October 28, 2011

Great Gadgets: Pastry Blender

I am not a huge fan of a lot of kitchen gadgets.  I don't like crowded counter tops and overflowing drawers, but some gadgets are wonderful to have around and can even serve double duty.  My great gadget of the week is...wait for it... the pastry blender! I  know, it sounds so exciting, doesn't it?

Well, I use mine much more than I ever thought I would and keep coming up with more and more usable situations than just cutting in butter (which is not my favorite) for a crumb topping.  I used to keep my pastry cutter in my "second pantry" and found that I was constantly looking for it as a way to quickly chop or combine things when preparing dinner.  It is now cozy in the drawer right next to my stove for easy access.  Another perk?  No need to dirty a cutting board, just chop/cut in whatever bowl you are already using!

Uses (thus far): 
  • Butter/Shortening:  cutting fats into flour for a baking recipe.
  • Hard Boiled Eggs - chopping hard boiled eggs for egg salad or potato salad.
  • Ground Beef - once browned the pastry blender is a great way to break up large chunks of meat.
  • Bananas - mashing bananas to add to banana bread or pancake batter.
My pastry blender shown in the picture above is made by Trudeau circa 2005.

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