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| Apr 2020
Health-ish

Best and Worst Kitchen Gadgets

best-and-worst-kitchen-gadgets

Spending more time in the kitchen these days? There’s nothing like a little social distancing to make my weird obsession a little more pronounced. My weird obsession? I have something to confess. I’m obsessed with kitchen gadgets and appliances. 

There are some people who obsess over shoes. I have both male and female friends with extensive collections and proudly have a new pair of kicks for every outfit. Me? Yes, shoes are great. But my obsession is a little less sexy and requires a lot more storage space. I love anything that promises to make my life easier in the kitchen. Yep. That’s me.

I read reviews, research, and spend money on ways to prepare our food. It was bad enough that I had our builder ditch the plan for a formal dining room and build a massive storage pantry instead. I love to cook and spend a lot of time in the kitchen so it makes sense to have a wall of gadgets and appliances at the ready. 

Over the years, I have invested in some kitchenware that has improved the way I prepare meals and some that I honestly regret. You may read my list and want to fight me on it (people are passionate about their food prep) but here is my list for my best kitchen gadgets that are totally worth the money.

1. Spiralizer

I use this sucker at least once a week. We’re a big fan of zoodles in this house and it’s a simple way to turn zucchini into long spaghetti-ish strands. I also love to spiralize sweet potatoes then quickly sauté them for a simple side dish. I will spiral cut carrots for a fun salad topper. Basically, if you stand still long enough in my kitchen I will try to put you through this spiral gadget. (That sounded weird. Sorry.)

2. Mini-Prep Food Processor

My mom gave this to me about 5 years ago, and she got it for her wedding to my step dad almost 15 years ago so it’s seen some things. I use this to quick chop garlic (if I see garlic in a recipe I usually triple the amount), or vegetables for recipes. The clean up is super quick and it saves me time. 

3. Instant Pot

People are PASSIONATE about their pots.  Here’s the thing, it’s not like it cooks things in an “instant”. Yes, it speeds cooking time but it’s not like dinner is done start to finish in 10 minutes. I use it for my pork carnitas, chili, and to get rice perfect every time. 

4. Avocado Keeper

Our family eats LOADS of avocado. On the wellness plan I helped create, Well Body Reset, avocados are in a lot of the recipes to add healthy fats and texture to keep you full longer. I hated using half an avocado for a recipe only to have the other half get all brown and gross. This gadget reduces air exposure to keep your avocado nice and green for later use.

5. Meat Thermometer

A meat thermometer doesn’t exactly sound sexy but this one is one of my kitchen staples. There are fancier versions out there but this affordable thermometer has lasted us years. You can push the probe in the meat close the door on the durable cord, and set the alarm for desired cooking temperature on the exterior display. No more overcooked tenderloin!

6. Zoku Quick Popsicle Molds

Lola asked for this for her birthday one year. I rolled my eyes as I paid almost more than $50 for a popsicle mold but we use it all the time. In just a few minutes the kids whip up creations and have homemade, healthy treats. 

7. KitchenAid Stand Mixer

This red beauty was a wedding gift. She sits on our counter and I just love the look of her. We use this KitchenAid stand mixer more than I even thought we would. Lola loves to bake so she’s always coming up with some creation. On weekends I make a big frittata and I use the whisk attachment to beat all the eggs. 

8. Mandoline Slicer

I will be totally honest with you. I’ve almost sliced the tip of my finger off 3 times because I didn’t use the protective guard attachment thing. BUT when I do, this makes creating a full salad so easy. I slice up carrots, cucumbers, and onions. Sometimes I’ll slice sweet potatoes to make homemade “chips.” (Just use the protective guard.)

9. Misto Oil Sprayer

I mentioned this one in my kale chip recipe, but, choose your own oil and in a few pumps you have an aerosol spray! I roast a lot of veggies, potatoes, and eat a ton of salads. Instead of sloshing olive or avocado oil on my pan, I fill up this Misto and spray evenly.

10. Food Scooper

After chopping ingredients I was fumbling to scrap them all into the pan for cooking. I found this food mover so many years ago the brand has washed off — but this one is similar. It makes the chopping and transferring process so much faster.


The Gadgets I Regret Buying

Here are things I regret spending money on. Not because they aren’t fantastic, they are. They work as promised but at this point they take up space and I rarely use them. I know I’m going to get flack for these, seriously. I’m waiting. 

  1. Air Fryer: I know, I know, I know. There are entire websites dedicated to recipes for air fryers. I’ve loved everything I’ve cooked in this but the basket isn’t big enough for how much my family eats. I end up having to do several rounds of cooking and that’s just annoying. PLUS it’s huge. It takes up a lot of space. If you love it, great. FANTASTIC. It’s just not getting a lot of use over here. 
  2. Juicer: I tried to jump on the celery juice trend but it sent me running to the bathroom every 14 seconds. This juicer is amazing and works so well BUT there are just so many pieces. Keeping it clean was a part-time job. 
  3. Bread Machine: I have no picture because I gave it to a friend two years ago. But I spent a ton of money on it and used it twice. It was HUGE so I had to store it in the back of the pantry. I pulled a muscle trying to get it on the counter. Don’t get me wrong, the bread we made (those two times) was amazing. 
  4. Frozen banana thing: I was hoping my kids would enjoy blended frozen bananas instead of ice cream. They were not fooled. It was a delicious treat but my blender could do the same thing. It worked great, just not for us. 
  5. Panini press: What was I thinking? I used it once before giving it to a friend. She LOVES it and still uses it all the time. Making lunches is hard enough, now I have to press things? You do you. 
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The Holderness family has been dancing in pajamas and singing during snow days for years — but last year they hit the record button on the camera and published their goofy video on YouTube. Penn, Kim, Lola, and Penn Charles continue to make hilarious videos around tent-pole events and circumstances most families face.