My Favorite Kitchen Appliances, Bakeware, Gadgets & Utensils

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Paderno Spiral Vegetable SlicerI own and use most of the items on this list of kitchen appliances, bakeware, gadgets, utensils, etc. I started this list on my personal blog, Susans Musings, and some of the product reviews and recipes referenced below link to that website. Since this is a cooking site, I decided to put it here. I will continue to add items to this list as I go.

I’ll give my honest opinion of these products and I’ll also try to think of items that I bought that did not live up to their expectations. This might save some people some money.

Most of the following are items that I bought and use on a regular basis:

Black & Decker EHC650B Ergo 3-Cup Food Chopper – This is great, but it’s not exactly what I was looking for. It’s more like a mini-food processor and doesn’t exactly chop like the one I wanted. I was looking for something like my old hand chopper with blades shaped like an X and come down to chop the food, except that my hand gets tired from chopping, so I could find an electric one that worked the same way.

The Black & Decker EHC650B Ergo 3-Cup Food Chopper, however, is a mini food processor where the two blades whirl around. I couldn’t tell what kind of blades it had by the picture or description, but it was cheap enough for me to give it a try. When I got it, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s so handy and takes up very little space on the counter, so I just leave it plugged in for quick use. I use it to chop anything from onions to chicken for chicken salad. My son uses it to chop tuna. I now use it to chop up cauliflower florets into cauli rice, and it works great. Clean up is easy, I just put the bowl, lid and blades in the dishwasher. The bowl and lid can also be stored in the refrigerator.

My husband bought me the Slap Chop, one of those as seen on TV ones with a blade that zig-zagged. The food gets stuck between the blades and it was a pain to clean. It said it wasn’t dishwasher safe, but I put it in the dishwasher, anyway. If I couldn’t put it in the dishwasher, I never would have used it at all. The Black & Decker EHC650B Ergo 3-Cup Food Chopper, however, is so much better.

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EatSmart Precision Pro Multifunction Digital Kitchen Scale w/ Extra Large LCD and 11 Lb. Capacity Food scale – I love this scale. I usually lay a small bowl or plate on top and it automatically resets back to zero so you don’t have to deduct the weight of the plate. It comes in handy for weighing meat that is bought in bulk, like when I sort ground beef into one-pound packages to go into the freezer. I also use it for mail. It displays ounces/lbs/grams/kgs. It will weigh as little as .05 ounce/1 gram, and up to 11 pounds. It comes in black, white, red and silver. It also comes with the FREE EatSmart Calorie Factors guide.

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Oxo poultry shears – These are great for cutting through chicken cartilage and bones. When they’re on sale I’ll buy a 10-pound bag of chicken leg quarters and split the legs and thighs. These shears are also great for splitting chicken wings for my Oven Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings, and for cutting up a whole chicken before or after it’s cooked.

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Norpro Stainless Steel Grip-EZ Meat Pounder – So far, I’ve only used this for boneless chicken. I like it because it is heavy and smooth. It’s great for flattening chicken fillets without tearing them up like regular meat tenderizer mallets.

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Norpro 2 Piece Nonstick Meatloaf Bread Pan Set – I used this meat loaf pan a few times. It is a lot better than using a regular loaf pan because it separates the grease from the meat. However, if you would rather bake a meat loaf that browns on all sides, check out my meat loaf recipe at Not Another Meat Loaf Recipe! The meat loaf browns on all sides and the grease drops down through a rack to a pan below.

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Wilton Nonstick Cooling Grid, 10 by 16 Inch – I’ve never used this Wilton cooling rack, so I can’t recommend the brand; however, it received very good ratings. I use my cooling racks all the time, mostly for cookies. They are old and not non-stick, so I’d like to try out the Wilton non-stick cooling grid. Honestly, I don’t know how you could go wrong with a cooling rack, but I still prefer to buy upon others’ good recommendations. Just make sure it is wide enough for your needs.

