GIR

GIR: Get it Right (Again)

by Anne Maxfield on October 7, 2019

GIR (Get it Right) has been a favorite of mine since the beginning.

My GIR mini spatula gets used daily and I think their silicone lids are just genius for so many things.

So, when they announced a major product expansion and asked if I wanted to try some of the new items, you know I jumped at the chance.

The expansion adds potato mashers, tongs, basting brushes, peelers and a spaghetti spoon to the lineup. I was lucky enough to get a pair of basting brushes and a potato masher in my preferred color, red, to test out.

The basting brushes would have been great if we were still grilling, but that sadly stopped when we sold our house. However, I’ve managed to use both of them to spread marinade and baste chickens. Like most of the GIR products, they work better than our previous silicone basting brush. They come in two sizes, the longer one being great for grilling and other high heat uses, when you don’t want to get too close to the heat source. The smaller one is good for more delicate, close up uses and both of them are one piece, so I’m not searching the sink for the head of the brush.

Funnily enough, I found a great “off-label” use for the potato masher, which doubled as a recipe holder when I was making some baguettes recently.

It was also a great excuse to use some of the potatoes from our CSA and make mashed potatoes. It mashed the potatoes easily and I was able to get them pretty lump-free. If you like smoother mashed potatoes, you might want to try their perforated masher; as my golf group says, you have options.

When the full line is released, I look forward to putting GIR’s 4 new peelers to the test. When we moved recently, only one peeler made the cut (pun intended) and it remains my favorite. I like it for the way its serrated edges go through even tough customers like eggplants with ease. The fact that it’s two headed with a julienne peeler on one side, is an added bonus. But since I’m always impressed with the way GIR manages to improve on the basics, bring them on!

Do you have a favorite kitchen tool? What is it?

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Top 10 Gadgets to Gift-Let’s Shop!

by Anne Maxfield on December 5, 2016

Accidental Locavore GIR ProductsHow can a gadgets require a great deal of courage?

By giving one to the Accidental Locavore, or anyone else who cooks a lot.

We usually have what we like and can’t live without (and drawers full of rejects).

In the spirit of holiday-gift giving, here are my top 10 gadgets (including a new favorite cookbook).

You’d have to kill me before I’d let them out of my kitchen.

A lot of them are from GIR and although they’ve graciously sent them to me for review, I would go out and buy any one of them (or my new criteria–move them to France).

They come in a dozen colors, which will either make shopping easier or harder.

And yes, these gadgets bring me joy.

Top 10 Gadgets to Gift:

  1. Mini spatula from GIR. I use it at least once a day, generally more. You can find it hanging out in the dish drainer more often than in its handsome utensil holder my friend Ivan made for me.
  2. New ladle from GIR. This is a new item (but will be available for the holidays). It’s probably going to clear several lesser ladles from my house. That’s a good thing. It acts as a scraper while you ladling stuff so you can get every last drop out of the pot. Brilliant!accidental-locavore-gir-ladle-gadgets
  3. Waiting to test the spoonula coming out with the ladle from GIR. Will it remove spatulas and spoons? I dunno, the big spoon from them is another thoughtfully designed piece and much used.
  4. Also new, the bottle stoppers. Designed not to add any height to the bottles, you can stick them in the fridge without major reorganization. They’re cute and totally leak-proof (I kept trying). Something you don’t think you need till you’ve got them.accidental-locavore-gir-bottle-gadgets
  5. The reason I didn’t think I needed them was because we keep the undrunk wine (when there is some) in a carafe from ­­­­­Savino. It keeps the wine in good shape for about a week. The floaty thing stops the air from penetrating the wine.accidental-locavore-wine-gadget
  6. Silicone lids, also from GIR. Like the mini spatula, the round ones are in use almost every day. They act as a drain stopper when I want to thaw something or soak spinach. The bigger ones are lids for cooking, covering food in the fridge, or for heating something in the microwave.
  7. POURfect measuring spoons I initially mocked, but cannot live without! These may seem overly precious, but trust me you’ll toss all others that came before.Accidental Locavore Mary's Measuring Spoons
  8. Sous-vide machine, the slow cooker for the 21st One of the big advantages is that you can sous-vide when you have time and finish it off a couple of days later. My friend Zhu Zhu just made the most amazing caramelized carrots, starting them in the sous-vide machine first
  9. Fasta Pasta (life changing pasta cooker). Just trust me on this – it’s the best $15 you’ll spend.Accidental Locavore Fasta Pasta
  10. The cookbook? Made in India by Meera Sodha. My friend Rob recommended it and it’s been in heavy rotation ever since. It’s why I now make perfect basmati rice.

Happy Shopping! What looks most tempting to you?

