If you cook at all, there are small items in your cabinets and drawers that you use on a daily basis. Things like measuring cups – both for dry and wet measuring, measuring spoons and a spatula or two. I have at least two or three of each, and use them all. There is nothing worse to me than to measure something wet like vanilla extract, only to have to wash the spoons and dry them thoroughly before you measure out dry ingredients. If I’m baking, I pull out two sets. There are some other smalls that I love to use, and if they wear out, I immediately buy another one.
‘Wet’ Solid Measuring Cup – this is another item I found at a Pampered Chef party. It’s a two-part piece. The outer piece is clear plastic and has measurement lines on it. The inner part is solid hard plastic. You slip the outer part up to where you need it, fill it with shortening, lard or peanut butter, then hold it over your bowl. Hit the plunger and the solids come right out. You may have to use a knife to scrape it off, but there is none left in the sleeve, like there could be in a measuring cup.
Dough Scraper – my dad made mine many years ago, and I use it all the time, and not just for bread baking. Yes, it’s wonderful to scrape wet dough off your board, but I also use it to cut rolled cookies, brownies or other bar cookies in the pan and for scraping my cutting board.
Small Ice Cream Scoop – I use this instead of a spoon to scoop cookie dough. It’s sized just perfectly, and the spring release drops the dough straight onto the sheet. Same size cookies every time! These come in various sizes, from very tiny to ice cream scoop size.
Pastry Brush – it’s not just for topping your biscuits with butter. Use it to lightly coat pans with butter or oil before sauteing or making pancakes. You won’t use nearly as much oil, and it still keeps things from sticking to your pan.
Plastic Scrapers – I’m not really sure what you call these, but they usually come with stoneware and are used to scrape any hard pieces off after baking. We also use these to scrape dough out of bowls after mixing up bread, cleaning out casserole dishes and scraping a cutting board. I do keep mine separate – a couple for cleaning with soap and water, and some for raw foods. (I even have a couple that I use when stripping paint off of old furniture – but those stay outside!)
There are so many Kitchen Littles on the market today. I’m like a kid in a candy store when I go into the kitchen section, always on the lookout for something new and fun to use. What do you look for to help you out in the kitchen? Do you have a favorite ‘little’ that you can’t do without? Let us know what it is. Who knows? I may have to head to the kitchen shop next week to find one for myself!