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Tag Archives: Kmart

Whisking the night away.

Whisking the night away.

When I did my ‘must have’ kitchen tools list a couple of weeks ago, I realized that I had whisks on the list but hadn’t really talked about them before.  So here we go….

Whisks are a wonder tool in the kitchen.  They combine ingredients in a way that a spoon just won’t do.  Trust me on this one. I am sure many of you have whisks but ask yourself the following:

  1. Am I using it? or is it just sitting pretty in your drawer or tool crock?
  2. Is my tried and true whisk ick?  Take a look at your whisk.  Seriously.  Get up and go look right now :).  Do you see rust in the crevices?  Are the wires looking wonky?  If yes, toss that baby in the trash right now and read on for my recommendations.

Types of whisks:

  • Metal– Please don’t be wooed by the cheap cheap cheap whisks that every retailer is selling.  While they are functional, you are risking rust and corrosion due the lower grade metals.  Who wants rust and corrosion anywhere near food?  Gross.   Look for stainless steel.  You also want to look for whisks that don’t have a tightly wrapped wires (very difficult to clean).  I love the stainless steel balloon whisk from Williams Sonoma.  It retails between $12.95 and $14.00 depending on the length.  It is easy to hold, dishwasher safe and 18/10 stainless steel. It may seem a little pricey for a whisk but it will last.  Honorable mention:  The OXO stainless steel whisk sold at Target.  It retails for $9.99 and has an incredibly comfortable handle made of santoprene.
  • Silicone – My personal fave!  I love that you can whisk right in the saucepan/fry pan.  My absolute favorite whisk is the Kenmore Silicone whisk from Kmart (also available at Sears) for $9.99.  The silicone covered wires are great!  No scratching pans.  Dishwasher safe/Easy to clean.  Safe for up to 500 degrees so no melting worries. Honorable mention:  The OXO Silicone whisk sold at Target for $11.99.  Dishwasher safe.  Comfortable handle.

Uses for whisks:

  • My typical M.O. is to use my metal whisk when I am mixing something in a bowl and my silicone whisk whenever heat is involved (melting chocolate, making sauces on the stove, making scrambled eggs, etc.)  Fun tip:  I mix my scrambled eggs right in the pan!  No need to dirty a separate bowl if you have  silicone whisk!  Brilliant!

Caring for your whisk:

  • Metal –  It is imperative that after washing you let your whisk completely dry.  There are so many crevices.  This is why I prefer to use a dishwasher safe whisk so that I can feel confident that the crevices are clean and have been heated to a high temperature to kill bacteria.
  • Silicone – Food is less apt to stick in the crevices but I still prefer to run mine through the dishwasher.

Happy mixing everyone!!

Mix it up a little, will ya?

Re-posting an oldie but a goodie (seriously a strange saying)….

Mixing bowls are a secret love of mine.  When I walk the kitchenware aisles, the booths at the Houseware’s Show or just open my cabinet, I am drawn to the fun colors.  Boring mixing bowls are sooo yesterday.  Mixing bowls are a statement piece.  Fun colors, fun materials, fun features.  I am going to give you a quick rundown of some of the advances that I have seen in the past five years and I encourage you to toss your old bowls (or use them for messy kid crafts or something) and buy something fresh, fun and new.

  • Silicone – Most bowls now come with silicone on the bottom to prevent slipping while you are mixing.  Love it!  A select few also add a silicone handle for you to get an extra secure grip while mixing (OXO makes a great set of bowls with silicone on the bottom and on the handle for $24.99 on So cute!
  • Materials – Mixing bowls are available in almost every material imaginable for the kitchen.  Glass.  Ceramic.  Melamine. Stainless Steel.  While the fun colors are reserved typically for the ceramic and the melamine, I do still use my glass (Pyrex makes a great mixing bowl set that comes with fun colored lids for @ $20 for an 8 pc set) and stainless steel bowls as well (usually a little pricier $20-$40 for a set of three depending on the brand).  There is just something about whisking eggs in a stainless bowl that makes me feel like a pro.
  • Storage– While I prefer to buy bowls that nest, collapsible bowls do exist as well.  Progressive makes a collapsible 3 qt bowl in a few fun colors that are great if you don’t have much cabinet space. (retails for about $10 on or at Kmart).
  • Pourable – You can also find mixing bowls with a pour spout.  Huge bonus for those of us that want to just pour cake batter or pancake batter without making a big mess.
  • Sets or open stock–  You can buy mixing bowls in a set or as open stock (single bowls).  As an example, OXO  comes in a 1.5 qt ($8-$9), a 3 qt ($9-$11) and a 5 qt ($10-$13) at retailers such as Amazon, Kmart, Target and Crate and Barrel (to name a few).  A set of three OXO bowls is typically @24.99 and really makes the most economic sense.

