Working as a kitchen assistant at Sur la Table I get to play with a lot of really fun and really amazing kitchen tools. It's actually a pretty sweet deal. I can use and work with and clean and have a true experience with most any item before I decide if I want to purchase it. So, why not share that with you?
Everyone knows Microplane graters are amazing. Most of the time though people buy them in long skinny stick form and use them for nuts or hard cheeses or chocolate. I have a couple, one for citrus and one for those other things but then I discovered Microplane makes a box grater. If you want the most amazing grater possible this is it. It's elevated so your cheese or whatever you're grating doesn't end up all mashed and compacted, but it's still super stable. And it's sharp. So sharp that the blade on the side for slicing cheese on a typical box grater can be used to slice vegetables. I have a mandoline but I'm tempted to give it away since it takes up too much room and is sort of a pain to actually use. This grater could easily replace it.
I'm not a total mother earth love peace hippie but I do try to not be a blatant asshole to the planet. For that reason I'm not really into using paper plates. These burger baskets with liners though way cut down on dishes for a large group and definitely seem way less wasteful. Plus they're cute and nostalgic. I used mine for the get together I had Saturday and plan to bring them to the cabin at the end of the month as well so we're not doing dishes for eight people three times a day.
I don't actually own this thermometer but it's on my wish list. We use these at work all the time. It works either the traditional way by inserting it into whatever you're cooking ooooor...are you ready for this? It also works with a LASER. So, say you have a big pot of oil you want to check the temp of. With this you don't have to put your hand within inches of a hot pot of oil and risk losing a limb. you can also use it to find hot spots on a grill or in your oven. The best part though is it never needs to be recalibrated. Most thermometers are off within a year or so, including the ones in your electrics. So you either have to get someone to make them right again or toss the thermometer. Never ever with this one.
I think I've mentioned this thing before but it's awesome so I'll do so again. Instead of cutting off the little end of a garlic clove then painstakingly peeling off every strip of that annoying garlic paper-y stuff with this you just put the whole clove in, roll back and forth, and out pops a clean and perfect clove of garlic. Also it comes in colors that don't suck. Mine's red.
Oh Le Creuset...you have such pretty and perfect cookware. Unfortunately you are also super heavy and I don't really want to move 800 pounds of you every time I want to make something. For that reason I will never be a total die hard Le Creuset fan. But, if you're going to get a grill pan for indoor grilling this is the one to get. Awesome heat distribution, cleans well, and great amount of space. Remember if you're using a grill pan though to let it sit on the heat a bit to get hot before you try to cook anything.
These citrus presses are by Chef'n and I love them. I have a traditional 50s style juicer and while it works it's like your first car. It gets you where you need to be but it makes a bit of a mess of things. This is definitely on my list of next purchases to make.
If you drink soda regularly (or cocktails) you need this. It's called a SodaStream and you will love it. All you do is fill one of the bottles with water, just regular tap or filtered water, and then screw it onto the SodaStream and pull down on the lever on the front until it makes this really weird noise. And now you have soda water! So you can go ahead and make a drink or have it plain or you can add syrup to flavor it and make it into soda. We use this every single class for drinks for people. Just make sure you don't let anyone who doesn't know what it is try to figure it out.