Me & My Fancy Gadgets

June 11, 2014 at 10:42 PM

 A good chef can aspire to become a great chef, but her task is much easier with the right tools.  There are many kitchen gadgets out there, but some tools will definitely make cooking simpler and meals more exciting.   As a devoted chef and food enthusiast, I’d like to share the top 5 must-haves in my culinary arsenal:

#5- The bread maker

            This machine is bread-making at its easiest.   I’ve made a wide variety of breads, ranging from whole-grain white, to cinnamon raisin to sourdough.    Most bread machines operate on the same basic principle: the ingredients for the selected recipe go straight into a metal bread pan, and from that point forward, the machine does all of the work!   A metal dough hook combines the ingredients and kneads the bread for you, so there is no need for mixing, resting or even baking.  When the bread is done, remember to watch out for the kneading hook that’s inside of the loaf.  To remove it, insert your finger through the bottom of the cooled bread and pull it out.   Although using a bread machine is straight-forward, baking one loaf takes about three hours from start to finish, so advance planning is necessary if you want your bread to be ready in time to serve with your meal.  Nothing complements a meal more than bread made from scratch, especially when the baking process is worry-free.

Sign Up for E-News

#4-    The bench scraper

            The bench scraper is easy to use and very handy.   It is a simple, two-piece device consisting of a stainless steel dull-edged blade and a plastic scooper.   Bench scrapers are used mainly for scooping ingredients that have been chopped or crushed.   Often you will see cooks use the side of their knife to transfer ingredients from their cutting boards.   This technique can be dangerous, and often, food is dropped in the process.   With a bench scraper, chopped food can be scooped up and transferred to the desired location.   Bench scrapers also can be used to divide pasta or bread dough.  The metal blade has a built-in ruler (usually in inch increments) that lets you measure out dough to a precise size or ensures that you have that perfect ½ inch dice.    

#3- The immersion blender

            This tool is exactly what it sounds like--a hand-held blender that is immersed into a container holding food (such as fruit, vegetables, etc.)  in order to liquefy or puree the ingredients.  The immersion blender takes the place of a regular blender, which can be hard to clean.  I have made countless fruit smoothies and batches of freshly made hummus using my immersion blender.  I would certainly purchase this item for its ease of use and its versatility.

#2- The pasta maker

            Simple to use, a pasta maker produces great results in no time.  Either pre-made or home-made dough can be used to create freshly made pasta in many shapes and forms.  Ravioli, linguini and angel hair are all equally easy to make.  Most pasta makers come with three settings:  thick for spaghetti or linguini, thin for angel hair, and flat for thinning out the dough.    My pasta maker is a stand-alone tool, but some pasta makers are attachments for stand mixers.   Eating fresh pasta is a delicious alternative to traditional boxed or other dried pasta.

#1- The microplane

            My all-time favorite gadget is the microplane--a hand-held, small metal rod with blades running up the metal.   A microplane can be used as a grater or as a zester.  Why take out a giant box grater when you can use a small hand grater instead?   There’s less clean-up and a whole lot less frustration.  In addition to being simple to use, there’s less risk of injury compared with traditional box graters.  I use my microplane for grating fresh nutmeg over butternut squash soup or for zesting a lime for crunchy corn and jicama salsa.  Finally, because the microplane is so portable, it can be used table side, which adds an elegant touch when serving guests.

All of these gadgets, while not essential, are fun to use and very practical.  They are a great addition to any cook’s kitchen.

 

Emily is a 7th grader at Randolph Middle School.  She’s been cooking since age 7, and has participated in numerous cooking courses.  She is the founder of ‘Mitzvah Meals from Emily’s Kitchen, a monthly volunteer-based program run out of her synagogue in Morris Plains.

Emily is a 7th grader at Randolph Middle School.  She began cooking at around age 7, and since that time has taken numerous cooking courses in New Jersey as well as Vermont.   She is the founder of Mitzvah Meals from Emily’s Kitchen, a monthly, volunteer-based program that provides meals to members of her synagogue who are experiencing hardship.  

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Randolph

TAPinto Launches Free TAPinto App for iPhone and Android: Download it Today

January 17, 2017

TAPinto.net launched a free TAPinto App today for iPhone and Android, enabling readers to obtain their local news and events in a fast, easy-to-use application.  With this launch, TAPinto becomes one of the only local news publications in the country to have its own App.

The TAPinto App not only features news and events, but also enables readers to receive push notifications regarding ...

Morristown Beard Summer Camp Participates in Camp Fair; Registration Fee Waived Sunday January 22

January 22, 2017

PARSIPPANY, NJ - On Sunday, January 22, Morristown Beard Summer Camp will be participating in a camp fair at the Sheraton Hotel in Parsippany. Morristown Beard Summer camp is a state licensed facility and ACA accredited camp program designed to help kids develop skills in sports, arts and crafts, dance, swimming and science.

If you are thinking about sending your kids to summer camp, this is ...

Morristown Happenings: Things to do in Morristown this Weekend

January 21, 2017

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  Happy Friday everyone! There is so much to do this weekend in and around Morristown. Did you see the hats around town? You can thank the Fiber Fairy for those....Keep your ears and eyes open. Did we miss an activity let us know. Did you see something cool, let us know. Have a great weekend everyone!

