Kitchen Contraptions

 

I have a lot of kitchen gadgets hidden in my kitchen cupboards.

A new kitchen gadget is a new toy for me but many of them are necessary tools which I can’t imagine going without.

All in one week my husband’s smoothie blender stopped working and my beloved ricer, for which I use to produce smooth, lump-free mashed potatoes bent beyond repair.

An excuse to go shopping for new ones sure, but an inconvenience all the same.

There are so many blenders and smoothie makers on the market at the moment. All of them similar in size, style, features and pricing making it difficult to single out the best one for me.

My husband uses his smoothie blender to make smoothies every morning in lieu of eating breakfast.

For him, the first meal of the day is often a chore to eat so a quick liquid breakfast is all he can stomach to start a busy day.

If there’s no smoothie in the morning it usually means a day without breakfast at all which generally isn’t good for a person’s wellbeing…or mood.

I discovered the Luvele Mighty Blender on eBay. The Luvele brand has their own website and online store but also has an eBay store (trading under username luveleaustralia) that has a moderate range of different kitchen appliances.

Luvelo Blender Pic




The Luvele Mighty Blender’s list of features includes a 350w motor, 2 speeds plus pulse function and comes with not only a 1 litre blender jug attachment but also 2 x 450ml drinking flasks with lids and a smaller 250ml grinder cup.

There are 2 x blades included – one for chopping, grating and blending and the other for whipping cream and grinding.

The cups are all BPA-free and can all be used with the attachment blades. The on-the-go lids seal firmly on each cup and have a handy metal loop so they can be hung on hooks wherever you might be.

Delivery of this item took just 2 business days from within Sydney and progress emails were timely and came with a tracking number. Postage was also free which is an excellent saving.

My husband uses this blender every day and his only gripe is with the control dial on the front.

The dial itself is smooth with very little texture for grip so if you have wet hands it can be difficult to turn it to your desired setting. Other than that, it has been an excellent replacement for our old smoothie blender and an essential tool in our kitchen.

Check out the pictures I took of the Luvele Mighty Blender here:

In place of my broken ricer I decided to purchase this mouli I also found on eBay.

Mouli Picture

I’ve always been curious about these because I’ve seen them before on cooking shows.

I love to cook and it’s encouraging to think you’re using tools that the pros would use in their kitchens.

It’s essentially a food mill where you put soft food in the bowl at the top and manually grind the food through a metal strainer disk attachment which passes the food into your bowl or receptacle below.

These gadgets range from around $25 to about $100 depending on the size, material and where you get it from.

They are available in either plastic or metal and judging by the reviews I’ve read, the metal ones are more effective and are less likely to cause plastic to peel away with the turning of the blade.

My mouli was bought on eBay from Cookery Essentials (seller eamram1967eli) for AU$37.99 with free shipping from VIC to NSW and reached me in just 4 business days.

The listing states it was made in Italy and in comes in a box covered in Italian text.

The box contains no instructions and because I’d never actually seen one of these before I spent a good 15 minutes or so trying to work out how to put the pieces together.

It turned out to be rather straightforward; I was just putting the disks in the wrong way up.

Compared to others on the market, my mouli is a basic model and the bowl is about 20cm in diameter.

It’s entirely made of stainless steel except for the handle of the grinder which is made of plastic.

The bottom of the bowl has 3 “feet” which fold out and rest on the edge of your bowl, pot or container while you grind the food into it.

It’s good for small quantities of food – I made mashed potatoes for my little family of 4 and it was the perfect size.

The mouli is effective in making beautifully smooth mashed potatoes but personally I did find it overall to be more labour intensive than using my old ricer which requires that you apply pressure to squeeze small quantities of food through a strainer in one movement.

I also found that because the mouli’s handle is plastic and fixed in position that it grinds against the palm of my hand as I rotate it. It doesn’t move with my hand as it goes around and it actually did become a little irritating.

Overall the mouli is functional and good value for the price.

