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Friday, August 2, 2013

Cooking 4 Guys - Kitchen Gadgets

If you ever spent a sleepless night surfing the tv, you have seen some of the most amazing gadgets. Gadgets to help you clean. Gadgets to help you in the garden. Gadgets to make women look sexier, prettier, healthier, more well endowed. Gadgets for your to do lists. And one of the biggest categories, kitchen gadgets.

Two of the kings of Kitchen Gadgets are of course Ron Popeil, the God of late night infomercials, and George Foreman, with the many variations of the George Foreman Grills.

Ron Popeil, the man behind Ronco, and Popeil, was a tinkerer. He either improved or created items that made your life simpler and easier. From the Popeil Pocket Fisherman, to the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie, He gave us what we didn't know we wanted, and did it for less. And of course when you thought you were getting everything you could, but wait, we will also add the set of Ginsu knives, or some other bonus item, that takes the amazing item you were buying and made it better.

Then you have George Foreman, Olympic Gold Medalist and 2 time heavy weight boxing champion. When he made his comback for his second title, he said it was due to healthy eating. Russell Hobbs Inc. came to George with an offer, that took George from being a well paid athlete to a multi-millionaire entrepreneur. At it's peak he was making millions of dollar a month for his endorcement. Finally the company paid him to be able to use his name on the Grills.

Now to the Gadgets.

Starting with the Showtime Rotisserie, nothing could fit cooking for guys, then as Ron and his studio audience says, "You just Set It, and Forget It!" You can start easy and put on Hot Dogs or Wieners, or your favorite sausage or wurst. Use the rack and make hamburgers or fish. Or go all the way with a roasted chicken or a roast beef or pork.

With the Foreman Grill, you can make anything you would regularly make on a grill outdoors, indoors now. Hot dogs, hamburgers, Use as a press to make Grilled Cheese or Paninis. Grill chicken breasts or fish. Even the worlds perfect food, Bacon.

One of the first Kitchen Gadgets I got, was somewhere between many of the other gadgets. I don't even know if it has a special name, just the sandwich maker. Each half of the maker has 4 triangles, 2 sets of 2 side by side, so it is a square cut in half diagonally. The triangles are indented with a shelf so that when closed and cooking it seals the edges of the sandwich. Great for grilled cheese, or fruit pies using bread and jelly or jam. Another great item I've made in them is triangle pancakes. Use your favorite pancake mix, and cook them into pancakes you can pick up and dip in your syrup. Or corn muffins, using a box of Jiffy or other corn bread mix, and do the same. Any muffin mix or even cake mix can be used to make individual treats. A bonus is adding a filling to the batter and let it cook inside it. Cutting hot dogs, or pre cooked breakfast sausages to the desired length you add them to the corn bread for corn dogs, or to the pancake for pigs in the blanket.

Every gadget starts with one original purpose, but grow either with the recipe book you get with the gadget, or online at the company web site or even communities set up of fans of the gadgets. And there are so many things you can do just using your imagination and whatever you have in your refrigerator.


  1. Dave, that's so interesting; my kitchen is practically gadget-less. I finally (at 55) bought myself a blender so when I want a smoothie I don't have to order delivery but wow, a Foreman grill has been a long-time item of wonder to me. Do you use a microwave? I have one of them that I mostly use to heat bowls of frozen petite white corn when I'm feeling in need of a buttery salt fix.

    I gather you are in the area where we grew up; have you been anywhere else and come back to SC or did you stay nearby your whole life? I find people who lived in their hometown area to be fascinating repositories of local lore and knowledge that is unattainable elsewhere. My husband worked in Englewood FL for a man who had never worked anywhere else or lived anywhere else or actually vacationed in any other camping space than the one he'd been traveling to the Keys to see for over forty years. It was incredible to talk with him. As I suspect it would be to talk with you...

    1. Actually I am 600 miles from home. I am currently living in Spartanburg, SC. I lived here in the mid 90s, and just over a year ago, I moved back.
      As far as the microwave, I do like to use it for thawing, cooking popcorn (used to have a bowl made to pop corn in the microwave, plus microwave bags), and making hot dogs, and frozen burritos and other frozen meals. It is another tool in the kitchen to be used for it's purpose, but it has never been my main source of heating the food I'm cooking.
      Sorry it took so long to answer, but as I note in my next post, I have been away from my computer for a while, and tried to respond on my phone previously, but kept hitting the wrong key, or deleting, or somehow screwing it up and so I quit trying until I got back here.