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Best recent purchase?

I recently bought a flat silicon whisk that's great for making pan sauces. Covers lots of area quickly and the sauce comes together in no time. Made by Cuisinart. Yours?

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  1. This week I finally bought a handheld lemon press juicer at William Sonoma and was pleased to see how well it worked. I was able to get much more volume from limes and lemons and the juice seemed to be more flavorful, which is no doubt due to the pressure the juicer exerts on the peel.

    1 Reply
    1. re: stephen

      I went through two of these (Williams Sonoma) in about six months making margaritas--I like the OXO much better!

    2. I was gifted a dual garlic press/slicer from Williams-Sonoma. My garlic consumption has easily tripled because it's so easy to add it to dishes now (and it's not like I wasn't already eating a lot of garlic before).

      But the real best recent purchase was a tube of Mederma. I burn myself a lot, and would rather not look like a monster...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Pei

        Band-Aid liquid bandage. My hands crack open when I do a lot of cooking--and therefore a lot of washing dishes. This stuff is a miracle!

      2. Stainless sponge holder that attaches to the side of my sink with suction cups. Keeps the sponges clean, dry and out of the way.

        Also, silicone pastry brush. No more picking bristles out of my food.

        1. The Garlic Express garlic roaster. Countertop electric garlic roaster in the shape of a garlic! Place up to three whole heads of garlic in it, press the button, and presto! 30 minutes later you have beautifully roasted garlic without ever having to turn on the oven.

          1 Reply
          1. re: slacker

            I ordered a few of these for Xmas gifts (and one for myself)! I hope they turn out the garlic soft/creamy! I have long roasted in the oven, and while that is fine, love the idea of simply putting them in, seasoning them, and presto, in 30 minutes! I NEVER buy where I cannot return! I don't like buyers' remorse! So, I am covered!

          2. I finally used my 14-inch Calphalon Nonstick pan my sister bought me for last Christmas. I love it more and more each time I use it. Don't really need the huge size. Clean up is so easy!

            1. My Le Crueset Saucier. Yesterday it heated up a bit of Oil PERFECTLY and I made little tortilla strips for Tortilla soup! :)


              1 Reply
              1. re: Dommy

                I love my saucier. It's only 1 qt and I really need a larger one but the shape is soooo functional. I love my flat whisks too. I got mine a number of years before they were coated with silicone. I bet that's nice but my uncoated ones are still great and I use them every day.

              2. Grown up knives, a ceramic sharpening steel and knife sleeves. Finally! The knives - a Global Santoku and a 4" Henckel's paring knife. I wish I had made these purchases years ago. They are so worth it.

                6 Replies
                1. re: sweetTooth

                  I bought a Global 8" vegetable knife a few weeks ago, and i can't believe I ever used anything else! I had a chef's knife and santoku (inexpensive ones), but the Global is a fantastic all-purose knife that's taken the place of everything except my paring knfe.

                  1. re: Divamac

                    I picked up a 6 in Sabatier chef's knife last year in France when I couldn't find a good knife in the house we were staying in. It almost never makes it back in the kniife rack, turns out to be a better size in my larger hands than my other paring knives.

                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                        That same knife was the first 'real' knife my dad gave me-- I must have been about 12 or so. I still have it and it is still the first knife I reach for when I'm in the kitchen. Love it.

                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                          Weird part is I stumbled on it in a gift shop, it was the only one on the wall behind the counter. I didn't own one that size so I splurged.

                          1. re: Scrapironchef

                            I got my second, shorter Sabatier from a funny shop in London a few years ago. The knife was discounted 60% because it had brass rather than steel color studs. My 6" chef is now about 25 years old.

                  2. Replacements for long-lost Japanese steel-tipped cooking chop sticks. Perfect for any type of deep-frying or tempura-like cooking where wood or plastic/silicone tools would burn or melt.

                    1. 2 items here...

                      One, for Christmas I got a cordless hand held Black & Decker Mixer...not very powerful but super for everyday tasks like whisking eggs and such. Mounts on the wall.