Here are some more pictures of the Emanuel 20cm Mouli Food Mill:

Another little kitchen gadget I came across is this egg timer from Kmart.

Egg Timer

I actually first saw one of these on my Instagram feed and instantly thought I should have one.

I am terrible at making soft boiled eggs. Despite all the complicated recipes I’ve mastered in my kitchen for some reason “simple” soft boiled eggs always evade me.

My kids love soft boiled eggs with soldiers and so does my husband but I can never seem to get them right.

My husband actually made it his mission to get the right cooking method for the perfect soft boiled eggs.

He officially became our family’s soft boiled egg maker but even following his tried and tested instructions, I still can’t get it right.

Cue this nifty little contraption. This egg timer cost just $2.00 from Kmart and I bought this instore.

I had to try it out as soon as I got home and was amazed to find that it actually worked!

The way I use it is to put the egg timer and the fridge-cold eggs into a pot of cold water and bring it to the boil.

As the device heats up in the boiling water it changes colour to reflect how well cooked the eggs in the pot are.

The egg timer is marked with “hard”, “medium” or “soft” and when the colour reaches the marking I take the pot off the heat and remove the eggs into a bowl of cold water to stop them cooking any further.

So far I get perfect soft boiled eggs every time and the kids are delighted!

It’s hard to believe this simple little tool could produce such great results but this is another one of those kitchen gadgets I just can’t live without.

The last item I’m reviewing isn’t typically a “kitchen” gadget.

It’s a plastic bottle crusher.

 

Like many households my family and I separate our waste products into green waste, landfill and recyclable waste.

We often find that despite our attempts to crush down our plastic bottles and cardboard, our recycling bin is often full to bursting almost every collection day.

When I first went in search of a plastic bottle crusher I was surprised at how little was available on the market here in Australia.

Small, soft drink can crushers seem to be common and readily available but there are few merchants for the same devices for bigger, plastic bottles and cartons.

Eventually I came across just one merchant on eBay who is based in Victoria, ABC 2000 (username zjkawa) who sells this plastic bottle crusher which crushes down plastic bottles up to 2.5 Litres.

The listing has a handy video which shows exactly how this device works.

The bottle is placed inside the receptacle and then the handle is pulled down causing the bottle to be crushed under the pressure of the metal plate coming down on top.

This plastic bottle crusher is made almost entirely of steel and is quite heavy.

It is painted a soft beige colour and has a soft grip handle.

It is essential that this item be mounted on a solid, sturdy wall surface.

If you’re trying to mount it on an internal wall inside your house I would recommend that you find a thick wall stud to mount it to. The product comes with mounting screws and anchors and the screw holes at the top are approx. 10cm apart so be sure to find a stud that is wide enough for both screws.

Due to the amount of pressure required to pull down the lever the tendency is for the device to pull away from the wall.

I found after installing it on my kitchen wall that 1 of the screws at the top and the 1 at the bottom weren’t affixed to the stud (which is too narrow) and so pulled out of the wall after continual use.

I’ve since had to take it down and will have to find another wall, perhaps outside to mount the bottle crusher on to.

While the item is functional for its purpose it is a bit tricky to use because of where it needs to be mounted. Hopefully my husband finds a solution for it so we can continue to crush down our recyclables and make more space in our bin.

Kitchen gadget shopping is one of my favourite past times and I’m glad to have found these goodies to add to my collection.

Thanks for joining me and happy shopping!

  • Lady V
*Prices are correct at the time of purchase and are subject to change without notice and stock may not be available in all areas. Delivery times may vary depending on your location.

One thought on “Kitchen Contraptions

  1. Kitchen gadgets, at some point in the their lives nearly everyone will buy that new super- special kitchen gadget, whether it’s that new vegetable and fruit slicer that slices absolutely everything to that same 1cm thickness or that new juicer that uses surgical steel blades that are insanely sharp to turn anything you put inside it into a health conscious smoothie. Whatever your new toy is, it’s easy to see that the UK has gone go-go-gadget crazy!

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