Baby in one hand, wooden spoon in the other

Category Archives: equipment

Salad spinner

Is it a salad spinner, or an entertainment centre?

About ten years ago I was browsing in Habitat kitchenware department – as one does – and came across the king of all salad spinners. A decade on, in 2013, I am delighted to tell you all about the all-new and improved OXO Salad Spinner. And, trust me, A LOT can change in a decade…

I was lucky enough to recently get sent the brand spanking new OXO Salad Spinner to test, now that summer is officially here. Although now Wimbledon is upon us, we’ll probably get yet more rain. Talking of Wimbledon, this is truly the Roger Federer of salad spinners…

With its straightforward one-handed operation – so you can even spin salad while carrying baby – The One-Handed Cook is extremely happy with this bit of kit. It looks smart, with its all-new clear plastic look and new shape bowl for 2013. It still features the brilliant pump mechanism, and now the underside of the lid comes apart at the touch of a button for easy cleaning.

I wash the salad in the bowl, then drain the salad in the colander part, and then get spinning to ensure my lettuce is nice and dry, ready for dressing. The OXO Salad Spinner has a non-slip base so it won’t move around on the work surface, meaning you can spin to your heart’s content. To stop it spinning, simply press the little brake button, then tip out salad, and voila.

However, there is more – those clever folks at OXO have done away with the domed lid of the old version, and replaced with a flat lid, so once you’ve poured out the water from the bowl, post-spin, you can store your salad in the spinner in the fridge, which makes life easier. Which busy mums and dads definitely like.

Easy to use, brilliantly designed, and very effective, I can now disclose that this fabulous salad spinner has one more feature that is not mentioned on the box. Oh no. I have an exclusive for you, dear reader *steals a glance left and right, cartoon-style, and whispers* It entertains the children. Yes, you heard me. It is worth buying (or growing) and eating salad, just to watch your toddler keep him or herself entertained with this bad boy.

In fact, get one even if you don’t like salad. I have to wrestle this from my daughter’s hands in order to get my lettuce in the salad bowl, frankly. She loves it – she is helping, she is pushing the pump up and down, she is spinning, she can’t stop spinning, she’s checking the salad leaves (‘They’re still bit wet, mummy,’ she says disapprovingly, putting the lid back on), she’s spinning again. While I can get on with doing other things.

Get the all-new OXO Salad Spinner here. And, parents of little ones, get ready to thank me, on oh-so-many levels…

Happy salad spinning.

TOHC

xxx

P.S. My personal favourite salad recipe at the moment is a rather wonderful one which was recently featured in the Guardian’s COOK supplement, by Cheeku Bhasin and featured on her blog, here: Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Tahini and Yogurt Dressing http://cook2jhoom.wordpress.com/

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“That’s one small step for a (Lego) man…”

“That’s one small step for a (Lego) man…”

Buying my first very own Le Creuset felt like a giant leap. Having grown up with a Francophile French teacher mum, Le Creuset was a name I had known all my life. On holidays to France, mum would make a trip to the quincaillerie, or hardware store – for this was about the only place the heavy orange enamel pans were sold in those days – and stock up on heavy lidded pots. And so, buying a large red Le Creuset casserole at the age of 25 or so, marked a milestone for me. No longer a student, earning money, living with my boyfriend in London, owning a Le Creuset. I was a grown up! (How did that happen?) And now I have two children, and the red Le Creuset has a little brother, a smaller blue one, and I couldn’t live without (any of) them.

They are expensive, I admit, but boy, do they last. And boy, are they versatile. Which is why we love Le Creuset, and why these amazing enamel, heavy duty pans get a mention on the blog. Every busy mum – or dad – trying to get dinner on the table needs a Le Creuset, I think. I use mine all the time, and can’t imagine what I’d do without them. Whether it’s to make soup or a stew (the heavy enamel base conducts heat really effectively), to make Bolognese sauce (get all your ingredients in, in the usual way, bring to a simmer and then transfer straight from the hob to the pre-heated oven for 45 mins), or for casserole that goes straight from oven to table, they are simply unbeatable. Perfect for the one-handed cook … Yes, you can even stir them one-handed – they don’t tend to move when they’re on the hob – they’re so darn heavy!

To buy or not to buy a Le Creuset: weighing up the options

Pros

–       Heavy, solid, a Le Creuset is a quality bit of kitchen kit that will last you for decades (they make a great wedding gift)

–       Transfer your dish straight from the hob to the oven, and back again if needs be, and then straight to the table (less hassle, fewer dishes to wash)

–       They conduct heat really efficiently

–       Le Creuset pans look really attractive and come in an array of beautiful hues to match any kitchen colour scheme, including yellow. (And if your enamel chips, they look even more rustic!)

–       They have their own Pinterest page! www.pinterest.com/lecreusetuk

Cons

–       They weigh a ton. Not for the feeble.