Warning: This is nice if you don’t have to worry about food clogging the square grid. Like, don’t ever place a meat loaf directly on the rack without putting foil under it. However, it is great for cooling loaves of bread, cookies, and cakes.

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Roasting pan with non-stick rack – I came across this roasting pan on Amazon while I was looking at the cooling racks. It’s a combination roasting pan with a rack. This would be great for meat loaf, baked chicken or other recipes where you want to separate the meat from the grease. I like this one because the rack is flat, not contoured like other roasting pans with a built-in rack. I don’t own one, but it’s on my list because I want one!

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Chicago Metallic Commercial II Traditional Uncoated 16-3/4 by 12-Inch Jelly-Roll Pan, Set of 2 – I love these baking sheets! They’re large, heavy duty and don’t warp. I use parchment paper and they clean up easy. They just fit in the dishwasher, although they’re real easy to clean by hand. I have a pile of non-stick pans that look awful. They turn dark and lose their non-stickiness, they warp, and I can’t get them clean. I still use them occasionally, but not in front of company! Now that I have my new baking sheets, I’ve been throwing the others away one by one.

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mKitchen Orange Silicone Basting Pastry Oil Brush Set of 2 – I use these a lot for basting BBQ sauce, egg wash, etc. I used to use the basting brushes with bristles, but I never felt comfortable about getting them clean and they didn’t hold up very well in the dishwasher. These are silicone and the food slides right off without clumping up and sticking to the brush. These work great and are dishwasher safe. Two recipe books are included.

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Leveling spatula – I use this when I bake, especially when I’m following a recipe. I measure everything and I’m as accurate as possible. This is mainly so that if it turns out bad, I know it’s not because of my measurements. 🙂 This spatula is great for leveling off dry ingredients, such as flour and sugar.

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Joyce Chen Rice Paddle Joyce Chen Rice Paddle – I use this to stir and serve rice, even cauliflower rice. 🙂 It’s great for sticky rice, the texture helps stir and fluff the rice and the rice doesn’t stick to it. It doesn’t scratch the rice pot and it’s dishwasher safe.

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Regency 12 Inch Parchment Paper Roll, 30 Foot Length – I use parchment paper all of the time when baking, especially when my baking sheets aren’t very non-sticky. I purchased this parchment paper from Amazon and found it to be a perfect width.

I have since switched to Kirkland parchment paper because it lasts much longer for a much cheaper price per foot. It is 15″ wide x 164 feet long.

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OXO Good Grips Nylon Balloon Whisk – I have a fairly new set of non-stick pans, so this is a must. I use the nylon whisk mostly for sauces and gravy when I have to whisk ingredients in the pan. This is rather large and I use it with my large 12″ skillet. I also purchased the Norpro Silicone Whisk. It is smaller and works well in my smaller non-stick pans.

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Ove’ Glove Hot Surface Handler, Pack of 2 – I love my Ove’ Gloves! In fact, when we moved to Knoxville we put most of the storage boxes in the garage. I missed using my Ove’ Glove and couldn’t find it anywhere. So, as we were exploring our new surroundings we came across several As Seen on TV stores. I thought for sure I’d find the Ove’ Glove there, but they didn’t carry it. I think I originally purchased mine at Walgreens, but the local Walgreens didn’t have it, nor did the grocery stores. Finally, I found it on Amazon. I don’t know why I didn’t look there first.

Anyway, I use my Ove’ Glove a lot, but what my husband and I use them for most are hot baked potatoes. They are perfect for holding the potato with the Ove’ Glove on one hand while scooping the potato with the other. I also love using them on hot corn on the cob. Just microwave the corn (6 to 8 minutes for 2), husk and all, then cut off the bottom/end where the husk is attached. Then, with the Ove’ Glove, hold the corn by the husk and squeeze. The corn slides out without the husk and silk attached, no shucking required. It’s amazing! Watch the YouTube video at https://youtu.be/RzYtMeIFH8o. Ken even uses the Ove’ Glove!

We bought the pack of 2 Ove’ Gloves. Click here if you prefer the Single Ove’ Glove.

