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Archive for the ‘tools/utensils’ Category

Silicone pot holders

In tools/utensils on October 23, 2014 at 2:52 am

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Silicone seems to be the wonder material in the kitchen. Heat-resistant and non-stick, it’s great as bakeware – getting cakes and bread out of the mould is so much more easier.

One of my favourite silicone products in my kitchen is my pair of pot holders. This is an item I use on a daily basis. I got this pair from Sogo. After getting it, I discovered that Daiso also stocks silicone pot holders, and every item there costs only RM5 each.

Even though I paid so much more for mine, I console myself that it probably provides more protection against hot items. My pot holder is thick and has a raised pattern, so my hands are not in such close contact with hot items as a flat piece. It also has great grip and I’ve had no problems lifting my heavy CorningWare casseroles.

The small size make it easy to grab and use, unlike some of the glove-like pot holders. It is also safer than using a kitchen cloth or an oven mitt. Heat travels faster through fabric and I used to worry that I wouldn’t make it from stove to dining table in time before my fingers started to burn.

I recommend this as your kitchen essential. You’ll definitely use it often and it won’t end up at the back of your kitchen drawer.

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Keeping your books clean

In tools/utensils on January 1, 2013 at 10:00 am

book stand

A small counter top has always been a challenge when I’m cooking using a recipe book. There’s just not enough space for it amidst the clutter of bowls and bottles. Reading the book is also difficult as the pages keep flipping over (especially with paperbacks). And they’d be stained with grease and watermarks. Sometimes, the pages would also be covered in a light dusting of flour.

Recipes printed off the Net are easier to handle. I keep them in clear plastic in a ring folder. When I need to use one, I just stick it onto my kitchen door frame with a fridge magnet, at eye level.

I’ve been lusting over this Typhoon bookstand for the longest time (and of course, the red colour makes it even more desirable). I finally decided to stop being a scrooge and treat myself to it. You can find it at Robinsons and Isetan for RM69. Wait for sales and you’ll save 20% (RM13.80). I had a RM5 Robinsons voucher, so my bill came up to RM50.20.

The bookstand has a ‘gap’ over 4cm, so it should hold even thick books easily. The steel structure is heavy and solid – your book won’t flip the whole stand over. I place it on the small platform that divides my kitchen and dining area. The raised height means I can refer to my books at eye level, and they are away from my work area.

Spin, baby, spin!

In salad, tools/utensils on October 10, 2012 at 11:27 pm

 

A salad spinner is something I wanted to get for a long time. Finding the right one is difficult. It’s either prohibitively expensive (More than RM100? Seriously? This piece of plastic?) or made of brittle plastic (drop it once and it’s a goner).

The search finally ended at Sogo, one of my two favourite places for kitchen stuff (the other being Robinsons). And this salad spinner costs less than RM50.

My life has changed since then. No more soggy salads or Vietnamese spring rolls. Or dabbing greens with kitchen rolls. It’s amazing how much water this thing removes. And it certainly does this job better than Mr. Bean’s sock.

Chopping herbs like Nigella Lawson

In tools/utensils on November 28, 2011 at 1:53 pm

“This half-moon shaped, double-handled herb (and everything else) chopper is indispensable. It works like a speedy dream, and safely: two handles mean you can’t cut yourself while chopping!” – Nigella Lawson

Ever since I saw Nigella using a herb chopper on her show, I’ve been intrigued. She looked like she was having so much fun chopping herbs with it. I’ve always wanted to get one but was too stingy to pay for it it. There are other more important things to get, like a salad spinner and magnetic knife strip. Besides, I can always use a normal knife, right?
The push factor that finally nudged me over the edge was the RM40 Robinsons shopping voucher I needed to spend. Dresses were too expensive, there were no nice panties within that price range (unbelievable, right?) and I still had to top up a substantial amount for pillowcases to complete my slowly assembled Egyptian cotton bedding set.
A browse around the household department (my favourite section at Robinsons) led me to the Typhoon table – a lot of nice stuff, but too expensive to splurge on. I saw the herb chopper and visions of Nigella taunting me with her kitchen gadgets (another piece I want – the wooden lemon squeezer!) came flooding back. I didn’t have to pay much out of my own pocket, so that was the deciding factor.
While Nigella’s herb cutter has only one blade, Typhoon’s has two. It chops herbs in tiny pieces in no time at all and is certainly more efficient than using a chef’s knife. And it felt so good! Chop! Chop! Chop! Some people use it to chop onions and garlic too.

In Safe Hands

In tools/utensils on January 12, 2011 at 2:07 am

I love the cheerful print! Fresh, nothing too 'aunty'.

Cooking can be a hazardous hobby. Oil splatters, cuts, burns, they hurt and sometimes leave scars. So far, my face has been spared. The injuries tend to happen around the hands and arms.

So, I was thrilled when I came across these oven mitts at Peter Hoe. They go up to my elbow, so they’re long enough to protect my hands AND arms when I remove dishes and trays from the oven.

Peter Hoe is at Jalan Hang Lekir in KL’s Chinatown. It’s the one at the yellow art deco building (Lee Rubber Building, in between Hotel Malaya and Maybank) across the flower wholesaler. Don’t confuse it with the other Peter Hoe outlet with the green walls. The other Peter Hoe sells clothes. This Peter Hoe sells household stuff. It’s hidden above the Popular Bookstore. The entrance is at the side. You’ll see a guard. Take the lift to the first floor (or second? – I don’t remember…).

The place is nice for browsing. Lots of pretty things. Popular with the expats, with prices to match. The oven mitt costs RM39 for just one side. Unless you’re strong enough to lift a tray with a heavy casserole on it with just one arm, you’ll need to get a pair.

Peter Hoe serves drinks and cakes but I hear it now serves meals too. A good place to stop after trawling Chinatown (peace! quiet! air-con!).

From Chopping Board to Stove

In tools/utensils on July 8, 2010 at 1:12 am

Having a small kitchen doesn’t just cramp your style. It messes up your space too. With no work surface beside my stove, I would move chopped ingredients from across the floor to the pan on the stove. Scooping them up with a knife and hand would often result in drops along the way.

So, when I saw Rachael Ray use a dough scraper on her show to scoop up vege from the board to the pot, I was impressed. Up to that point, I didn’t even know of its existence, despite being a keen shopper in the household department.

I went to a “plastic shop” near my office (it sells plastic pails, household items, etc.) and managed to find the dough scraper there. Strangely, I have yet to use it for what it was intended for – to scrape and cut up dough.

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