                      Two, a cast iron stovetop griddle. The darn thing hasn't left the top of my stove since I got it 4 months ago. I had the cheapo ones before but the CI is sooo muc better. Inspired me to buy some more cast iron cookware.

                      1. A kitchen aid that was a gift. I am still in love with it. Before kneading bread was difficult, especially for long periods when you have to do it by hand, but with the kitchen aid you can make anything. I make a killer brioche now :).

                        I also have a love affair with a recently bought mezzaluna for the times when I don't want to get the food processor out (the food processor is also a favourite that I use alot).

                        1. A good boning knife. Finally got rid of the crummy one I'd been using for years. I found that it was a type of knife I made a lot of use out of, so I finally gave in and added to my Henckels collection. Great purchase - I've used it a lot in 2 weeks.

                          1. A small Chinese cleaver. The blade's a perfect rectangle, 6 in long and 2 in high. Great for chopping things, and making me feel all powerful and kitcheny. I was going to buy an expensive one, but the store owner shrugged and said, "Get the $4 one. I use it at home. Don't waste your money". Which I appreciated! Simple, wooden handle, good sharp blade, lots and lots of chopping board fun. Gotta love the Wok Shop.

                            1. A plastic cake keeper with locking lid and handle which is big enough to hold a 10" 3-layer cake with frosting, and it has an internal horizontal divider so it could carry two pies without touching. I bake treats for the office and for parties and carrying things is always a pain. This should help.

                              And my husband bought me a new charcoal grill - a big roomy grill with cast iron grates, a cover, plenty of room for indirect cooking (I smoked 30 lb of pork shoulder on it the other day) and it will hold dozens of burgers or chicken pieces for cookouts. Very very nice.

                              I also got myself a new cleaver (sounds like the one Gooseberry describes) which I adore. Cut up that pork shoulder very quickly.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: sheiladeedee

                                Where did you get your cake keeper? I need one.

                                1. re: Pupster

                                  At a revere-corningware factory outlet - the one I went to is part of the Prime Outlet Mall in central New York, but there are others around. It was quite a deal and works very nicely.

                              2. The book Quick Pickles by Chris Schlesinger and Dan The Pickle Man.

                                I am on my third batch of pickles in three weeks each one getting a bit more adventurous!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: ponyboy

                                  I LOVE that book. Try the green mango pickles!

                                2. Got a NeverMT for the soap dispenser in the kitchen. It's pretty cool.

                                  1. Tuffle oil. Need I say more?

                                    1. My BlendTec Total Blender. This awesome commercial grade blender (used by Jamba Juice and the like) sounds so loud that the kids think there's a plane landing in the kitchen but makes the best smoothies, sauces and soups. This opens a world of healthful options for our family. So powerful, it crushes ice like the dickens and sturdy enough not to need replacing for many years to come.

                                      1. Love my new Copco made Mario Batali enameled cast iron 6qt pot plus the 4qt risotto pot. Oh, and the persimmon color Mario B. coutertop ceramic kitchen tool holder.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: amoncada

                                          I have the Batali panini pan -- basically a large square cast iron griddle pan with a very heavy lid that sort of self-presses. It preheats like a dream. I love the persimmon color, too. Grilled the most incredible steaks on it last night. It was a total impulse buy but now I feel like such a smarty for getting it.

                                          1. re: themis

                                            Yeah, great stuff! Emirel's Allclad (sp?)cookware is great as well plus it's less expensive.

                                            1. re: themis

                                              Here here! We just got this verysame pan and have been loving it. Only used it for panini so far, but can't wait to cook other things in it.

                                              Little's so good as an Acme herbed flatbread, fresh roasted vegetables from the market, mozzarella di buffalo, and a few slices of proscuitto pressed between this beast. It's well and truly, amazingly, heavy - makes our LeCreuset seem downright feathery!


                                              1. re: themis

                                                This, the panini grill, is going to be a present for my mother! I have read such nice things about it, only need to decide from where to purchase!

