Hands down, one of the most useful tools in your kitchen arsenal is a good chef's knife. No question about it, a good knife is an investment you won't regret.
I prefer a Japanese-style Santoku chef's knife to a standard chef's knife. I like the width in the blade and the overall stoutness. A standard chef's knife always feels a little too long and pointy for me. I have a pretty good one already, but it's what we could afford on a student's budget, so I'm looking to upgrade.
Razor sharp (of course)
Comfortable handle -- for those marathon chopping sessions, like when you're making a huge batch of soup.
Light. My hand is easily fatigued, so a light knife is a must. The Global Santoku has a hollow handle, making it a total lightweight, in the very best sense.
Looking for a better bargain? Check out this set from Furi. (Yes, it's been branded for Rachael Ray, but Furi makes good knives. I love mine!)
When picking a chef's knife, go somewhere like Sur La Table or Williams Sonoma where they have the knives in house. Ask an associate to let you handle the ones your have your eye on so you can feel it in your hand. Then you can either buy it there or go price shopping online.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite knife or other kitchen tool? Leave a comment!
Does it get any better than free? I mean, really. You cannot beat getting something for nothing. (I think it harks back to the Bible -- all those miracles and such.) I particularly love making something of an item I would normally throw away. (Maybe that's why I love thrifting so much.)
Want to make something out of nothing? I can't help you there. But if you want to make something out of kitchen "leftovers" or scraps you would usually discard (which, let's face it, is practically nothing), I've got 5 bright ideas for you.
If you're on Pinterest, you've probably seen this, but if you haven't yet I've got good news for you! If you're about to toss the white bulb end of your bunch of green onions, DON'T. Instead, set them in an inch or two of water and let them hang out on your windowsill. They will regrow, allowing you to trim off the greens indefinitely when you need some.
I love this trick because I never need a whole bunch of scallions, and I hated seeing them go to waste and go bad in the fridge. This way I snip off what I need and leave the rest to grow away.
(Rumor has it that this same method works with leeks as well!)
While it will take 7-15 years to bear fruit, you can grow an avocado tree from that pit you were about to throw out! This one is great for the kids because you can watch the roots grow in a glass of water. The California Avocado Commission has a great guide here.
Trim off the bottom of that bunch of celery you just got at the store and plant it in your veggie garden. Very quickly, you will see new growth! You can also plant the leafy heart of the bunch instead of trimming the entire bottom off, if, like me, you tend to peel off one or two stalks at a time and are left with the tiny, yellowish, leafy stalks in the middle.
I potted mine and left it in the windowsill until it was warm enough to transplant outside this past weekend. So far, it's doing pretty well!
If you're feeling exotic, you can regrow a pineapple tree by planting the leafy crown (top) of your store-bought pineapple. Head over to You Grow Girl for all the growy details. (See what I did there? Growy instead of gorey... my dad would be so proud of that pun.)
What are you growing this year? Do any of the ideas above interest you? Leave a comment!