Linda Gassenheimer is an award-winning author of several cookbooks, most recently, The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook and The Flavors of the Florida Keys. Listen to her FoodNewsAndViewsPodcast on all major sites. She writes the syndicated newspaper column “Quick Fix.” DinnerInMinutes.com.
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Looking for a small gift for a friend or family member—or even for yourself? Here are some great ones, all less than $25…
ScoopSaw: Use this small saw/knife to cut through tough skins on foods such as melons or butternut squash. The scoop has a serrated edge that cleans inside the squash or melon easily. The knife nestles into the scoop for safe and convenient storage. By Chef’n, $9.99.
Angry-Mama Microwave Cleaner: This amusing plastic figure stands about six inches tall with a removable “hair” top. Fill the body to the marked fill lines with vinegar and water. Place in the microwave on high for five minutes. It blows steam from the top of its head. The steam softens splatters and stains for easy wiping. By NewMetro Design, $9.95.
Tong Tools: This is a combination cooking spoon and fork with multiple uses. Use the spoon for serving and stirring. The fork can be used to lift food, stir pasta and even to whisk sauces. The cool part: You can attach the tools at the ends of the handles to create tongs to serve anything from noodles to salad. They’re safe for nonstick cookware and dishwasher-safe. I use these every day and love them. By Kuhn Rikon, $14.
Better Garlic Grater: This garlic tool uses a back-and-forward motion and protects your fingers! It can grate two to three garlic cloves at a time. Safe for the top dishwasher rack. By Microplane, $14.95.
Fast-Prep Kitchen Shears: These shears are easier to grip than traditional shears and sharper, too. Use them to snip vegetables and herbs—even cooked chicken breast for a salad. The shears come in two sizes—five and seven inches—and are dishwasher-safe. By Fiskars, five-inch, $12.99…seven-inch, $17.99.
Combination salad dressing carafe and emulsifier. The carafe has marked fill lines for vinegar, oil and other ingredients depending on the type of dressing. Add ingredients to the carafe, and the battery-operated mixer emulsifies the dressing in seconds. Store the dressing in the carafe. By Bonjour, $19.99.
Ceramic Dual Mill:This attractive spice mill has two chambers. It can be used for salt and pepper or other spices. The ceramic grinders will not corrode, and the adjustable dial allows fine-to-coarse grinds. Caps cover both ends of the grinder (salt end and pepper end), which help keep the spices dry in humid conditions. By Kyocera, $24.95.