As the Christmas season approaches, the locally-owned kitchen store, Thyme in the Kitchen on Franklin Street, has the hottest gadgets and gift ideas are for this year.
Owner Marcia Jochem ran us through her top ten favorite items for $25 and under.
Evo Stainless Steel Oil Sprayer- $25
“This oil sprayer is made of stainless steel and I love that,” said Jochem. “Cooking healthy is so important, everybody is misting their vegetables and salads with oil, or you can use it when you’re grilling. Because it’s stainless it’s a little more expensive, but you can clean it easily, if you drop it it won’t break and get oil all over your floor and it won’t melt if you leave it sitting by a hot stove or grill.”
Fancy Panz – $19.99
These pretty little insulated boxes are indispensable for those who often take prepared food out of the house. You can even get them monogrammed so everyone can give you credit for your fabulous dish.
“These are the hottest items we have in the store right now,” said Jochem. “We have sold hundreds. They hold a disposable pan and it looks beautiful on your table. It will keep things hot or cold. You put the foil pan in and snap it closed to take, and when you’re ready to leave your party you take the foil pan out if you want to leave the leftovers and take the case home.”
Kyocera 3″ Ceramic Knife – $19.95
Ceramic blades are an excellent choice for a paring knife because they rarely need sharpened and help keep your fruits and vegetables from turning brown.
“When chef Scott Schymik from Sauced teaches here, his favorite thing in the store is the ceramic paring knife by Kyocera,” said Jochem. “Ceramic blades have great edge retention, and after two years you send them into Kyocera to have them professionally sharpened for free. As long are they are doing the sharpening, the knife is guaranteed for life with proper use. They are for fruits, vegetables and boneless meats. This isn’t a brand new item, but it’s such a good staple everyone should have one.”
Joseph Joseph Spiro Spiralizer – $15
Those on low-carb or paleo diets will recognize the spiralizer, the tool used to make those trendy zucchini noodles – which are delicious even if you eat regular pasta too.
“This spiralizer has three different blades: coarse, fine and one for grating, and it costs less than the other models,” said Jochem. “It’s a really good value. The jar portion keeps what you’re grating contained in the jar, and it’s all dishwasher safe. It’s easy to store and easy to use. We have really sold a lot of these this year.
Joseph Joseph Pasta Cooker – $15
Is it possible you can stick dry pasta and water into a container and microwave for best results? It is with this 3-in-1 pasta cooker, strainer, and serving dish.
“This is a very easy thing to use,” said Jochem. “You choose whatever pasta you want and put water on to cook it right in the microwave. It does not stick together.
Cookut Creazy Whipped Cream Maker – $14.99
“This is a brand new gadget we just ordered in July,” said Jochem. “They just started selling it in the united states recently. It’s a jar with these three heavy silicon balls. Just put your heavy cream and sugar in the jar and put the lid on and shake it, and the balls actually whip up the cream in less than a minute and you get it as firm as you want. It’s economical and you don’t have to worry about keeping the chargers around for the whipped cream maker.”
Progressive Brown Sugar Keeper – $14.00
“Progressive is another new line we’re carrying,” said Jochem. “Everyone wants things to keep their pantry clean and organized. Each of these containers has an extra thing to make it just right for what it’s meant to store. The brown sugar container has a little clay insert you soak with water and it keeps the sugar soft and perfect. The flour container has a bar for leveling the top of your measuring cup as you pull it out. Some have little scoops, the one for pasta has a portion sizing hole you open and just shake out as much pasta as you need, the powdered sugar has a perforated spoon for sprinkling, the regular sugar has a spout for pouring, and the coffee container has a coffee scoop.”
Microplane Twist & Zest – $12.96
Microplane is recognized as one of the best producers of kitchen graters, zesters and more. The company manufactures woodworking tools but expanded into the kitchen arena after being told that many of their products wound up in kitchen drawers rather than the workshop.
“This is a Microplane three in one tool,” said Jochem. “It is a zester/grater, a reamer, and a channel knife, and that means it saves space and saves money. It’s great for having on your bar.”
E-Cloth Glass & Polishing cloth – $7.99
“This type of thing has been around for several years but I was always doubtful about using a cloth that said you didn’t have to use soap or anything until I tried one of these e-cloths,” said Jochem. “We just picked them up this year. It’s amazing. they have these little microfibers in them that take off fingerprints, grease or grime off of glass or other surfaces. It makes them 99% bacteria-free without using soap. This spring I used one to clean up the pollen that blew into my screen porch, and it held so much. I used to go through half a roll of paper towels out there.”
There is a whole line of E-Cloths, for use on everything from stainless steel to glass to general use.
Jokari Baggy Opener- $6.00
Like soup? Like to freeze soup? This baggie holder is for you.
“This little holder keeps your baggie open while you fill it,” said Jochem. “I told my son he’s been replaced by a six dollar baggie holder. It’s just awesome. We freeze corn in the summer and in the winter make soup and freeze it in baggies too and it works so well.”
1 cup pureed ripe mango
1/2 cup whole milk yogurt
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup of the pureed mango and yogurt. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream with the sugar and salt until it just holds stiff peaks. (or use a whipped cream shaker)
2 Fold the cream into the mango mixture. Divide the fool between 4 (4-to 5-ounce) glasses and chill until stiff, 1 hour. Divide the reserved 4 tablespoons mango puree between the glasses and serve.
Source: Food and Wine
Makes 1 loaf
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup chopped pecans
For the lemon syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 1-lb. loaf pan.
2. In a bowl, stir and toss together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until blended, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture along with the milk and lemon zest. Beat until blended and smooth, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stir in the pecans.
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, make the lemon syrup: In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon juice. Set aside, stirring occasionally; don’t worry if the sugar does not dissolve completely.
7. Remove the bread from the oven and transfer the pan to a wire rack. Using a fork, gently poke the top in several places. Stir the syrup, then slowly drizzle it over the hot bread. Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto the rack, top side up, and let cool completely.