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Norpro 1155 4-Piece Knife Organizer Set – This is a great organizer for knives. I like it because it can be adjusted to any width. The only problem I found with it is that if the drawer is too long (mine is 18″ long), the knives slide back when the drawer is opened and closed. I have a rubber liner in my kitchen drawer, but the knives still slide a little bit. It doesn’t matter, though, I love it for my knives and it fits every size knife and keeps them in place.

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Silpat Non-Stick Silicone Baking Liner, 11 5/8-Inch by 16 1/2-Inch – I use my Silpat mostly for cookies, or when I run out of parchment paper. Cleanup is easy. It’s great for baking cookies and biscuits, or just about anything that doesn’t contain too much fat or grease because it would be too messy to clean. This fits my 12″ x 17″ baking sheets perfectly. The Silpat also comes in a smaller size, 11.75-Inch by 8.25-Inch

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Nordic Ware Microwave 2 Sided Round Bacon and Meat Grill – I love these, I have two of them so that there is always one ready when I need it. The other one might still be sitting in the dishwasher, even though they really are easy to clean. Just run them under very hot water or wipe off the bacon grease with paper towels. The bacon side has grooves so that the fat drops down into the grooves. There’s a small opening on the bacon side where you can pour off the drippings. I love the thin crispyness of the bacon when it’s cooked this way, and there’s very little fat. I place a paper towel on top and cook my bacon on high for 3-4 minutes. I’ve read where some cook it at 70% power for 5-7 minutes. You just have to experiment. Of course, it also depends on how thick the bacon is.

The flat side is great for warming up tortillas. I place a stack of them on the flat side, place a paper towel on top, and add a few drops of water sprinkled over the top for warm, moist tortillas. I heat a stack of them for about 30 seconds on high.

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OXO Good Grips Apple Corer and Divider. I love my apple corer! It really isn’t that difficult to core an apple or slice it, Image of OXO Good Grips Apple Corer and Dividerbut this little gadget does both at the same time, and it’s so easy!

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OXO Good Grips Potato Ricer – I had never even heard of a potato ricer until I saw it on Breaking Bad…lol! Image of OXO Good Grips Potato RicerWalter’s wife, Skyler, was being complimented on her smooth and creamy mashed potatoes by her sister, Marie. Skyler said she used a potato ricer.

Then, one day I was looking at a recipe for hash browns. One woman said she just shredded the potatoes and then pressed the moisture out with paper towels. Her husband said they were too mushy that way, and that he prefered to use the potato ricer because it squeezed out the excess water.

So, I decided to buy a potato ricer. I have had good luck with OXO, so that’s the one I chose.

I love it! Not only is it great for mashing potatoes, but you don’t even have to peel them. Just press the potatoes (halved or quartered) and it leaves the skin behind. This is convenient if you are only making a few potatoes, otherwise I’d peel them first. These potatoes come out so smooth, you don’t need to add as much butter and cream, which is even healthier!

This is also great if you want to squeeze the moisure out of shredded potatoes or spinach. I love spinach dip, and this makes it so much easier. It can also be used to mash bananas, carrots, potatoes and yams. If you think of any other uses, please comment here or at My latest gadget, the OXO Good Grips Potato Ricer.

BTW, homemade shredded hash browns are so easy and delicious, and one small potato goes a long way. Click here for the recipe!

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Fitz-All Set of 2 Replacement Pot Knobs – I recently bought these pot knobs and now I wonder why it took me so long! I melted the handle on my crock pot years ago and it was a pain to grab it in order to lift the lid. I couldn’t find a replacement knob for the Rival Crock pot, so every time I used my crock pot (maybe once or twice a month), I would take a screwdriver and unscrew the knob on my dutch oven and screw it onto my crock pot. At least I was fortunate to have another knob that fit.

One day I was actually looking for something else when I found these on Amazon. One reviewer made a comment about how it fit her crock pot, so I immediately placed it in my Amazon shopping cart.

These knobs are great! They even match the rest of my cookware. They are dishwasher safe and heat resistant. The package includes two knobs with large rustproof aluminum screws. I keep one in my kitchen draw as a backup.

