I call them scoopy-scoops, but they are really called "dishers." Often these great kitchen tools are mislabeled as ice cream scoops. They actually fail to scoop ice cream very well at all, but they probably have 100 other kitchen uses. I have a large (size 20) one that I use to scoop batter for muffins,cupcakes and drop-biscuits. It is also a great way to serve up pretty little domes of mashed potatoes. My small one (size 50) is the perfect size for cookie dough and mini muffins.
The sizes, by the way, tell you how many scoops it would take to make a quart. So a #20 disher is 1/20th of a quart, or approximately 1.6 ounces.
2. A Choppy-Chop
Okay, so I give my kitchen tools cutesy names. Doesn't everybody? I use my choppy-chop every single day to chop onions, garlic, and fresh herbs. I've bought inexpensive ones ever since I discovered I have a propensity to drop and break pricey items within the first week of owning them.
I don't even own a garlic press because my choppy-chop minces garlic so well. And I kinda have a thing against uni-taskers.
3. A good quality stand mixer
When we got married we registered for an inexpensive store-brand stand mixer. We are thankful for the gift and made good use of that stand mixer, but we quickly learned why there was such a big price difference between the name brand ones and the cheap-as-they-come ones. The cheap one couldn't make whipped shortbread, took forever to beat egg whites into peaks, and definitely could not knead bread dough. If you can afford it, spring for a good quality stand mixer. I received mine as a Christmas gift from my hubby one year. I use it nearly every day for making breads, pitas, and homemade pizza dough, beating egg whites, whipping up some real whipped cream or making fantastic fluffy mashed potatoes. Come to think of it, he's really benefited quite a lot from that Christmas gift....
I won't tell you what brand to buy, but it rhymes with ItchenKaid.
4. A palm peeler.
This thing falls in the thought-it-was-stupid-until-I-tried-it category. For the first time in my married life I actually bother to peel carrots.
5. A kitchen scale.
A tablespoon of butter is half an ounce. A cup of butter is 8 ounces. If you've ever tried to measure cold butter by cramming it against it's will into a measuring cup you will understand why this information could be useful! I also use it to measure chocolate for recipes and to divide dough into equal loaves.
I keep mine in a shallow kitchen drawer so that I don't even have to pull it out to use it...I just open the drawer and weigh away!
Random unnecessary fact: When my twins were newborns we monitored their weight gain between doctors visits by weighing them in a mixing bowl on this kitchen scale. It was short lived because the scale only goes up to 8 pounds.
What kitchen tool would you rather not do without?