Fun tip:  Mixing bowls are for more than just mixing.  Throw fresh fruit in them and leave them out on the counter.  When you buy such fun colors, why hide them in the cabinet.

Happy Mixing everyone.  I hope you will feel as inspired as I am by these fun colors!

‘Can’ we talk?

Last week I went to open an incredibly nutritious (not-so) but much-loved can of spaghetti and meatballs for the boys and the tab broke off (pop top can). I looked down at the still unopened can not sure what to do so I left it on the counter for Eric to deal with when he got home.  When Eric arrived home from work, our conversation went something like this:

Me: “I left a can on counter.  The tab popped off!  Can you figure out now to open it or should I just throw it away??”

Eric: “Um. Use a can opener.”

OMG. How embarrassing.

This lovely exchange led me to my next blog.  Can openers.  Specifically manual can openers (as opposed to electric can openers).

Believe me when I tell you, I know can openers.  Aside from being a kitchenware buyer, I have a work-out crazed husband that for @ 5 yrs ate a can of tuna everyday (protein, protein, protein).  We have gone through so many can openers, it’s a little bit nuts.  I guess now I can chalk it up to research.

My biggest gripe with can openers is hands down the blades.  Rust, grime, overall ick stuck in there.  Yikes.  If I can’t get a can opener clean, its next stop is casa garbage.

Cleaning tips/tricks:

  • Hand wash.  Especially if you have hard water/water softener.  I found this out the hard way.  I had a great can opener that quickly corroded.  I contacted the vendor and our gadget designer who both informed me that the salt accelerates the corrosion process.
  • Rinse between uses and deep clean every 10 uses or so with dish soap and warm water.
  • Fold up a paper towel in to a small square and ‘run’ it through the blades like you are opening a can.  Run the paper towel through several times until it comes out clean.  You’ll be amazed at how much ick is stuck in between the blades.
  • You can also use an old/cheap toothbrush to really scrub the gears.

Product Recommendations (I preface this with, there are hundreds of can openers, these are my personal faves. If you have a specific can opener you have questions about let me know):

  1. OXO Smooth Edge Can Opener– Amazing can opener.  Cuts the entire top of the can off.  No sharp edges! The blades do not touch food!  Huge bonus.  From a bacteria and cleanliness standpoint, this is a major feature of this product.  The handles also feel great in your hand.  You can buy this can opener for @$22.00 at most retailers (such as Bed Bath and Beyond and Williams Sonoma) and a slightly smaller version for @$19.99 (at Target and Kmart).  See video below for a short instructional video on how to use this cool can opener.
  2. Zyliss Lock-n-Lift can opener- This is a more conventional model but some pretty amazing bonus features.  It completely comes unhinged so that you can clean between the blades.  It has a magnet that holds the lid for hands free disposal.  The handles are rubberized to give you a great grip.   It retails for @$15.00 on Amazon or at Bed Bath and Beyond.
  3. Pampered Chef Smooth-Edge Can Opener-  I am giving this an honorable mention because I have not personally tried this one.  I am not familiar at all with Pampered Chef products but I have had several people mention this particular one to me and saw several great reviews online.  It retails for $20.00.  If any of my brilliant blog followers owns one or sells Pampered Chef please add some fun facts about this can opener so that others can see.  Thanks!

How to Video (from You Tube):

Happy Can Opening Everyone?!  (Um… couldn’t really come up with a kitschy ending for this one).

You’re going to flip!

You’re going to flip!

food turner– n. cooking utensil having a flat flexible part and a long handle; used for turning or serving food.

spatula – n. a utensil with a broad, flat often flexible blade, used for lifting, spreading or stirring foods.

Ok. Got it. Are we good? Do you understand the difference? Based on these standard dictionary definitions… me neither.