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Jaccard Meat Tenderizer – *This meat tenderizer is the bomb! It pierces the meat with 48 tiny surgical steal blades (3 rows of 16 blades), which pierces the connective tissue and muscle fibers easily, allowing marinades in, making meat less tough, and it speeds up cooking time.

Jaccard Meat Tenderizer** Most tough cuts of meat have distinct lines in them. These lines are fibers that can be really chewy. The acid in marinade helps break up these fibers; acids such as vinegar and acidic fruit like kiwi, lime, and lemon. Slice thinly across the grain, which makes the meat more tender and easier to chew.

Other less expensive and even less tender steaks that would require tenderizing and marinating would be:

Top round steak, skirt steak, and flank steak (aka London broil).

Anyway, you don’t have to have a Jaccard to get a tender piece of meat; you can use fork tines or a knife blade to pierce the steaks, it just takes a little longer.

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Trudeau Garlic Press – Okay, I’m probably one of the last people to buy one of these. I don’t know what took me so long. This little gadget is great for peeling and mincing garlic cloves. In fact, it’s very much like the potato ricer in that it presses the garlic through the holes on the bottom. I tried pressing garlic through the potato ricer, but it didn’t work. I think the garlic press is sharper than the potato ricer and it’s much smaller. I used to buy minced garlic because I could never chop it fine enough. This garlic press makes perfectly minced garlic.

Also, this garlic press is two sided. Flip it one way to press the garlic cloves, and flip the other way where tiny rubber tips push the excess garlic through the holes for cleaning. My husband purchased this in red at Kroger, but this exact same garlic press can be purchased at Amazon.com. It has soft, easy grip handles and is dishwasher safe. It comes in black or red.

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Crock-Pot Cook’ N Carry 6-Quart Slow Cooker – My husband made his chili again this year for the chili cook-off at work, so I bought him the red locking CrockPot (shown here) so that he could carry it back Crock-Pot SCCPVL600S Cook' N Carry 6-Quart Oval Manual Portable Slow Cookerand forth to work.

I also used it for a pork loin roast, and it was wonderful!. The next day, I used it to make pulled pork sandwiches with the leftover pork loin. Yum! I just cooked it a little longer with a little bit of water until I could pull it apart with two forks. I added BBQ sauce and let it cook on low until it was heated all the way through. I bought mine at Kroger, but it’s also at Amazon.com – It comes in Red or Stainless Steel.

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I finally got one of these!

Victorio Apple and Potato PeelerVictorio VKP1010 Apple and Potato Peeler, Suction Base – This apple and potato peeler has gotten really great reviews. The reviewers claim that you can core, peel and slice an apple in less than 30 seconds. This makes baking apple pies so much better…Mmmm! Remove the coring blade and you can peel potatoes, too!

This gadget is a bit cumbersome to use if you only have a few apples to peel, but it would be great for a whole basket full of apples. I didn’t have much luck with the potatoes because of their shape. It only works on rounder potatoes.

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Paderno World Cuisine Tri-Blade Spiral Vegetable Slicer – I have to say, this is the one kitchen gadget that I have the most fun with! When I first got it, I grabbed every vegetable I had that could be sliced. Apples, cucumbers, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and zucchini. Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer

This is great for slicing onions and curly fries. As surprised as I was, my favorite of all the vegetables I’ve sliced so far is (drum roll please) the ZUCCHINI. I have been wanting to try zucchini spaghetti. I call them Zoodles (zucchini noodles). I served them just like spaghetti, with a marinara/spaghetti sauce. At first, it reminded me of Chinese food. It didn’t taste like spaghetti pasta at all. But, as it turned out, I absolutely loved it! I couldn’t get enough. So, I went back to the kitchen and gathered all the zucchini peelings. I chopped those up and sauteed them in oil and garlic. Now, I don’t bother peeling the zucchini, the zucchini peels tasted great, too! This comes in several, less expensive versions, but I can only speak for the Paderno because that is the one that I have.

