In and around my kitchen - 9 favorite tools of 2011
December 23rd, 2011

Not sure I’m ready for 2012. Heck, not even sure I’m ready for Christmas yet. I didn’t get to bake all of my favorite cookies this year, the easiest curd stollen is on my todo-list for tomorrow (yes, there is still time to bake this tasty stollen for Christmas – so really no excuse here!) and two presents are still waiting to be bought.


Since most people are currently running around like headless chickens with absolutely no time for a fabulous new recipe – I have one up my sleeve for you next time – I decided for something different and compiled a list of my favorite new kitchen tools from this year. They all have proven to be extremely useful on many occasions and I wouldn’t want to miss them. So, if you need some inspiration what to do with that extra Christmas money your grandpa won’t stop to sneak into your wallet… Here we go:

No.1 – Chef’n Nutmeg Grater: Be careful what you wish for. Shortly after I had twittered about my clumsiness concerning handling nutmeg (I had just dropped yet another nut into a pot of boiling soup while trying to grate some off), this one-hand grater was delivered to my doorstep. I am ever grateful to my dear friend Hande who surprised me with this sweet little gift that shaves off the finest nutmeg flakes. Our nutmeg consumption has doubled – at a minimum.

No.2 – Wesco Single Grandy: It was a very sad day when my thrifted, old enamel bread box broke. The original plan was to hunt down a new old one at the flea market, but the minute I spotted the relatively new Single Grandy (always thought the Grandy was way too big for our kitchen) I was sold. Classy, practical, easy to clean.

No.3 – Bodum Dual Salt and Pepper Grinder: This one was a thoughtful gift from my friend Dagi. Perfect for your secret TV dinner, when your pasta or salad lacks that pinch of extra salt or pepper. No need to run to the kitchen for the large pepper mill anymore.

No.4 – Sinbo Coffee Grinder (used for spices): I love fresh, homemade spice mixes. Trying to pulverize a cinnamon stick with pestle and mortar? Not so much. This one is one of the very few impulse buys – usually I research before I click the buy-button -, but it fully lives up to my expectations and quickly pulverizes everything you stick in there.
Disclaimer: While its instructions tell you to only use it to grind coffee, I use it for spices ONLY (cleaning works like a charm, just pulse a teaspoon of rice afterwards). But its instructions explicitley tell you to not do that, just so you know…

No.5 – Riess baking/roasting dishes: I bought my first Riess piece when I went to university and can’t help but gather one after another of these colorful enamel pans. Highly recommended for everyday use.

No.6 – Wüsthof Peeling Knife: My friend Hande makes me prepare fruit salad almost on a daily basis when we visit her in Rome. But her peeling knife made it all worthwhile. I returned home and instantly bought the same one for myself.

No.7 – Tart rings: My favorite place to shop in Paris has to be Mora. More reasonably priced than the famous Dehillerin, I rarely leave empty-handed. Last spring I splurged on these tart rings – great for baking individual tarts and quiches.

No.8 – Bloomingville jars with lids: Who doesn”t like the Nordic home ware and accessory companies Rice, House Doctor and Bloomingville? The make everyday products look good and fun to use – there really is no need to use ugly containers for your food leftovers.

No.9 – Sonos Player: We decided to add another Sonos Player to our sound system (finally the kitchen) and I don’t even want to imagine life without them any more. Wait, you are not familiar with Sonos? I think it is the smartest way to enjoy your music at home: you can directly access your iTunes library, podcasts, most popular music services (think Pandora, Spotify, Last.fm, etc.) and thousands of web radio stations. You can easily re-arrange your playlists on your computer, iPhone, Android or tablet (find apps here), listen to different music in different rooms or decide how Sonos should wake you up in the morning…

Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with the companies of the aforementioned products and don’t get paid for recommending them. I simply enjoy using them – and maybe you will, too.

Now it’s your turn, what new tools or kitchen gadgets have made you happy this year? I’d love to know!

On a different note – Merry Christmas and a very happy 2012 to you and your family – see you soon :)

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2011

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