It’s funny because growing up, a spatula was the thing that my Mom used to flip pancakes, cook eggs and everything else that involved a fry pan. The wood utensil with the flexible plastic on the end used to scrape batter out a bowl? I don’t think we even had a name for that. So, that was the info I had going in to the wonderful world of kitchenware buying. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Here’s the run down on turners

  • The Basics: Turners are typically made from nylon, silicone or stainless steel. Nylon is the cheapest option and the most brittle of materials. You can find nylon turners for @$1. Silicone is a wonderful option, it is incredibly heat-resistant and safe for nonstick cookware. Stainless turners should never be used on nonstick cookware but I love mine for getting the perfect lasagna squares out of my glass bakeware.
  • Types: Solid turners (great for all types of cooking), slotted turners (great for greasier foods such as hamburgers. When you pick them up with the slotted turner, most of the grease drains through the slots and remains in the pan), fish turners (longer more narrow turner head to pick up larger pieces of delicate fish and drains the oil thru the slots as well) and pancake turners (wider head to pick up more of the pancake and minimize flipping mistakes).
  • My recommendations: Personally, I love the Kitchenaid turner line (prices range from $5.99-$9.99 at Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Sears, Kohls and Amazon to name a few) and the Kenmore stainless-silicone line exclusive to Kmart (prices range from $8.99-$9.99). Color and design preferences play a big part in selecting a tool line. People typically gravitate to the color and design of a particular brand and stick with it for all of their kitchen tools.

Okay. Okay. I admit it. I made the title sound wayyy more exciting than this blog ended up being but they can’t ALL be the best blog ever, right? Happy flipping everyone!

Really? A knife. Say it isn’t so.

I credit my sister-in-law for this title. Her pet peeve is a knife slicing into a pizza. Granted, not an end-of-the world solution to cutting your pizza but you end up dragging the cheese and really it’s just messy and sorta makes your pizza look gross. Reason to buy a pizza cutter #1. Reason to buy a pizza cutter #2– If your pizza cutter is more than 10 yrs old, you probably need a new one. Surprisingly there have been a few updates to the design that really make slicing through pizza easier. The diameter of the wheel has increased substantially so that you can slice through thicker pizza and still be able to keep the ingredients intact. I wouldn’t recommend buying any pizza cutter with a wheel smaller than a 3″. Reason to buy a pizza cutter #3 – You can actually use it for other things! I use mine for cutting fresh herbs, shredding lettuce and cutting quesadillas. Trust me, wayyyy easier than using a knife. Try a pizza wheel the next time you need chop up fresh parsley for a recipe. Its easier and I don’t feel like I am going to slice my finger in the process.

Buying a pizza cutter 101

  • Choose a stainless steel pizza cutter for durability and ease of cleaning. The stainless steel will resist corrosion. However, if you are using non-stick pizza pans to make your pizza, I would suggest buying a plastic wheel pizza cutter.
  • Hold the pizza cutter in your hand to make sure you like the feel and positioning of the handle.
  • Don’t worry about the length of the handle. It just needs to fit well in your hand.
  • An important feature for me is how much of the wheel is exposed or if it can come apart. There really isn’t anything more gross than old food stuck where you can’t get it. Ick.

Pizza Cutter Best Bets

  • Stainless-OXO Good Grips 4″ pizza Cutter. Can be found on ($12.99), Target (called OXO Soft Grips-$8.39), Kmart (called OXO Touchables-$8.99) and Bed Bath and Beyond ($12.99). Personally, I have used the Target and the Bed Bath pizza cutters and they both work equally well, my ultimate recommendation would be to save the money and buy it at Kmart or Target. My absolute favorite pizza cutter is my Pyrex pizza cutter. Unfortunately, the only place that I can find to purchase is ($8.99). Amazing cutter. Sturdy, great handle and best of all the wheel comes completely off so I can get it perfectly clean. Love it!
  • Plastic- OXO Good Grips 4″ pizza cutter for non-stick pans. Can be found at ($14.99), Target (called OXO Soft Grips-$8.99), Williams-Sonoma ($13.00) or Bed Bath & Beyond ($11.99). Kenmore (at Kmart for $7.99) also makes an excellent plastic pizza cutter.

Happy slicing everyone!

A cup is not a cup is not a cup.

