Me, Sher, and Ad

Me, Sher, and Ad
Bro Adam and sis Sher, my rocks!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Favorite Kitchen Items: Part Deux

Tovolo Pot Lid Lifts
In keeping with the theme of a previous blogpost of my favorite kitchen tools,, I wanted to tell my readers about some other favorite items I love to use in the kitchen. This time, I included a couple food products I use often as well as one non-kitchen item, my Alessi hedgehog paperclip holder.

The first item that I really like is my "Lamb" Tovolo Pot Lid Lift. My sister Sheryl picked up this little gem for me while we met up one morning at Amy's Place, a kitchen store in the Reading Terminal Market in Philly.  Sheryl picked up the pig while I picked up the lamb. It is so whimsical yet it works and helps keep your pot from boiling over.There is also a chicken available. If you can't get to Amy's you can pick them up on
My "Lamb" Tovolo Pot Lid


The next favorite kitchen gadget that I love is my Zipstrip by Chef'n. This handy little item makes taking off rosemary leaves so easy. You stick the stem through the appropriate hold and pull it through. The leaves are deposited in the little attached cup. It is dishwasher safe and also has measurements for teaspoon, tablespoon and 1/4 cup on the actual cup itself for easy measuring. I also picked this up at Amy's Place in Reading Terminal Market.

Vintage glass banana dish 
I also tend to go for kitchen items which are aesthetically pleasing. This is where my crystal banana dish falls into place. This mid-century vintage glass boat gently curves around the banana bunch neatly holding it for display on your counter top or kitchen table. You can find them online for $15-$30 or at flea markets for $20 or less. You can also find them in different style and different colored Depression glass such as amber, green, white, or blue.
Vintage glass banana dish

Handmade Oven Rack Puller
My last official kitchen item in this post that I couldn't live without is my oven rack "puller." I found this trusty wooden gem at a flea market. It was handcrafted and part of it's charm is the burnt oven marks from continued use over the years.  This allows you to check on those casseroles or pies baking in the oven without burning your fingers. Of course you can find newer models made of heat-resistant silicone but I love mine for the simple fact that it shows it age and use.

Alessi Hedgehog Paperclip Holder
The following item is not a kitchen tool but I love it nonetheless and had to include it as a favorite! I found it at a yard-sale for 50 cents. It retails online for $29.00! It is my Italian design Alessi magnetic paperclip holder. I bought it not knowing what the heck it was but recognized the Alessi name on the bottom. I have loved Alessi products for years but usually they are beyond my budget. They are sleek, polished, or completely whimsical, like the magnetic hedgehog! I'd say I got my money's worth on this one. You can find it on as well.

Plugra European Salted Butter
The next three "items" are actually food products which I use quite frequently. The first is Plugra European Style Butter. You can purchase it either salted or unsalted, One can blame this favorite on my years working at the Ritz-Carlton. The chefs swore on using this butter. I have come to love it and consider it a budget-worthy indulgence. I personally like the salted butter. I don't use butter often and the salt extends and preserves the shelf life of the butter. Some say that unsalted butter has a more mellow sweetness. I say try both and pick which ever you like better. LOL, easy as that. I've seen 8 oz, on sell for as little as $2.00 on sale to as much as $7.00 in NYC.

McCormick's Southwest Spice
Another food item that I LOVE is McCormick's 'Perfect Pinch' Southwest Sweet 'n Smokey Seasoning. There are several varieties in the Perfect Pinch spice line including Cajun, Asian, Caribbean Jerk, Italian, Mexican, Fiesta Citrus, and several others. This is my "go-to" spice when I can't figure out what to put on something. I have used it on eggs, pork, chicken, steak, and various seafood. It's flavor it not too strong and obviously can be adjusted depending on how much spice you add. I'm always a fan of the shaker top bottle too since I'm usually the idiot who would accidentally pour the entire bottle on a grilling chicken breast.

Blaze Balsamic Glaze
Lastly, another favorite kitchen cooking ingredient is the balsamic glaze. I am a big fan of Blaze Balsamic Glaze. This was the first one I tried and if I can find it, I buy this brand over others. At this point, there are many brands now available on the market. I really love using balsamic glaze in my cooking as it saves you a tremendous amount of time having to cook down balsamic vinegar to make your own 'glaze'. It adds a tangy sweetness to whatever your are sauteing or grilling. I usually finish off a dish with the glaze, creating a dramatic design or pattern worthy of a 5 star chef. :-)  I use the glaze on grilled chicken, steak or vegetables. It goes particularly well with asparagus, zucchini, or Brussels sprouts. You can of course drizzle it on a traditional Caprese salad of tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. I have read of cooks using it to finish off risotto and fresh strawberries and even ice cream!

I hope you have enjoyed this blogpost. I like sharing items I find which I feel others may appreciate. I'll keep an eye out for other kitchen items and ingredients and will then post again soon.


  1. Love this and will be going to Amazon for that first one as soon as I push send on this. Thanks!! Sheri Zellner