups...
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