                                            2. Finally got my own cast-iron grill pan, a 14" Lodge. Under $25 at Surfas in Culver City. I've been so envious of the steaks etc. that my pa-in-law turns out on his, and so disdainful of the way he's let it silt up so that the ridges hardly stand clear at all anymore...well, I found out why he doesn't keep it clean, and that's because any significant stream of water running into it splashes all over the place, and takes grease and gunk with it! But I have figured out how to use my kick-a** polypropylene brush on it, and have managed to keep it both clean and seasoned. And it grills the BEST steaks, chops, fish...I even used it to roast a split and seasoned chicken in the oven. Killer!

                                              1. A huge presto electric griddle....we made everything on it for Sunday brunch. My husband can't wait to use it for sliders this weekend.

                                                1. Silicon basting brush (SO much easier to clean)
                                                  Offset spatula (now my the frosting on my cakes look nice and neat!)

                                                  1. * Olive oil pump mister for grilling. Amazing.

                                                    * D+D 18-spice test tube rack. SO cool looking AND can always find the spice I need immediately! No more crazy spice cupboard clutter!

                                                    * Calphalon 6qt chef's pan - so lovely to use!

                                                    * Staub dutch oven in lipstick red. Makes me grin every time I use it!

                                                    1. 1) Kapoosh universal knife block. It is comprised of tightly packed plastic rods, and allow you to place lots of knives of any shape and size in them. It's like sticking a knife in a sandbox. And at $30, it's cheaper than wooden blocks! Get one now!! :)

                                                      2) Handheld lemon/lime juicer, as someone else mentioned above. Much quicker and more efficient than reamers or hands.

                                                      3) BACB - Big a$$ cutting board - from IKEA. This thing is 18x21" and gives me a lot of room to cut stuff and push them towards the back so I can cut more. It feels much harder compared to my other wooden cutting board, but I don't think it will hurt my knives. And the price is amazing - $10!

                                                      1. I got a 2 quart (i'm single/live alone) enameled cast-iron pan from an antique shop for ten bucks.

                                                        1. I love my new Sili-Cups. They're truly non-stick silicone. I bought the standard cupcake-size (24 of them) and the mini-size (48 of them), and they're both great. I place them on a baking sheet. No spraying or greasing is needed, and my cupcakes and muffins pop right out. There is indeed less browning of the sides, but the bottoms and tops are nicely browned. It's truly non-stick so that there's no waste of cupcakes or muffins sticking to the sides of standard metal pans or paper baking cups. And I like that I can use however many cups I need if there's more batter than would fit in the standard 12-cup pan. Clean-up is simple: just swish around in a bowl of soapy water and air-dry.

                                                          1. I am quite in love with a gorgeous, vintage 10" cast iron skillet I picked up at a thrift store for $2.99 last week. Black, slick, beautiful -- I only needed to wash the greasy dust out of it with a plastic scrubby, some hot water and a TEENY bit of soap, oil it, and it was good to go. I've already made many egg-in-the-holes with bacon for breakfast, and last night, golden brown pineapple upside down cake. I leave it on my stove and when I walk by, I stop to admire its decades-old patina. Ok, a little obsessive. But a beautifully seasoned, ready to go, vintage cast iron pan for under $5 is hard to find these days!

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: sfkusinera

                                                              totally understand the admiring glances to the pan! I do the same thing! I am so in love with my CI...what are the markings on the underside of the pan? You may have a valuable piece...I bought a grillm pan for $3.00 several years ago in a thrift store that turned out to be worth $150! I'd never sell it though...

                                                              1. re: jbyoga

                                                                WOW -- what a find!

                                                                On my pan, no marking except "10 1/2 INCH SKILLET" on the underside. Don't most of the Griswold or Wagner pans have markings? I WISH it said GRISWOLD, so I would know for sure that it was worth a lot! The pan handle looks classic Griswold, but I guess they all do? But either way, I'm still happy with it. My other CI pan was a 10 1/2 inch Wagner I picked up in the late 90s and was too lazy to season properly. I had just bought an expensive Calphalon anodized set at the time so the CI pan got relegated to back shelf. Now that I see what that patina is supposed to look like, I got inspired -- so I dragged the other pan back out and now I'm seasoning it give to my sis!

                                                                haha...after I read your post I snuck back into the kitchen to look at the black ice patina again....

