Cool Tools For The Kitchen

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I have been spending a lot of time in my kitchen lately as I try to make healthier foods for my family and reduce the excessive spending we do by eating out too much.  So as I have done this, I have been enjoying some cool tools that make life easier in the kitchen.  Check these out for your own kitchen experience and some of these make good holiday gift ideas, too...

*Earth friendly storage option - Did you know that 12% of household waste is plastic? Did you know that before plastic baggies and wrap were around 60 years ago, beeswax was a natural way of preserving food for hundreds of years? I didn't know this, but I recently learned about this from Toni Desrosiers, co-owner of Abeego.  She knew this from her nutritionist background and invented a great solution to improve on conventional ways with an all-natural material for modern day food storage.  She and her partner Colin Johnston came up with a food wrap that uses beeswax, tree resin and jojoba oil that coats a hemp and organic cotton fabric, melding it together.  The result is a material that has natural antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties and makes an excellent way to preserve and protect your food.  Abeego is easy to clean, likes the refrigerator, freezer (less than one month) but does not like heat - no microwave or oven.  Great to use while traveling with fruit to prevent bruising or to keep the onion smell out of your refrigerator by wrapping it up in Abeego.  If you want a plastic-free life and are looking for an all-natural and reusable product, Abeego’s product line is available at www.abeego.com and is also sold in select retail stores in U.S and Canada  Prices start at $16.

*My go to wine opener - I showed the Rabbit Original Corkscrew in my BCA segment a few weeks ago and our cohost had never heard of it and she loves wine as much as I do.  I didn't have time to demo how easily it works, so watch the segment today to see the demonstration.  If you like wine (which I enjoy a glass while I cook) then you will love this brilliant invention that makes opening your favorite bottle of Vino a snap. 

*Multi-tasking timing - As I work more in the kitchen and learn how to make multiple recipes, such as a main course and a tasty veggie side dish, getting all the courses out at one time can be tricky.  I have found that the best tips to get all out on time and together is to first lay out all of your measured ingredients, similar to what chefs do on cooking shows and to have a good multi-timer on hand to keep track of your different cooking times.  My favorite timer for this is the Taylor Plan & Prep Four Event Timer with Whiteboard.  It times four events at once all with unique alarm tones and comes on a convenient magnetized whiteboard that has a dry erase pen for notes. It can time events for up to 24 hours, 59 minutes.  It sells for $14.99 at Amazon.com.

*Fancy frothing - When I have company over or just want to treat myself on a relaxing weekend morning, I love using the KRUPS Perfect Milk Frother XL2000.  In minutes, I can whip up (without doing the actual whipping) yummy frothy milk to make the perfect cappuccino, Cafe au lait, Latte or hot chocolate.  I love how small and compact this device is to handle and store in my kitchen.  It is also makes a great gift idea.  It sells for $129.99 at http://www.krupsusa.com/frothers.

*Earth friendly coffee stained cups solution -- Since our family is on the run a lot, my hubs and I love our to go coffee cups, but they are a pain to clean and I don't want to put them in the dishwasher. So when I heard about Bottle Bright, an all natural cleaning tablet for water bottles, travel mugs and other drinking containers, I was intrigued.  And I'm happy to report that Bottle Bright works great.  My longtime favorite to go coffee mug was so stained that I was about to toss it into my recycling bin. After dropping a Bottle Bright tab inside the cup and letting it soak in warm water, as instructed, the stains finally came right out.  I love this product because it has no chlorine or harsh chemicals and is made with biodegradable ingredients plus the packaging it comes in is made with recycled materials.  This product promotes the use of reusable drinking cups.  It is an earth friendly win win. Plus this company gives back because with the purchase of Bottle Bright, Clean Ethics (who makes this product) gives the same amount of Bottle Bright to people in vital need of clean water containers.  Purchase Bottle Bright online at http://www.cleanethics.com/shop/

*Favorite multi-tasking kitchen family item -- One of my favorite recent purchases is the nice looking faux leather FreeForm Tray placemats that I bought at Bed, Bath & Beyond that do double duty. That is because they also become an easy to carry TV tray that my family loves.  I highly recommend these mats for attractive placemats and functional TV trays that will be used a lot.  $24.99 each. 

*An apple a day for the family - Since I try to serve fruit and veggies with my family's dinner, this handy tool makes getting the fruit out quickly a cinch.  I love the PrepWorks Wedge & Pop Apple Cutter for quick breakfast slices and for lunch packing.  I have heard that what they say about an apple a day for good health is true, so this handy tool makes it easy for me to serve and cook with apples.  For a great dessert idea, serve an apple right from the cutter so that the slices are formed in a nice circle and sprinkle the apples with cinnamon, which is good for the body as well.  I got my PrepWorks apple cutter at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $9.99.

*Better dessert alternative -- The Pro Fresh Peach Slicer is the same concept as the apple cutter and because my family loves peaches, this tool makes providing fruit for dessert instead of sugary junk food, easy and appealing.  It sells at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $9.99. 

*Storage help for your mountain of measuring cups - My thoughtful mother-in-law gave me a set of stackable and collapsible measuring cups a few years back and I swear by this.  I love that they easily expand and collapse in seconds so that the entire set fits nicely in my kitchen drawer.  You will love these measuring cups.  The Sleekstor Measuring Cups sell for $ 14.99 at Bed, Bath & Beyond. 

What cool tools make your life easier in the kitchen?  Share here in the comments section and be sure to check my blog at www.managedmoms.com for more kitchen and recipe ideas to make our manic cooking lives a little more managed.