Happy New Year! Another page turned on the calendar and we are already a ways into 2018, it just goes so darn fast! I am hoping that your first taste of 2018 is good and that it is just a glimpse of better things coming your way!
Thinking of this new year, I remember reading how the word “new” is a great word for advertising campaigns. It gives the feeling that we are on the verge of something better-it is newer after all! And that made me think about all the new kitchen accessories that are out and so I did some digging to see what else is out there. My enquiring mind just wanted to see what else is new! And now I have this list of the kitchen accessories that I have decided to let you make the call on if it is a “FAD” or a “FIND”.
Kitchen Accessories: FAD or FIND?
I’ve embraced the less cluttered lifestyle of minimalism (have not really gone minimal, but definitely appreciate letting go of things that don’t fit me anymore, figuratively and literally!) and with that mindset, it is difficult to get really excited about new stuff, because now I am always aware that there is limited space and if something new were to come into my home, there needs to be space or I feel uncomfortable with clutter again. So, if you have always wondered what items are worthy of your valuable home space, walk with me through this forest of kitchen gadgets and determine which of these items are FADS or which are FINDS (the keepers and worth your space!). It’s been fun looking at all there is to choose from. You may agree with my perspective, or not. It’s all good.
Let’s start with the Instant Pot. It was like the cabbage patch kids doll of days gone by but for adults! I didn’t realize it was so popular! I managed to get one (thanks to a girlfriend who braved the sale!) and here’s my review:
The Instant Pot – Well, first off, this item claims to do the work of 7 appliances: crockpot, pressure cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, vegetable steamer, warmer and to sauté and brown. I tried it out, twice so far, and have liked what it does. I let go of my vegetable steamer to make room for the instant pot in my cupboard. I won’t replace the rice cooker because there are times when you would like a stew with rice and this way I can make both at the same time. What I love about the Instant Pot, is the pressure cooker ability. I made dinner in ½ hour last night! That was it! Super fast! It can also replace a slow cooker, so if you have one of these, you can replace the space with the Instant Pot. I was a little scared of the pressure release part and did read some horror stories on the internet, but the reason I wanted one was because a lady I met at a wedding went on and on about how great it was. I see it has a huge capability to create stews, soups, and chili, and in a fraction of the time. I found a fantastic recipe (which I will share with you) for Chicken Taco Bowls which my family all loves (a rarity for some of the picky eaters here who shall remain nameless…). I’m excited to try the yogurt maker too! My friend who stayed in line to buy me mine did a stew that she said was amazing! So, final decision-for me, it’s a FIND!!!
Juicer – I was given a juicer for a wedding gift…25 years ago. It barely saw the light of day. I just didn’t know how to use it and it seemed like a lot of work for a little drink. However, last year I took part in a juice challenge and discovered how amazing juicing can be! For 10 days I had juices that tasted great, good and “would not happen again”, but my skin glowed and I felt great-also lost 10 pounds! So, now I am sold. I don’t juice everyday, but my goal of one day a week is doable. So, having a good few recipes, I even got some of my kids to like juicing! Great for their health, but now I have to make twice as much juice! The negative is always the clean-up. There are ways to make it easier, like lining the pulp bin with a paper compost bag. So, in the end, I still think being able to get your daily vegetable allotment into one glass, it’s worth it! For me, a juicer is a FIND!!!
Spirilizer – I have seen ads for these all over the place. I finally bought one. Since I am gluten intolerant, it makes sense to substitute vegetables for pasta and what better way than with a spirilizer! It works great if you are wanting to make zucchini noodles and they can be topped with a marinara sauce for a quick pasta that has no gluten. It is a sneaky way of getting more veggies into your kids’ diets too! It isn’t a gadget I use very often so it does sit in my cupboard a bit more than it should…perhaps it depends on your family’s likes. For me, it is still a FIND, but if I don’t start using it more, I guess it might end up a FAD!!!
Vegetable sheet cutter – oh my goodness! I saw this on a fb page I am following and was so blown away. Unfortunately it hasn’t arrived yet so I cannot give a personal account of how it works. I love the idea of making lasagna noodles out of eggplant and cucumber wraps…I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let me explain how this works. It is an attachment for your Kitchenaide mixer that allows you to cut vegetables into literal sheets to be used in numerous ways. The demonstration had the lady make sweet potato chips, sheets of eggplant for lasagna and sheets of cucumber that she filled with more veggies to make a wrap. Great lunch idea for our house! I might be a bit too excited to give this an accurate review and since it hasn’t yet arrived, I’m holding off on calling it a FAD or a FIND! But it really is so cool, I couldn’t resist. Now I just have to find a place in my cupboards to store it…
Herb Keeper – I bought one of these in the summer and was surprised at how well it worked! My herbs stayed fresh so much longer! What it is is an attachment to a mason jar so that your herb stems sit in the mason jar in water and then the top of the herbs are kept in a domed lid. I guess you could do the same with a mason jar and a plastic bag covering the top of the herbs. Either way, it does make sense to keep your herbs in the fridge in a jar of water. FIND!
Herb Shears – at first I began to think this idea was going to be such a FAD, but I bought a pair on the advice of a foodie I trusted and have found them to be amazing! So much easier than getting out the herb cutter and board. If I just want a little cilantro on my taco bowl, this is the way to go! But they also work well enough that you could make a larger amount for your whole family. If you were feeding a crowd, well, that might be a bit much. So, herb shears, a definite FIND on my list!
Sparkling Water dispenser – when my husband came home with this, I was determined to call it a FAD, but that’s because I don’t drink carbonated drinks. My husband, however, loves his bubbles. So, even though I have never used it, it does warrant a place on our shelf because it keeps my husband from drinking all those overly sweet and calorie-laden, unhealthy drinks we call pop. He uses it at least weekly. So, if you have someone in your home who could take a vacation from all the unhealthy pop but still loves the bubbles, I guess this is a FIND!
Now I started to wade into waters that were pretty interesting and I found some kitchen accessories that were interesting, but I didn’t even think I would consider adding to this list. There was an avocado slicer…perhaps you have one and love it and you can let me know since we do eat a lot of avocados here; a potato ricer…which given the new trend to make cauliflower rice might be a great idea once I get on board with that trend; an egg sandwich maker…well, that just seems like something a single person or couple would use. In our house it would be a bit of a space waste as I could only make one sandwich at a time and I’m not about to buy five since we probably have egg sandwiches twice a year! But there was something that definitely intrigued me…it was the Heatsbox.
It is a container that you can put your lunch into and it has an outer container that fits around the lunch box container and has a USB plug. You can take last nights’ leftovers in the container with an ice pack and then when you are ready for lunch, plug in the outer container and insert your lunch (in its container) and in 15 minutes your meal is ready to eat! Of course, you need to have a USB port, but don’t you think this is an ingenious device? Maybe a bit of a FAD, but for someone I could see it being quite a FIND!
I also found some items that made me laugh out loud because these items would be great at a party or as a gag gift. I just found this one really funny-a Cheese Gun! Like a hot glue gun, but for cheese.
The idea is that you can just squeeze the cheese over your nachos and go! Well, I hope you got a giggle out of it too. In my eyes, a FAD, but certainly a very inventive person behind it!
That’s it! That’s all I’ve got this time around. If this is the year you are looking for a place to house any of these gadgets, we are definitely here for you! I hope you consider us a FIND in your books!
From everyone here at Elite Kitchens & Bathrooms, happy 2018 and for all that it will bring to you!