Handy Kitchen Gadgets for a New School Year

I’m a sucker for kitchen gadgets. They can be so handy, so cute, so clever! But if I gave in and bought every great kitchen thingy out there, I wouldn’t have any room to actually cook in my kitchen. Much like all of the baby paraphernalia we’re told we must have, you really only need some essential things in the kitchen that make cooking easier. I found two things that I highly recommend.

Kitchen products
The Fasta Pasta cooker put an end to having to bring pots of water to a boil and waiting, waiting, waiting.

The first is the Fasta Pasta cooker. We make pasta often for dinner and my kids make it more often than I do for lunches. But it isn’t really fast to make. By the time you get the water boiling and then cook the pasta, you’re talking 20-25 minutes. Plus the kids aren’t good about sticking around to make sure the pasta doesn’t boil over and accidents and messes happen.

With the Fasta Pasta cooker, the two circle openings in the lid help you measure just the right amount (it accommodates 1-4 servings at a time). Lay the pasta in the box, fill it with water to the right point and put it in the microwave. For the majority of pastas, and at four servings, it cooks for 11-13 minutes, much faster than cooking on the stove. And cooler too since the stove isn’t on. The first time or two, I recommend taking a fork and lifting out a noodle after the minimum time to see if it’s done to your liking. Keep adding a minute until it’s the way you want it. Put the lid on, remove it from the microwave and strain it through the lid.

The pasta comes out perfectly and doesn’t glob together like it does when I make it in a pot. I haven’t tried it yet but they say you can cook a variety of shapes of pasta plus cook veggies, soups, casseroles and rice in it! As much as I have enjoyed cutting down on the time and heat used to cook pasta this way, I’m going to sacrifice and give the Fasta Pasta to my daughter in college. This will be perfect for her in her small apartment. College students live by their microwaves anyway. I’m glad to know she can make a variety of things with the Fasta Pasta, which retails for $14.99. That’s such a deal, I’ll be buying myself another one.

I love that
I love that this lunch box container makes room for itself in my cupboard!

The other product can be used just for storage or for lunches and snacks on-the-go. The D’Eco Collapsible Lunch Box comes in two sizes, one for kids ($12.99) and one for adults ($19.99). Two silicone compartments can collapse down to 1/3 their original size for storage. But I have also collapsed them down after eating from them to take up less room in my bag on the way home.

The lid is sturdy and clamps on for a secure seal. There’s a cute eating utensil that’s a spoon on one end and fork on the other that snaps into its own compartment – one less thing to have to pack!

Whether I’m using it on-the-go or storing it away, I love, love, love that it collapses. It’s a handy gadget that doesn’t take up much space! I’m all for that.

Both products are available on Amazon.com and from specialty retailers.

We were provided with sample products to facilitate our review. However, our opinions are our own and accurately reflect our experience  with the products. 

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