See our post, Low Carb Zucchini Spaghetti with Meat Sauce.

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Pyrex 8-Cup Measuring Cup with Red Plastic Cover. I love this bowl for mixing cookie dough, cakes and brownies. I also use it for letting dough rise.

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10″ x 5″ x 3″ Loaf Pan
, made by USA Pans. This is a great size for my bread, but it also comes in 9″ x 5″ x 2.75″.

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15″ x 6″ x 1.5″ New England Hot Dog Pan, made by USA Pans. These are great for grilling beautiful, buttery, New England style hot dog buns. What some people don’t realize is this pan does not make conventional rounded hot dog buns. You don’t roll each bun separately. The pan is completely filled with dough and the top is flat. When the buns are turned out of the pan, the bottom becomes the top and are sliced along the groove markings. These are meant to be buttered and grilled on each side, just like they used to make them at Howard Johnson’s when I was a kid.

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USA 9″ x 13″ Rectangular Cake/Brownie Pan – This is my fourth USA pan. I love their pans because they are sturdy, non-stick, provide even cooking, don’t warp, and are made in the USA. So far, I have this 9″ x 13″ pan that I use for brownies, lasagna, or any other recipe requiring a 9″ x 13″ pan,

plus the 13″ x 18″ sheet pan, 10″ x 5″ loaf pan, and the 6″ x 15″ New England Style Hot Dog Pan (above).

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Chicago Metallic Non-Stick Original Muffin Top Pan. I use this to make my hamburger buns. It measures 15-3/4″ by 11″, and bakes six muffin tops/buns at once. My hamburger buns are the perfect size, slightly larger than store bought hamburger buns, but not too big. They are great for grilled burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, and sloppy joes. See my post, titled My Favorite Hamburger and Hot Dog bun Recipe (these are not low carb).

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3.5-Inch Round Stainless Steel Cutter. I use this to cut my dough for hamburger buns. They fit perfectly on my hamburger bun pan.

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Lodge 12″ cast-iron skillet – I especially love to use this skillet for stove-top to oven recipes. See my recipe for Low Carb Alice Springs Chicken.

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Norpro Silicone Pastry MatNorpro Silicone Pastry Mat with Measurements. I use this for rolling out bread and pie dough. The lines are great for measuring pie crusts, and clean-up is so much easier.

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OXO steel scraper & chopperOXO Good Grips Multi-purpose stainless steel scraper & chopper. I use this when making bread, to divide the dough. But it’s also great for chopping up ground meat.

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19-Piece Measuring Cup and Spoon Set19-Piece Measuring Cup and Spoon Set I love that there is one for every size, 1/8, 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 1, 1-1/2, 1-3/4 and 2 cups. The spoon set even has a dash and a pinch. 1/32 tsp., 1/16 tsp., 1/8 tsp., 1/4 tsp., 1/2 tsp., 1 tsp., 2 tsp., 1/2 Tbsp and 1 Tbsp.

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KitchenAid Mandoline Slicer. My latest and greatest small appliance. At first, I was disappointed in the size of it. It was so big, I was afraid I wouldn’t have the space to store it. Luckily, I found a spot for it in my pantry. So far, I’ve only sliced cucumbers with it, and I love it! The julienne inserts are great for French fries, regular size and shoestring, so I will try them next. You can dial any thickness, 1/32″, 1/16″, 1/8″, 3/16″, 1/4″ and 5/16″. It does not come with the coarse grater blade, as depicted in the description. Apparently, this also comes in a deluxe model that includes the grater and four small bowls with lids. This one comes with the built-in straight blade and the thin and thinner julienne blades, along with a blade storage container. That’s fine with me since my box grater works nicely. This baby is sharp, and so are the julienne blades. So, make sure you use the protective gripper when slicing smaller sized pieces. I wear my Ove’ Glove for protection. Sometimes, you can’t use the gripper, so be careful! Also, you must be careful when washing the blade attachments. It may seem a bit pricey for a slicer, but it is very well made and is well worth the price. I purchased the red one, and it also comes in white. There is a video showing how to use a mandoline at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FxY828-iwk.

