Baby in one hand, wooden spoon in the other

Tag Archives: gadget

Coffee with a friend - what could be nicer?

Coffee with a friend while the babies play – what could be nicer?

It’s time to reveal another of The One-Handed Cook’s all-time favourite bits of kitchen kit. This week my hero gadget is the cafetiere.

I love coffee. I love coffee made at home in my cafetiere, and I love coffee in cafés. When my children were babies, it was such a treat to pack up their little tubs of food and bags of rice cakes and retreat to the warmth of a cosy café with another mum for a chat and a coffee THAT SOMEONE ELSE HAD MADE FOR ME. Such a joy. It almost made the lack of sleep worth it, just for that first sip of dark bitter liquid enlaced with creamy milk. Oh yes.

At home I always use a cafetiere for my coffee. It’s an absolute must-have for any tired parent in need of a coffee to keep them going at home, and has four key benefits:

  1. It’s cheap to buy (take note, Nespresso fans – you’ll soon get bored of forking out for those pod things).
  2. It makes decent coffee. Experiment with the amount of ground coffee you put in; you can make a really good cup. Trust me.
  3. You can make a cafetiere of coffee one-handed; simply just boil the kettle, add scoops of coffee (how many depends on what ungodly hour your little one clambered in to your bed in for a cuddling/wriggling/head-butting session), wait for a bit, and then push down the button, and pour into favourite cup.
  4. You can buy little cafetiere jackets to keep the coffee in your cafetiere hotter for longer – an essential purchase for all parents – you’ve made the coffee, but who knows when you are actually going to be able to drink it? When you do get to it, you want it to actually be hot! I got mine on Amazon, and it really works.
Cafetiere in its jacket with my favourite mug.

Cafetiere in its jacket with my favourite mug.

Enjoy your coffee this fine November morning. Even better, enjoy it with a friend 🙂

TOHC xx

 


My mini spatula: a utensil fit for a king

My mini spatula: a utensil fit for a king

It’s time to celebrate another hero gadget – something I truly could not get by without in the kitchen. It is time the spatula got its moment of glory. I like a spatula. I like scraping out every last bit of mixture, every last drop of soup, it makes me feel thrifty; I don’t like waste. Spatulas can be used one-handed. Spatulas are colourful. They are cheap. They are friendly. God bless ’em.

I have five spatulas: one big yellow one made by Oxo Good Grips, which is perfect for scraping out every last bit of cake mixture from the bowl, and flexible and slim enough to lift and turn omelettes and pancakes. The two medium-sized ones – one red Le Creuset one with a wooden handle, one cheap and cheerful all-plastic – are both frequently grabbed at critical moments while cooking, for turning, scraping out the food processor bowl, or folding in an egg white or two. The fish-slice spatula (not pictured) I have is this beauty made by Chef’n – it is razor-thin and makes flipping burgers, fish, fried eggs etc a doddle. But my most favourite spatula is my tiny turquoise one. It measures no more than 15cm but is super-flexible, and so tiny it can be used to extract the last bit of jam from the jar, or the last bit of yogurt from the pot.

spatula collection

I also have a spoonula (yes, this is a word – apparently) which is a heat-safe silicone spatula with rounded edges and has a scoop like a spoon. Hurrah for the spoonula.

I looked online for spatulas. Wow. There are mini icing spatulas, double-ended spatulas, pastel-coloured spatulas, spatulas with faces, spatulas that look like fried eggs – they come in every shape and size. I think I am in love with this set of mini ones from US company Williams-Sonoma… (oh dear, what has happened to me?)

No one-handed cook should be without one – they are truly the mother of all utensils.

Happy flipping/turning/scraping!

TOHC x

Disclaimer: I wasn’t paid or sponsored to feature any of these delightful spatulas – I just find them very useful and wanted to share!


"Phew, that's the cheese grated, now it's time for a rest"

“Phew, that’s the cheese grated, now it’s time for a rest”

It’s been a while since I featured a Hero Gadget on the blog. It suddenly struck me that I had not yet featured my beloved Microplane grater, and I’ve been writing this thing for almost a year (er, how the hell did that happen?). So it is time to put things right.

Put simply, any kitchen worth its salt has to have a Microplane grater. For a start, it works. Every time. It doesn’t bend. It won’t buckle. It is rigid and unyielding (a bit like my six-year-old when it comes to eating broccoli). It looks good; it is robust; it is multi-functional. It stays sharp. It goes in the dishwasher. It is the king of graters. This is truly a gadget for a time-pressed parent who just needs things to work.

I have two Microplane graters: a fine one and a coarse one. The fine one is brilliant for grating Parmesan, or any other hard cheese, nutmeg, chocolate etc. It is also completely brilliant for zesting oranges, lemons and limes. The coarse one is also good for Parmesan, but can also be used for fruit and vegetables – onion, celery, carrot, apple – all have seen the rough side of the grater in my house.

Now of course, it is physically impossible to grate something one-handed. So this is a gadget to use quickly, while baby or toddler is content and occupied. Pop him or her in the bouncy chair or the sling, and pick up your Microplane. It won’t let you down, I promise. In fact it will work so well, the only thing that might let you down is over-zealous grating… watch those fingers, folks.

You can buy a vast range of Microplane graters on Amazon and on the Divertimenti website.

In other news, the oldest one goes back to school tomorrow. Where oh where have six weeks gone? Yes, I was that mum frantically buying school uniform in my lunch hour today. Amazingly, they had trousers in his size. Nothing like leaving things to the last minute…Oh lordy, now I need to sew a name tag on them…

Happy Back to School everyone 🙂

TOHC

x


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/


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.


Gorgeous snack cup – perfect for little hands!

So, this is my first ever giveaway, and I wanted to give away something that I really love and that I actually use myself with my kids. This Flip-Top Snack Cup is made by Oxo Tot, the makers of Oxo Good Grips. They make innovative tools and gadgets for the home, and as someone who’s a fan of tools and gadgets for the kitchen, and helping to make life easier for busy mums and dads, this is a brand that’s right up my street. Whoop!

I am giving away 5 Flip-Top Snack Cups – see photo. I love the bright and funky colours, and my daughter loves the cup’s wide opening, which ensures she can reach her snacks easily. She likes her Snack Cup filled with blueberries and grapes, mini rice cakes and satsuma segments and she loves being able to open and close the lid herself. With its non-slip grips and a lid that stays attached, this is the perfect little container for toddler snacks!

Please comment on this post, telling me what your little one’s favourite on-the-go snacks are. To be in with a chance of winning a Snack Cup, you have to a) follow @onehandedcook on Twitter AND b) RT my tweet about the giveaway!

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

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

 

Good luck!

TOHC x

The small print:

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 Tots Flip-Top Snack Cup.

3. The competition starts at 10pm UK time on Wednesday 21st November 2012 and ends at 09:00am on the 27th November 2012.

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

5. One entry per person.

6. The prize is one Oxo Tots Flip-Top Snack Cup.

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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