 

 

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Accidental Locavore Pig Ornament

In lieu of the usual list of stuff the Accidental Locavore would like to play with, this year I decided to make a list of things – books, gadgets, appliances – that I have and keep going back to. As I write this, I realize that a lot of it, most of it in fact, was given to me, so in the spirit of giving back, here’s my list for you:

Appliances: Accidental Locavore Sansaire

  1. My Sansaire sous-vide machine. I really think this is the crockpot of the twenty-first century. It does a lot of what a slow cooker does, and you can always “cook’ something like a steak and finish it off later. While it’s not so good with some vegetables (stuffed squash was a disaster), it’s great with fish and meats!
  2. To go with the Sansaire, you’ll need a vacuum sealer, but you need a food sealer anyway. It’s really a miracle with anything you want to freeze and lately I’ve used it to seal granola and nuts.Accidental Locavore Canner
  3. The Ball canning machine. Granted, it needs a lot of real estate for storage, but if you can find the space, it’s totally worth it! It truly has made a canner out of me and I’ve got a shelf full of goodies, we can eat all winter. Oh yeah, in addition to space for the canner, you need a shelf for all your finished products!Accidental Locavore Scale
  4. A scale. Yes, even if you’re not a baker, a scale is a big help. I use mine for lots of things; multiplying or dividing ingredients if I’m scaling recipes. And for my copies of the Ottolenghi books, it’s invaluable as they’re UK versions and all metric!

Gadgets: Accidental Locavore GIR Products

  1. Anything GIR, but especially the big spoon, little scraper and the silicone lids. I use at least one of these every day and can’t imagine life without them. Now if they’d finally do a sponge, I’d take a dozen red ones!Accidental Locavore Speegee
  2. When I’m not using the GIR scrapers, I’ve gotten hooked on the Speegee. It was in one of my subscription boxes from Mary’s Secret Ingredients (another great gift idea). It works really well as a scraper, but because of its length, levels frosting (if you bake) or pans of granola and is a great multi-tasker.Accidental Locavore Mary's Measuring Spoons
  3. Another great gadget from Mary’s latest box – the Pourfect set of measuring spoons. While I initially scoffed at them, they’re now my go-to measuring spoons, especially the 2-tablespoon one. Not only do you have a ton of different sizes, the slick bowl of the spoon really allows whatever ingredients to slide out easily; I used them with some sticky Thai curry and it came right out.

Cookbooks: Accidental Locavore Nopi

  1. Nopi. Ottolenghi’s latest, it’s a beautiful book, that I haven’t made anything from yet, but I’m looking forward to playing with it soon (and have all the ingredients for the Vine Leaf Beef Pie).
  2. My Paris Kitchen. I’ve written about this before, but if you don’t own it, you should. This is probably the most-used cookbook I have (okay, maybe Julia still reigns) and after a year or so, there are still lots of recipes I want to try.Accidental Locavore Kerry's Book
  3. Adventures in Comfort Food. From one of our favorite restaurants in Maine, a good down-to-earth collection of interesting recipes with Kerry’s crazy takes on the classics. Besides a lot of good food, I like that most of the recipes are for 1-2 people.
  4. iPad Air 2. While not technically a cookbook, it’s what I use to store recipes and write blog posts like this one. And while I don’t yet own the Air 2, it might be time to give my iPad a retirement party…hint, hint, Santa Baby.

 

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The Accidental Locavore Gives Scrub Daddy a Try

by Anne Maxfield on January 19, 2015

Accidental Locavore Scrub DaddiesWhile the Accidental Locavore is waiting for GIR to get it right with sponges and scrubbies, I decided to take the Scrub Daddy for a spin around stacks of dirty pots and pans. If you’ve never seen it, it’s a smiley face emoji turned into a scrubby sponge. It is also the most successful Shark Tank product to date.

What’s interesting about it, is that it changes its scrubbing ability depending on the water temperature. In cold water it’s much firmer, and in warm water it gets softer. Depending on your squeamish factor, you can thrust your fingers through the “eyes” and use the smile for cleaning both sides of spoons (something you never thought about, right?).

All kidding aside, this is actually works much better than the traditional scrubby sponges. It’s not quite as hard-core as the stainless steel scrubber I resurrected recently, but it’s close and can be used on non-stick cookware. It easily zipped through two of my messiest jobs—the grill from my smoker and the container I boil milk in for yogurt, winning itself a spot sink-side.

It was only after I bought a couple more to give as Christmas gifts, that the Scrub Daddy’s shortcomings showed up. Although the packaging says dishwasher safe, it was a Sad Daddy that came out. Slack of jaw and looking more like a Pac-Man relic than a cheerful emoji, Scrub Daddy had met his match in the dishwasher.

Accidental Locavovre Sad DaddySince it was only a few weeks old, I thought that its demise was a little premature. I sent the photo to Scrub Daddy, who got right back to me. They said that the life-span was supposed to be 4-8 weeks, depending on usage. That seemed a little lame to me, as most sponges last at least a couple of months, and while I cook a lot, I don’t think I generate an excessive amount of scrubbable cookware. Anyway, they offered to send me the Heavy Duty version to try.

Not as cute as the original, the Heavy Duty Scrub Daddy is a big yellow block. With my small hands, it’s a little awkward for day-to-day kitchen duty. However, when I made a huge mess on my butcher block, it’s size shape and flexibility cut through all the sticky bits of flour and dough in no time! So it gets a space on the kitchen counter, making a good base for its smiley-faced side-kick.

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