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Mastrad Silicone SpatulaMastrad All-Purpose Silicone Spatula, Blue. I like this because it is one solid piece of molded silicone. I got tired of the rubber spatulas coming off the wood handles. It is very sturdy, but not quite as flexible as I would like.

Wilton 570-1121 Easy Flex 3-Piece Silicone Spatula Set, Blue. I have since purchased this 3-piece spatula set, and I love the flexibility more than the Mastrad. It is not one solid piece, so time will tell if the handles eventually come off. The small one is great for scraping jars and spreading peanut butter or mayonnaise. The medium spatula is my favorite tool for making scrambled eggs and scraping the pan. I don’t use the spoonula much, but it is great for scraping the sides of my mixing bowl and spooning batter or icing for cupcakes. Warning: I did read that the handles are plastic, not silicone, and will melt if left to rest against the edge of a hot pan. I have never done that, but it is good to know.

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The following are more items that I have purchased, but I still need to provide images and/or reviews.

11.5″ x 16.5″ Artisan Chrome Plated Steel Cooling Rack. This is nice if you don’t have to worry about food clogging the square grid. Like, don’t ever place a meat loaf directly on the rack without putting foil under it. It is great for cooling loaves of bread, cookies, and cakes.:P

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Norpro 3257 Pie Topper Cutters Cookie Stamp, Set of 4. Set includes: leaf, strawberry, cherry and heart. This set didn’t come with an apple shaped cutter (for my apple pie), so I also bought the Wilton mini cutters. I love them all!

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Wilton Harvest 6 Piece Mini Metal Cookie Cutter Set. Six shapes; pumpkin, apple, maple leaf, oak leaf, elm leaf and acorn.

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Deli-Pro Slicing Knife. This knife is great for slicing homemade bread. It has a slicing guide, so you can slice it thin or thick, nice even slices every time. I also use it to slice big juicy tomatoes. Be careful, though, it’s sharp!

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Granite Ware 3-Piece Bake, Broil, and Grill Pan Set. Somewhere along the way, I lost my broiler pan. Probably in the last move a couple of years ago. I finally decided to get one. This broiler pan is smaller than a regular broiler pan. I didn’t realize it at first, but now I’m glad it is. It is perfect for small roasts and meat loaf. Add some water to the bottom and the dripping grease doesn’t burn. Makes for easy cleanup. This set includes a roasting pan: 14″ x 9″ x 2″; a broiler/grill pan: 13″ x 9″; and a grill rack: 13″ x 9″. Black.

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OXO Good Grips 2-Cup Fat Separator. I never could figure out how to use my old fat separator. Well, this one comes with the stopper. Put the strainer and stopper in, pour gravy into the cup through the strainer and wait a few seconds for it to settle. Once the gravy has settled, you should see that the fat rose higher than the spout. Remove the strainer and the stopper and pour out perfect gravy. Voila!

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  • FreshCut Gourmet Scissors
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  • Misto Aluminum Olive Oil Sprayer, Tomato (Red)

  • My Wish List:

    KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer, Empire Red

    I’ve been wanting one of these for a very long time, from way before I went low carb. I used to love to make bread, but my 30-something year old Sunbeam Mixmaster didn’t appreciate it. It would shake quite a bit when mixing the thick dough. I would have to place it on something with a rubber backing, and I would roll up a damp towel and place it in front of the mixer so it wouldn’t jump right off the counter!

    For most things, my stand mixer is all that I need, as long as it lasts (knock on wood). My son calls it the mashed potato machine, which is what I used it for most of the time. But, the KitchenAid will always be my dream machine. I’ve been doing more low carb baking, so I’m sure it will be put to good use.


    I’ve created a list of my favorite things with this Amazon store – Click Here!

    If you have any cookware, kitchen gadgets or utensils that you just love, or would place on your “I gotta get me one of these!” lists, please leave a comment…Susan.






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