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Cool Tool Thursday

12 Jan

Today’s Kitchen Tool is:

The Soup and Cracker Mug

The Soup and Cracker Mug

The Soup and Cracker Mug

One of my favorite things to eat is soup, of any kind. And of course I love to eat crackers with my soup. These mugs are PERFECT for that !!!

Cool Tool Thursday

29 Dec

Today’s Kitchen Tool is:

The Beat it! Drumstick Chopsticks

The Beat it! Drumstick Chopsticks

The Beat it! Drumstick Chopsticks

Your mom told you not to play WITH your food, but she never told you anything about playing your food (like drums)!!!

Cool Tool Thursday

15 Dec

Today’s Kitchen Tool is:

The Stainless Steel Index Cutting Board

The Stainless Steel Index Cutting Board

The Stainless Steel Index Cutting Board

You can never be too organized in the kitchen… and you definitely don’t want to serve a hot plate of Salmonella to your guests!!!

Cool Tool Thursday

1 Dec

Today’s Kitchen Tool is:

El Tostador de Arepas | Tostiarepas | Arepa Toaster

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Yet another great Venezuelan cooking tool.  I have written about it before, but I thought this ingenious tool should be featured on a Cool Tool Thursday post as well.   The Tostiarepa was invented not too long ago, and it was a relief for all Venezuelan areperas (arepa makers), including my mom.  Arepas usually take a bit long if you make them using the original technique and the budare (another Cool Tool featured here).  However, this great new invention was created with the purpose of making arepas cook a lot faster and easier.  You might think that this tool is too specific, because it was literally created with only one purpose in mind.  However, for us Venezuelans who eat an Arepa at least once a day, this is an essential tool in the kitchen.

The first Tostiarepa were made out of aluminum and you still needed to use the stove to heat them up on one side, and then turn it and heat up the other side.  Latter, came the electrical Tostiarepa, which you only have to plug, fill, wait 7 minutes, and done!

A lot of companies that specialize in kitchen appliances make their own version of this arepa maker, arepa toaster, Tostiarepa, tosty arepa, tostador de arepas, or whatever you wish to call it.  Some of these brands include Brentwood, Bene Casa, Miallegro, Oster and of course Imusa.  And you can find these in stores like Amazon.com, Overstock.com, Sears and Target.  Some even have different sizes of Tostiarepas to make either 2, 4, or even 6 arepas at once.

Cool Tool Thursday

17 Nov

Today’s Kitchen Tool is:

The Takeout Menu Organizer

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This kitchen tool is great for those days when the only tool you want to use in the kitchen is the phone!   Instead of having a drawer full of takeout menu’s thrown about, get this neat organizer.   Not only save space and get an empty drawer to use for other kitchen tools, but conceal your laziness by hiding this organizer somewhere between your “other” cookbooks.   It even brings a notepad to take orders if you have a large group of people, and stickers to rate your meals.

Cool Tool Thursday

3 Nov

Today’s Kitchen Tool is:

La Tostonera

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One of those tools that you only use once, when making something in particular.   Unless you can find some other use for it.   However, this Venezuelan cooking tool or utensil is perfect for making Venezuelan Tostones.   All you have to do is place the plantain slices in the pre-cut whole inside the Tostonera, and it will flatten them to the famous Tostones shape without pressing too hard.   Also, it is very popular as a Mother’s Day gift.   I remember making one at school for her.   The school provided the wooden components and we assembled it, stained it and decorated it to give to our moms on Mother’s Day.

The Hispanic Houseware Brand IMUSA sells Tostoneras (Wood Plantain Press), and I have seen them at several Publix stores hanging in a display close to the plantains.   You can also find IMUSA Bamboo Tostonera at Macy’s on sale for $6.99.   At Kmart for $4.99.

Cool Tool Thursday

20 Oct

Today’s Kitchen Tool is:

The OCD Chef Cutting Board

 

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For those of us who think food not only has to taste good, but look good… or perfect… whichever.

Cool Tool Thursday

8 Sep

Today’s Kitchen Tool is:

The Cheat Sheet Kitchen Apron

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This apron is great if you’re like me and you don’t want to break out the calculator to figure things out.   It has conversion, weights, measurements and even cooking guides, tips and glossary.   It is specially helpful if English is your second language… or if cooking is a foreign language for that matter.

Cool Tool Thursday

28 Jul

I don’t know why, but when it comes to kitchen tools, I simply must have them all.   I think one of the reasons is because when I was little, my aunt used to have all the coolest kitchen tools, and I would love to look at all her cookbooks’ pictures and see how she used every single tool.

Every now and then I will share one of these cool kitchen tools with you.   Perhaps they are not essential, or even necessary, but I would definitely love to have them all.

Today’s Kitchen Tool is:

El Budare (Comal or Round Cast Iron Griddle) 

El Budare

El Budare

I figure since we where in the Arepa theme, I would post a good kitchen tool to have when making arepas.

This tool is commonly known in Venezuela as “El Budare”.   Initially I think the native Indians used large stones that they leveled and shaped as circles in order to cook many things including arepas, Cachapas and casabe.   Most places still have large circle or square budares in order to cook more arepas at a time.   However, since we probably don’t have the kind of space in our home needed to place an original budare to cook, we can still make delicious arepas using a basic round cast iron griddle like the ones sold by Lodge Logic.

Here are some links to great images I found online of original and even improvised budares:

The making of Casabe

Improvised Budare

MacGyver Budare

Budare on the streets

Budare Improv

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