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July 23, 2008



Girl, I am so with you on this. I have only a couple of special gadgets in my house. One is a mini Cuisinart that really does a great chop chopping onions and garlic into minute pieces, which is exactly what's needed for making Indian food. The other is a 30 year old GE fake Cuisinart food processor and blender. The last time I used either has to have been more than three years ago. Because I, too, have this thing called a "knife".


I? Cannot cook rice. Even IN my rice cooker I screw it up. Other than that I really am a very good cook.


The only think I have for chopping that is not a knife is this special square of metal that is curled on one end and more or less choppy sharp on the other. It scoops up the chopped bits better than a knife blade for dropping into the pot, and I don't have to deal with juices from the chopping board getting all over the counter. It mystifies my husband (who has to use 3 knives to cut anything anyway).

However, you use too many implements to hold and chop an onion? Fork? Bah. Curl the fingers holding the onion under. If you feel the blade touch your knuckles, move it away.

On the rice cooker, though, I must disagree. The ones I'm looking at will cook the rice AND NOT BURN IT on those odd occasions that I'm not around when the timer goes off. Since there is almost always some crisis in my house when I have something on a timer, this is very important. I currently don't have room for the rice cooker, though, so it will be a while. The one I am eying, though, will cook the rice on the bottom and steam vegies on the next layer. I'm lazy, so that's appealing.

I have three Pampered Chef items -- those stone bakeware pieces -- flat baking sheet, pizza sheet, and a loaf pan. Bread comes out of it better than in either of my other loaf pans, and pizza is a TON better than a metal pan. The flat one does better for cookies and biscuits -- haven't burned the bottoms while the centers are still gooey yet.


Ok, I need to step in here. A lot of that stuff is overkill but I think they do have a lot of things that make it EASIER.

I can now open pickle jars easily instead of straining, grab toast out of a toaster with non-metallic tongs because I used to use a knife, and soon I'll have the perfect scraper that can get into small openings.

Those kinds of tools are very cheap too.


I had trouble with rice until I heard a really easy, perfect description from the "Cajun Cook" Justin Wilson.

First, use real uncooked rice. Not minute rice or anything like that.

Pour however much you want in a saucepan (any amount) and cover with water, no more than 1/4 of an inch over the rice.

Bring to a boil and continue until it starts to make that sucking popping sound that tells you most of the water has been boiled out.

Cover tightly and turn heat down to low. Let it sit at least 20 minutes but you can let it steam for hours if you are busy with other things.

Either way, the rice comes out perfect every time.

Amy in StL

I don't understand pampered chef stuff either. I bought the pizza stone and have to say I hate it. It's heavy and doesn't do a better job than my all purpose jelly roll pan/cookie sheet.

Last Thanksgiving I made an apple pie for a dinner I was going to. The hostess for Christmas gave me an apple peeler thing from there. I'm pretty sure I peeled all the apples okay. I wasn't sure but I thought maybe I should be offended.

I also have a friend who swears by their silicone mats for making pie crusts. Um, I've always used waxed paper and never had a problem. It's cheaper AND less pretentious.


I have that thing holding the onion! And for someone with a knife phobia, it's a lifesaver. I am terrified of knives so having that little fork thing helps a lot. The spears are narrow and sharp enough to grab things better than a fork too.

Ok, sorry, I just had to justify my purchase to the world!


Ha, I cook rice in the microwave one of 2 ways. If it's Trader Joe's rice, you just microwave it, in it's little bag, for like 2 minutes. But we're in the land that TJ forgot, so instead, I just buy the boil in bags, drop it in a half water filled microwave safe pot and cook for 10 minutes.


Admittedly though, I do have a panini maker and a couch that also functions as a box grater.

Catherine the Red

I LOVE Pampered Chef. I think they make the greatest, affordable gadgets ever. ALL of my gadgets, cutlery, cookware and bakeware have come from Pampered Chef. My kitchen is a Pampered Chef consultants dream..except since I already own nearly everything they sell, she won't make much $ off of me.
#0.75, I completly agree that they make cooking and regular tasks like scraping the bottom of the mayo jar much easier. If you do a lot of cooking, it so handy to have these little gadgets around. It makes the experience of cooking much easier. I have several way-cool gadgets that get used all the time.
Queen, you are totally missing out on the rice cooker. You don't have to set a timer, you don't have to worry about it burning or overcooking. It just does its thing and viola...perfect fluffy rice everytime.


Ahh, the kitchen gizmo. I do lurve me some of those. But I draw the line at anything that can't be thrown in a drawer. Thus I have no expensive mixer, no bread maker, no rice cooker.

However, I do have every potato peeler known to man. Even though I only use the one.


" a couch that also functions as a box grater" = what is she talking about?

i have many many knives. and almost no single purpose gadgets.