–       They are pricey, but they do last for ever, practically (see above).

So there you have it. Le Lowdown on Le Creuset.

Happy cooking!

TOHC xx


DSC03420

You’ve got the chop

There was an article in the Daily Mail this week which highlighted the fact that us Brits are guilty of buying kitchen gadgets that we think we will use and love, but that in reality just sit in the cupboard gathering dust. As a result, toasted sandwiches, along with homemade panini and coffee, cost us an average of £10.68 each time we have one because these gadgets are so rarely used. Yikes. And you thought Starbucks was expensive…

I confess I do have a toasted sandwich maker, and it does actually come out from time to time, simply because it can make even the most boring cheese sarnie vaguely interesting, and the children like them. But I know there are other gadgets lurking that I never use – paella pan I had to have (used once), pasta machine (used twice), mouli-legumes (hate the bloody thing, wish I’d never bought it – cleaning the thing is an absolute nightmare), brandy glasses (used once since we got married a hundred years ago), miniature nutmeg grater… What was I thinking?

Having said that, I have some hero gadgets I absolutely LOVE and couldn’t live without, many of which I am sharing here on my blog. So far we’ve had my one-handed tin opener (a godsend), my easy-peasy lemon squeezer, super pink tongs (they don’t have to be pink) and the amazing one-handed colander. With more to come (I know!).

So rid yourself of the unnecessary kitchen clutter, reclaim your kitchen drawers, chuck out those novelty oven gloves, pass on the breadmaker you’ve never used, repurpose that ‘hilarious’ guitar-shaped spatula and start afresh. You’ll thank me in the long run.

Your kitchen buddy,

TOHC x

I want to know what gadgets or pieces of kitchen equipment did you simply have to have, and are now lying unloved in a cupboard somewhere, or worse in the loft?  Come on, ‘fess up – I want to hear the good, the bad and the ugly!


Once you POP, you can't stop!

Once you POP, you can’t stop!

Last year I was lucky enough to win tickets to The Baby Show and so I went along, ready to be inspired, having just started writing this blog. I saw lots of things that day, but the one thing I took a photo of, and oohed and aahed over, was really nothing much to do with babies. It was on the Oxo Tot stand that I came across this wonderful product, from parent company Oxo (nothing to do with stock cubes) – a company I knew previously for its fantastic salad spinner

As soon as I saw it, I had to have it!

As soon as I saw it, I had to have it!

Oxo kindly sent me some of these fantastic POP storage containers – as they are called – to test out, and they are so brilliant, I had to share with you here. They are the perfect storage container for the one-handed cook – you simply pop the top to release the airtight seal, use the button as a handle to lift off the lid, and you’re away. You can make a cup of tea one-handed, you can pour granola on your yogurt one-handed, you can get the spaghetti out one-handed… perfect for the multi-tasking mum (or dad)!

They stack neatly, so you can keep them on the side or in your cupboard, they are BPA-free, and because you can see inside, you can keep tabs on supplies. So whether, you’re storing Cheerios, Lego or teabags, these are so easy to use, easy to clean and easy on the eye, they make it into The One-Handed Cook’s list of top kitchen equipment! Check out my Pinterest kitchen gadgets board, where I’ve pinned a few photos I found – they really do look lovely.

And, what’s more, Oxo have given me five 0.9 litre POP containers to give away to you my lovely blog readers. (In the photo at the top, this is the size of container with the Lego in.) Yay!

To be in with a chance of winning a 0.9L POP container, you have to a) follow @onehandedcook on Twitter AND b) RT my tweet about the giveaway!

04.02.13 THE ENTRY DEADLINE HAS PASSED – THANKS FOR ALL YOUR ENTRIES AND THE WINNERS WILL BE NOTIFIED SHORTLY!

 

With thanks to Oxo UK for the prizes. You can follow them on Twitter here and on Facebook here.

Good luck!

TOHC x

The small print:

All the views here on the blog are my own.

1. Entry in to the prize draw will be deemed as acceptance of these rules.

2. The prize draw is open to any UK resident, aged 18 or over, who follows the @onehandedcook Twitter account AND retweets the tweet about the prize draw referencing the prize of an Oxo 0.9 litre POP container

3. The competition starts at 10pm UK time on Tuesday 29 January 2013 and ends at 09:00am on 4 February 2013.

4. One winner will be drawn at random from all valid entries.

5. One entry per person.

6. The prize is one Oxo 0.9 litre POP container.

7. The prize is non-negotiable, non-transferable, and there is no cash alternative. 

8. The draw will be made by random selection within seven days of the competition ending and the prize posted to the winner’s home address within 30 days.

9. The winner will be notified by direct message on Twitter if they have won.

10. If a response is not received by the winner within 30 days they will forfeit their right to the prize.

11. No purchase necessary.

12. This prize draw is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Twitter and Twitter shall not be liable in any way whatsoever to the Users.



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