 

Friday January 20

Karaoke, Tiff's Grill and Ale House; ...

MCST PTO Comedy Night Fundraiser

January 19, 2017

Denville, NJ – The Morris County School of Technology’s PTO will be holding a Comedy Night on Saturday, February 25th at the Parsippany PAL, 33 Baldwin Road, Parsippany, at 7pm.

Enjoy a night of laughter featuring professional comedians Brad Lowery and Uncle Floyd. 

Doors open at 7:00pm.  Show begins at 8:30pm.

Tickets are $25 each ...

The Latest Trends in Aesthetic Medicine , The Face of Aesthetic Medicine in Randolph

January 17, 2017

ÉTOILE STUDIO, a medical practice exclusively dedicated to aesthetic medicine, was founded seven years ago by owner/medical director  Dr. Dawn Gangi, who set out to create a client-centered practice that carries her personal touch to every patient. Patients value her experience and skill but also her caring and warm manner.

“What sets me apart is the understanding that I am ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, January 22, 1:00 PM

Morris County Historical Society at Acorn Hall, Morristown

Race to the Finish: Newspaper Coverage of ...

Arts & Entertainment Other

Sun, January 22, 1:30 PM

Morris County Historical Society at Acorn Hall, Morristown

"At Home in the President's Neighborhood" ...

Arts & Entertainment

Wed, January 25, 1:00 PM

Morris County Historical Society at Acorn Hall, Morristown

Race to the Finish: Newspaper Coverage of ...

Arts & Entertainment Other

Randolph High School National Science Honor Society Inducts 68 New Members

January 12, 2017

RANDOLPH,NJ- Last month, the Randolph High School chapter of the National Science Honor Society inducted 68 new members at a special ceremony at Randolph High School.

Students inducted into the society must have a 3.5 or B+ grade point average in science courses at Randolph High School and must have taken two honors level or advanced placement science courses.

The following is a list of ...

Students and Seniors Connect at First Annual RHS Martin Luther King Day of Service

January 21, 2017

Randolph, NJ- To honor Martin Luther King Day, students and staff came together to host senior citizens at Randolph High School’s First Annual Day of Service.

A holiday to honor Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t stop RHS students from volunteering to share their day off with seniors in honor of MLK day. Students worked with parent and teacher organizers to provide games, entertainment, ...

Morristown-Beard Students to Present at American Meteorological Society Conference

January 15, 2017

Next week, six Morristown-Beard School students will travel with Upper School science teacher Jeffrey Yuhas to Seattle, Washington to present at the 2017 American Meteorological Society (AMS) Annual Meeting.

Morristown-Beard School is the only high school in the nation to have students deliver an oral presentation at this year’s AMS Annual Meeting.  On January 23rd, MBS seniors ...

Women's March on Washington: Why, and Why Now

January 20, 2017

As Donald Trump’s inauguration draws near, a number of groups are planning various events and rallies – perhaps most notably, the Women’s March on Washington. I have read a number of opinion pieces and spoken to many people about the March, and several questions and criticisms seem to consistently arise. I would like to address some two of the major themes.

(Q) The election ...

I-280 eastbound traffic shift necessary for bridge replacement project in Essex County

January 20, 2017

(Trenton) – New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials today announced a long-term traffic shift on I-280 eastbound starting this weekend to allow for bridge replacement work, as the I-280 and Route 21 Interchange Improvements Project advances in Essex County.

Beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, January 20, until 5 a.m. Monday, January 23, ...

RANDOLPH TOWNSHIP FULL-TIME VIOLATIONS CLERK

RANDOLPH, NJ– Randolph Township Municipal Court has an immediate opening for a full-time violations clerk.  Experience preferred but willing to train.  Individual is expected to be responsible, well organized and energetic.  Customer service experience and  phone skills a plus. 

Under the supervision of the Municipal Court Administrator, individual will be ...

Morristown Teacher Nominated for The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Unity Charter School’s social studies teacher, Lindsey Daly, was recently nominated for a fellowship through, The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, which is working in partnership with the Institute of Play in New York.  The fellowship will allow Lindsey to take part in an intensive instructional program over the summer in Princeton, New ...

Arconic STEM Exploring Post Offers Students Invaluable Experiences

DOVER, NJ- In the spring of 2016, more than 40 local students gathered for the first open house of the brand new Alcoa Howmet STEM Exploring post located in Dover, New Jersey, in partnership with the Boy Scouts of America.

The students heard from company interns, executives, engineers, and plant workers to learn just a small portion of what a career in the STEM fields is like. From there, 23 ...

Randolph Twp & Shongum Lake Market Update

Here you can find last month's closed transactions in Randolph Twp and Shongum Lake. You’ll be able to see the Street Address, the list price (List $), the sold price (Sale $) as well as the beds, baths, garage, basement, year built, days on market (DOM) and the date closed. Please note that List Price and Days on Market are reflective of the listing contract in place at time of sale ...

When Good Enough, Isn't

“Good enough is the death of greatness.”

I fell in love with this quote when I first heard it because it rings so true in sports and in life. Being a competitive athlete it is easy to fall into this trap of making some progress, seeing some success and then getting satisfied. When that feeling starts to sink in think about how many times in the course of a game or season good ...