A few people have asked me recently what I consider my most useful kitchen tools for saving time. Three items came to mind immediately- my mini prep, my garlic press, and my hand juicer. I use all three of these tools consistently and they undoubtedly save me a ton of time when I am trying to get dinner on the table quickly.
My Mini Prep is just that – a mini food processor. It small and compact and I use it whenever a recipe calls for chopping anything. I cannot remember the last time I chopped an onion by hand (no more tears!) or most other vegetables. I also find it very handy for fresh herbs- throw in a handful of parsley and you instantly have finely chopped pieces. This little tool saves so much time and is fairly inexpensive. I paid about $30 at Target and I think its worth every penny.
I have to admit I was stunned when I was talking to a few friends recently about cooking and they both mentioned they never have owned a garlic press. This little tool makes mincing garlic takes seconds, you don’t get the smell on your hands, and in many recipes it helps to have the garlic cloves evenly minced vs the larger pieces you would get from hand cutting. You can easily pick one up at Target or Home Goods for around $10. Well worth it!
Lastly, my juicer. This is not an electronic version, just a simple manual one that you place the fruit on and twist with your hand. It really helps get the maximum amount of juice from the lemon or lime and again takes just seconds. If you are only squeezing the fruit with your hand you are not really getting it all. Given I love lemons (as those of you that subscribe to The Dinner Daily know!) I aim to get every bit of juice out of them. Again, an inexpensive tool that will save you time and may give you better results with your recipes. I think I paid about $10 at Home Goods about 5 years ago for mine.
So if your kitchen is without one of these three time saving gadgets, I would encourage you to give them a try. I think you will wonder how you ever cooked without them!