Yesterday was a wonderful relaxing and lazy day where I disconnected for most of it tacking little home projects and watching TV. It’s a great thing to do once and a while. The weather was horribly rainy, windy and cold, so I stayed inside most of the day except for some Christmas shopping errands that I couldn’t get over with fast enough – add wet roads to holiday traffic and you get a really cranky me. :-) Today the weather is even worse, the wind and rain is howling outside, so it’ll be another day indoors maybe breaking out the Wii that I’ve been neglecting for far too long.
Is your holiday shopping done yet? Probably and thankfully most of mine is too. But just in case you’re still looking for ideas for yourself or aspiring foodies and health nuts close to you, here’s my late entry to the gift guide posting party. And the good news is there’s still time to order online if you’re about as interested of tackling psycho mall traffic as me. I’d like to be able to list many fabulous vegan and eco-friendly fashion products, but I’m still too new to veganism to really test out and become an aficionado. Hopefully by next year. This last year was an adjustment to working with fresh, whole raw ingredients and creating a lot more foods from actual scratch. So I figured a quick showcase of some of the kitchen gadgets I use on a daily basis seemed appropriate. Tools that aren’t pricey, but has made hacking up raw squashes, chopping veggies and storing homemade nut and seed milks much easier and less time-consuming.
At any given time, at least one of these glass pictures is storing homemade hemp milk or kefir water in my fridge. The opening is large enough to fit my hand and sponge through for cleaning, but that’s rarely needed since they fit easily on the bottom rack of the dishwasher. But the opening is also perfect to stuff a nut milk bag through and strain out the pulp of nut milk. The shape is nice for fitting neatly in the fridge while not taking up too much room, unlike a round, bulky pitcher. And the small one is perfect for storing fresh made raw salad dressings and sauces. Is it wrong to stand back and marvel at the store-bought almond milk containers I’ve saved money on not buying or pitching into a landfill thanks to these? :-)
Of all the knives we have, this is the one I use most because of it’s shape and grip. We used to have an expensive set of Henckel knives that were okay, but the handle grip didn’t sit well with me and they seemed to need sharpening a lot. On an episode of America’s Test Kitchen, they highly recommended this series of Victorinox knives for performance and price … which is a small fraction of our old Henckels. These aren’t the most beautiful knives with a chunky black plastic handle, but the price is right and they work the best for hacking through tough winter squashes and confidently chopping off tough squash skins with better control. I’ve gifted family members with a few of these knives last year and they still gush on how they love them.
I can never have enough measuring cups and spoons because when I get going in the kitchen working on a few recipes for a family gathering, I still manage to dirty my entire collection. And having to stop and wash them between steps can interfere with my train of thought. :-)
Measuring cups are important, but this set has been especially valuable to me because the top-view makes filling up to the exact amount much faster. I use the 4-cup one all the time since every kefir water, nut milk and seed milk recipes calls for 4 cups of water.
I’m always using and washing my collection of bamboo cutting boards and the smaller ones are great for quick chopping fruits and items for smoothies.