(Snicker) ... such a brat! I love it!


I was behind you 100% except...my dad? He sits up all night and sleeps all day and we all get these...interesting...gifts from late night TV. There's an AbLounger in the basement. But that slicer/dicer box thing? Honey, that ROCKS. Mango salsa...perfect, uniform little dices milling around in the bowl and THIS is maximum guest intimidation.


Then, after a while, I'll start shouting out alternative to anything she shows.

Yeah, I do the same thing at the sex-toy parties. Ba-dum DUM!


Well, I guess some women buy Pampered Chef, and others buy shoes. I get the shoe thing less than I do the pampered chef thing. I mean all you really need is 2 pairs of shoes, one for work and one for play, right?


Why would anyone stick an afro-pick in an onion?


All -
Good God. I was sure I had an awful typo when I came home and saw 16 comments. On RICE. And what is it about rice that bring out the lurkers! Hi lurkers! Rice.

Becs - Yep, my food processor has been out once in 10 years.
Charmed - (Hi, Charmed!) Well, your fellow commenters insist that is impossible. Oh, unless you tried to cook brown rice at white rice speeds.
Sherri - My onion trick is to excise the hairy thing on the bottom entirely. If you cut through that your eyes water; the rest is safe if your knife is sharp.
0.75 - #3 and I were discussing the plastic tongs. Unplug the toaster. Just unplug it. Then you can get the toast with your tongue.
Ajooja - That sounds fraught with danger! However, while I cant see using my sense of hearing as a timer, I do it with my sense of smell all the time.
Amy in StL - Silicone mats do nothing for me, but I admit I preferred the cookies I made on my stone. Unitl I broiled the stone and broke it. And didn't replace it because lord, it is heavy.
Yookie - Terrified of knives. I've never heard of that. Of course, of all things to be terrified of that would make sense.
Katie - I don't like those types of rice - they come out soupy. I like rice as a fluffy hot butter delivery system.
Catherine the Red - I think the last Pampered Chef party I went to was the one at your apartment. Oh, and Zayrina needs shoes.
Candy - Is it the one with the big grip? Or is it the one you pull toward you?
Magpie - But you have custom-built bookcases. (And I dont know what is Katie is talking about. I'm afraid it's a post in her archives I've never read. I'm having trouble picturing this couch.)
Mdmhvonpa - (Hi, Mdmhvonpa) How do you pronounce Mdmhvonpa? I know this is another archived blog post I should have read ...
CountryGirl - (Hi CountryGirl!) I hate to say it, but perfect tiny dices say to me "this was canned." So throw in some choppy cuts in the salad too.
Elsa - Knives? Eww. Spatulas, maybe.
Zayrina - Ah, I was once like you. Then I was corrupted by Catherine the Red.
Scott - Ah - that's the perfect last word!


Queen - NO WAY! I need the toast NOW! OUT OUT Damn toast!

Cat - THANK you! --clicking glasses--

Catherine the Red

It's good to be corrupt. It's also good knowing I'm the one who courrupted you. I get a special pleasure out of knowing that. So, how is the shoe collection these days?


Zayrina's words hurt me. Two pairs of shoes? Hell, I probably have 8 pairs of black shoes.

I like some Pampered Chef stuff. I could live without stoneware. Nothing I've ever made on it turned out well.

One thing I thought was ridiculous was our KitchenAid mixer. I bought it for hubby (who loves to bake) when it was on sale half price. Turns out I love it too. We have lots of single use gadgets. My mom can never think of anything to buy me but kitchen gadgets and towels. Anyone need a towel?


#0.75 - Toaster over, then. More toast all at once.
Catherine the Red - It's at thirty pair.
Caroline - I have two pairs of black shoes, but I only wear one. Zayrina speaks the truth. And .75 needs a toaster oven.


I don't have a toaster oven, but if I did I'd probably give it to her. My ILs have one and there are damned near rituals you have to perform in order to get food above lukewarm in it. That may be why the set the plate on top of it while toasting. The plate gets so hot you almost burn yourself, and it finishes warming the food that comes out half cold. Takes 3 times as long as a real toaster, too.

Of course, these are the same people who microwave corn dogs that are individually wrapped in paper towels for 10 seconds at a time and can't figure out why they're still cold the first 10 times they check on them.


Caroline - Anything with cornbread and a high fat content should get 10 seconds at a time. I can see their logic.


I'm sad to say that I did not come equipped with the ability to even boil an egg successfully so I, too, have a rice steamer; however, it only cost $15 and I've gotten my money's worth.


PolymorphicGirl - Apples and oranges! Eggs are tricky. Every egg is a different size. But rice is math. (And to be totally honest, I had a vegetable steamer that made rice too and I made rice in it once.)

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