                                                              2. re: sfkusinera

                                                                Those finds are the sweetest. We have several, and an obsessive flea-market habit. My latest is a $5.00 Dutch oven which my hubby bought for me. Just in time for soup season, too!

                                                                1. re: mamaciita

                                                                  Try the "No Knead" bread recipe with that Dutch Oven. Check around the cite for the recipe, which uses a dutch oven to make perfect Artisinal style bread.

                                                              3. A 7 1/4 qt Le Creuset French oven (in blue)
                                                                A digital candy thermometer

                                                                1. Asian sand pot. I use it for braising in the coals of the Weber. Works beautifully, and looks very evocative going directly to a trivet on the table

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: cayjohan

                                                                    pardon my ignorance but what is an asian sand pot and what in particular do you like to cook in it? sounds intriguing.

                                                                  2. A Cookshack Smokette - an electric smoker oven (used outdoors).

                                                                    In the week since I've had it, I've hot-smoked a 4-pound salmon fillet, glazed simply with Dijon and maple syrup; I've never tasted anything so delicous! It was amazing hot; it was out-of-this world served cold, with a sauce made of mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, chopped capers and shallots, fresh tarragon, s & p.

                                                                    On Thursday night at 11:00, I put an 11-pound brisket in the smoker. Took it out Friday at 3:30 p.m. (16 1/2 hours). WOW! Just smokey enough (from only 2 ounces of hickory wood), incredibly juicy and tender (fork-pulling tender), and encased in a deep, dark, caramelized crust.

                                                                    My best culinary toy in a long time!

                                                                    1. These


                                                                      oven mitts. Much safer than my old quilted cotton ones. $20 isn't cheap but if it saves me one nasty burn it's paid for itself and then some.

                                                                      1. my new 11 cup Cuisinart after my crappy Rival finally kicked the bucket..

                                                                        next purchase - a rice cooker.

                                                                        1. I just got a thermoworks thermometer. Instead of the flip-out probe Alton Brown has made popular, i got an infrared thermometer with a connection to add wired probes. Right now they have a deal that gets you the superfast probe for free with purchase of the infrared base for 99 bucks. IT ROCKS. I can take instantaneous surface temps with the infrared portion, and get dead on internal temps in 4 seconds or less. I love it!

                                                                          1. I just got a new lagostina pressure cooker. I was using an old-style aluminum one and have wanted a good stainless steel one for years. So glad I finally got one!

                                                                            1. KitchenAid pro blender. Finally, a blender that actually crushes every last bit of ice.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. A Messermeister Meridian Elite 9" chef's knife with the Granton edge. I've got a kitchen full of old carbon-steel Sabatiers, some that I've owned for nearly 40 years, and newer Wusthofs, but I got curious about Messermeister and thought I'd give them a try. Wonderfully user-friendly knife - very comfortable handle and great balance. The scallops on the edge of the blade work as designed. It's wickedly sharp, as most new knives are, but also seems so far to be holding its edge nicely with regular steeling. Jury's still out until I go through a couple of resharpenings, but unlike most of the other quality forged knives the bolster is shaped to allow sharpening all the way down to the heel, so we'll see . . .

                                                                                1. Not very recent, but last year I got a set of Furi knives for $70!!! I guess they didn't know how much Furi normally goes for.

                                                                                  1. IKEA sells a very nice enameled cast iron dutch oven now....I can't remember the price but it's muuuuuuch cheaper than Le Creuset (as ya might imagine, it being IKEA and all) and I really love it. Made some righteous braised beef ribs the other night with it.

                                                                                    1. Thanks to this board I now have a KA mixer, an enamelled cast iron dutch oven and a lodge cast iron skillet. And that's all within the past month. I've been baking and cooking so much more and enjoying every minute! I love this board!

                                                                                      1. 5.5Q Oval Staub Oven
                                                                                        A Silpat for my Bitterman/Lahey Bread
                                                                                        A 5" serrated utility knife (Wusthof Classic)--very versatile. I use it for bagels, baguettes, salami, citrus, tomatoes and a 100 other things.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: Sam Harmon

                                                                                          The Staub dutch ovens are amazing. I have become obsessed with the entire Staub line. Ebay has many different items, from Mussel Pots and cast iron mini-woks, to dutch ovens shaped like a chicken! Only problem is my wife has banned me from buying any more pots.

