Cool tools that make life easier in the kitchen

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I like gadgets, but they have to be simple to operate.  And gadgets that make my life easier are even better.  So for today's column, I've decided to share some of my favorite finds that reside in my kitchen cabinets.  Read on to see some cool tools that can peel, open, chop, squeeze and do other tasks in a time-saving snap.

Cool Tool #1:  The Magic Bullet!
I'd heard friends rave about the Magic Bullet, but I kept putting off purchasing one because of the $50 price tag.  So, I waited until my next 20% off coupon came in the mail from Bed, Bath & Beyond and I finally bought one for myself.  I think I'm in love! 
This is truly one of the coolest tools for cooking around!  The Magic Bullet comes with a cookbook called 10 Second Recipes, so I put a few to the test and the product doesn't lie.  I made scrumptious salsa with a kick in under 10 seconds.  Watch the segment to see how it's done.
In addition to blending smoothies and celebratory cocktails, the Magic Bullet can also chop and grate, too.  See the segment to see how I use the Bullet to get fresh grated parmesan cheese in seconds.  The Magic Bullet has become my favorite new purchase and my #1 cool tool!  Although it costs $50, it does come with 17 pieces, and so far, I'm enjoying all of the accessories.

Cool Tool #2:  The Pampered Chef Garlic Peeler
Pampered Chef continues to wow me with their innovative kitchen tools and one of my favorite items is simple to use.  To instantly peel garlic cloves without getting the garlic odor all over your hands, insert several cloves into the middle of the peeler and roll on a hard surface.  Your garlic pops out peeled and ready for the recipe.  This great tool sells for $7.25 at

Cool Tool #3:  The Rabbit Wine Opener

Like the Magic Bullet, this set also sells for $50 at Bed, Bath & Beyond, but it does come with 7 pieces that include a rabbit corkscrew, foil cutter, wine and champagne sealer, wine pourer with stopper, wax remover and extra spiral.  Made by Metrokane, I can now open wine in seconds, without needing my husband's muscle to get the cork out!  Watch the segment to see a 2-second Vino opener demo.  Cheers!

Cool Tool #4:  Get-it Finger Guard
Instead of pot holders that get dirty and soiled, this odd-looking, bright-colored contraption is made of silicone and is heat resistant up to 600 degrees.  With four grooves for all of your fingers, it easily enables you to pick up hot plates, oven shelves and more, plus it can be thrown in the dish washer and won't get grimy like traditional pot holders do.  I found mine at Tuesday Morning for $3.49 a piece and it doubles as a game piece for kids.  Clever and fun!

Cool Tool #5:  Lime Squeezer
In my segment last week, I struggled to squeeze the juice out of a lime by hand for my guac recipe.  So our show host, Lisa, suggested that I purchase a lime squeezer.  The funny thing was that I had just bought one for this cool tools segment, but I hadn't tested it yet.  Lisa is right!  I love this item.  In a second, this tool enables you to get every last bit of juice out of that lime, which is the perfect addition to many recipes and cocktails.  I found my bright-green lime squeezer made by Imusa at Fry's for $3.74.

Cool Tool #6:  Playtex Living Gloves with Drip-Catch Cuff
Although kitchen gloves are nothing new, these gloves are good because they are made with a cuff that catches any drips or spills, that otherwise would run down your arm.  I keep two pairs on hand, one for cleaning and one for cutting hot peppers to avoid burning my skin. 
And the Playtex brand is donating $400,000 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  So this purchase supports a good cause.  Plus, this product has been awarded the Good Housekeeping Seal, too.  I bought two stylish pairs, one in hot pink and the other in a pretty purple.  They sell for $3.49 a pair at the grocery store and they come in small, medium and large sizes.

Cool Tool #7:  Hefty One Zip Click Jumbo 2 1/2 Gallon Bags
I like the zip top and I especially like how gigantic the bags are for bulky and leaky items that are hard to store, like flour.  And better yet, when I make someone a pie or casserole, I can simply slide the entire dish in the big clear bag for a nice presentation that also travels well.  I buy my box that houses 12 bags from Safeway for $4.79.

Cool Tool #8:  Good Cook Bradshaw Apple Wedger

With one push through an intact apple, eight perfectly sliced and crisp apple slices appear ready to eat.  With the multiple health benefits of apples, this is one cool tool that enables me to serve my kids a healthy treat in seconds.  This product ranges in price from $4 to $10, but I found it for only $3.79 at

Cool Tool #9:  Bradshaw Good Cook Small Flexible Cutting Board Pack
Small and flexible, these cutting boards come color-coded for specific uses to prevent cross-contamination.  I use the red one for meat, the white one for fish, the pink board for poultry and the green one for produce.  I also like that they are dishwasher-safe and only take up a small amount of storage space due to their compact size.  The 4-pack costs $4.29 at

Cool Tool #10:  Because Women Know The Zibra Company Open It! Rx
If you're like me, you've had to ask a family member to help you open an annoying pill bottle or an air-tight sealed wrap.  Or maybe it was that super sealed foil pack that houses your allergy pills that won't budge.  If a container has you detained from being able to open it, give the clever Open It! Rx tool a try.  With 4 tools packed into one handy device, this item is especially helpful for seniors and folks dealing with Arthritis.  I bought mine at Tuesday Morning for $2.99 and I love it.
If you have a cool tool that you want the rest of us manic managed gals to know about, tell us here in the comments section.  Here's to finding cool tools that enable us to take delicious short-cuts in our kitchens!