When I first started buying Kitchenware,  a vendor was presenting their products to me (namely measuring cups).  Dry measuring cups. Liquid measuring cups.  I thought to myself, a cup is a cup is a cup, right?  Well, sort of.  As I was using my liquid measuring cup this morning to heat water for my oatmeal,  I felt inspired to blog.

  • Liquid measuring cups-The main plus to having a liquid measuring cup is the extra room at the top that prevents overflow/spilling. An example of a liquid measuring cup is shown above.  Pyrex is, by far, the most well-known.  It can be found at most retailers and online.  They should retail for between $5-$8.  If you see it for any more than that, you are paying too much and you should shop around.  Liquid measuring cups are also available in plastic if you prefer.  I do discourage plastic because the plastic material limits what you can do with it  (i.e. you can use glass in the microwave and dishwasher).  I do love the measuring capabilities of the OXO angled cup.  You can see the measurements from the top.  Very cool.  However, I wish that it was available in glass.  (It is available in plastic and metal, with plastic being the most popular).
  • Dry measuring cups-Dry measuring cups allow for precise measuring of dry ingredients.  You are able to level off the top with a straight edge.  Dry measuring cups come in a variety of sizes for this very reason.  While you can still technically use a liquid measuring cup for dry ingredients, it is difficult to get an exact measurement.  You can tap the side but this can cause some dry ingredients to compact, which can result in an inaccurate amount going into your recipe.  This is where my blog will become more opinionated vs. fact based (forewarning).  There is an overwhelming amount of dry ingredient cups out there.  They can range from $8-$50.    I do realize that material preferences plays a part in this.  Some people prefer plastic, while others prefer metal but the bottom line is this:  A dry measuring cup IS a dry measuring cup.  It seems crazy to me to spend more than $20 on measuring cups so I am not going to focus on anything higher than that.  Now that I have that off my chest, let’s get to the details. Here are a few options.  Kenmore (at Kmart) makes excellent metal measuring cups.  I have had mine for @3 yrs and I love them.  They nest inside each other and have magnets in the handle to keep them that way in my drawer (pictured below).  They retail for $14.99. I also own a set of plastic Kitchenaid cups that have held up well.  I have had them for @8 yrs.  The only issue I have is that they don’t stay as well nested as the Kenmore cups.  They are available at multiple retailers such as Target, Amazon and Macy’s (to name a few).  They typically sell for $6-$10.   My honorable mention is for OXO.   They are heavy duty and I love the neoprene handles.  They also nest well but retail a little high.  $20 at retailers like Williams Sonoma, Macy’s and Amazon.
As you can see, measuring cups aren’t quite as simple as they appear.  Hoped this helped clarify the need for two types in your kitchen.  Please add a comment if you have found measuring cups that you love or don’t love that I didn’t mention here.  Please be sure to include why you did or did not like them.  Thanks and happy measuring everyone!

Pucker up buttercup.

It will seem unbelievable but my favorite gadget, that I discovered while being a Kitchenware buyer, is a handheld citrus squeezer.  This thing is the BOMB.   The Hispanic culture has been using these for years and boy was this a well kept secret (or at least a secret from me).  I have been into lemons and limes since I could talk (and I am in no way exaggerating).  The most frustrating thing about needing fresh lemon or lime juice is the mess, the seeds and then to top it off,  when you look at the lemon, you swear 1/2 the juice is still left in there.  This gadget completely squeezes every drop out and filters out the seeds!!!  If you like to make fresh guacamole or lemonade, you must drop what you are doing, stop reading this blog and go get one.  Every single person I have recommended this gadget to has thanked me and feels the same way I do.   Please note the attached picture.  It shows how the lemon should go into the cup.  Your natural inclination is to put it the opposite way, and while it will work OK, it doesn’t squeeze all the juice out.  Make sure you put the halved lemon or lime with the inside pointing down.    For those of you who didn’t drop everything and go get this amazing little gadget, you can find them in the gadget sections of stores like Kmart and Meijer, Hispanic grocery stores as well as higher end stores such as Crate and Barrel and Williams Sonoma.   They are also carried at online sources like Amazon.  They range from $6-$20.  I will tell you though that I have found that the $6 one that I bought works just as well as the pricier ones.  I have had the same one for @3 yrs, I use it all the time and it looks perfect.  Also, they are typically available for lemons and a slightly smaller version for limes.  Wow, that was a lot of info on such a small gadget.  Happy squeezing.