                                                                                        2. I'm heading towards the obscure here, but my ultimate recent purchase was an "Okama," an old style, cast iron, Japanese rice cooker that is beautiful in addition to making superb rice. Rice cooks faster than in my Zojirushi Fuzzy Logic (which I love) and the rice browns and sticks a bit to the bottom. I bought the Okama in Nishiki Market in Kyoto, the ultimate foodie destination in Japan.

                                                                                          You can see a picture of the Okama here, in "Cool Tools" a great book about Japanese cooking tools. Enter "Okama" in the search box:


                                                                                          1. Mezzaluna with an olive wood base. Fast for chopping herbs.

                                                                                            1. Accusharp knife sharpener. It's CAD$13 and it works beautifully. Sharpened all my knifes to perfection.

                                                                                              Melitta manual drip coffee maker. CAD$3. Makes absolutely fabulous coffee.

                                                                                              Epicurean cutting board. About CAD$70. It's a wood composite cutting board that doesn't warp and is dishwasher safe.

                                                                                              Zyliss Suzi 2 garlic press. Finally, a press that works.

                                                                                              1. TV/VCR combo for the kitchen.

                                                                                                1. i picked up a few of those epicurean cutting boards. they're nice and light, and they require no oiling. however, i find that my knives cut into them a bit, not just marking but slightly deeper. nothing too bad, or i would have returned them.

                                                                                                  my other great purchase was my forschner's knives. i've never had my own kitchen knives and i was getting ready to spend several hundred when my friend recommended these. picked up an 8" chef's knife, a 6" utility and two smaller ones for about $80. they're great! I never realized how much easier it is to use a good knife.

                                                                                                  1. Silicone flexible cake pans! Perhaps I'm late to the game, but I find this bakeware a wonder. They make the baking process a very different tactile experience. And they're so much easier to store in a tiny Manhattan apartment. Great design, most cool!

                                                                                                    1. A 10 inch aluminum, hard anodized, frying pan, not unlike this one:


                                                                                                      It's great for making EVERYDAY items (e.g., omlettes) and some occasional stuff like brandy-snap and cheese baskets! It truly IS non-stick!


                                                                                                      1. A Chefs Choice 130 Electric Knife Sharpener. I never knew how well one of these things worked until I bought one. It works amazingly well! I have rediscovered many knifes I could not keep sharp. Great product.

                                                                                                        1. My six buner Wolf Stove

                                                                                                          1. the flat whisk sounds grand will certainly look for one
                                                                                                            Mymost recent purchase has already paid great dividends an I can heartily recommend buying one or two of these i have been making pounds and pounds of orange marmalade recently prompted by my orange tree that continues to produce massive amounts of fruit the oranges arefoul to eat bitter and sour so i thought they would be great for English style marmalade and indeed they are when living in England we always made marmalade wit imported Seville Oranges just because they offered that slightly bitter tang to the finished item I started making it here in the largest pot I owned which i stainless steel to my horror when i finishd the first batch there was a definite whiff of burnt sugar I thenrecalled my friend in England telling me about copper bottomed pans that she had bought in France and how brilliantly they conducte d heat just at that time I saw an ad by Macy's they had a special offer of a set of 10 pieces all copper bottomed pots and pans including one very large one suitable for jam makingI jumped at it I have made several more batches of marmalade and just this week several pounds of strawberry jam all without any danger of burnt sugar I am now a very happy camper the beauty of these pots and pans is that it is easy to control both the heat and cooking time of foods you can brown quickly and evenly they are expensive but last forever if care is taken and the copper is kept clean instead of using hard and expensive copper cleaners I use some diluted ketchup a trick I learned some time ago it works well and makes me wonder what ketchup does to the stomach lining
                                                                                                            fortunately I don't like ketchup so stay away from it most of the timeeleanor cooke Los Angeles