New kitchen accessories: a guide for newlyweds

From grilling to chopping, a handful of items offer only a glimpse of the cool, new kitchen accessories available to newlywed couples.

For many newlywed couples, the focal point of their home is their kitchen, especially if one or both loves to cook and entertain.If this hold true for you then take heart.With all the gifts you can expect, couples can load up on kitchen accessories.You of course will need your basic table settings, mixing bowls, pots and pans, etc.While they may be necessities, however, these kitchen accessories are flat boring.The more experienced, modern chef knows of tons more useful, fun gadgets that exist in the world of cooking.From grilling to chopping, the following items offer only a glimpse of the cool, new kitchen accessories available to newlywed couples.

When preparing for any meal, seasonings are always an essential.Hence, the proper grinding devices are essential.Besides a basic salt and pepper mills, an herb mill basically performs the same function only with herbs obviously.Parsley, rosemary, cilantro and any other herbs grind quickly and smoothly, leaving behind hard-to-chop stems.Another great way to grind up herbs is by using what's called a mortal and pestle.Generally these pieces consist of a small stone bowl and a wooden handle.Place herbs in the bowl and simply smash or grind them up with the wood.Both the herb mill and the mortal and pestle work well and are highly recommended.Fresh herbs give off an amazing aroma when first ground, so try and use them as soon as possible to take full advantage of the heightened flavor they provide.

A garlic mincer also acts just like a salt and pepper mill.You simply place a garlic clove inside the mincer, twist a top, and the garlic comes out perfectly minced.These types of devices sure make chopping much easier.Along the same line, spice grinders allow cooks to enhance both the aroma and the taste of spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.Microplanes do the same work as the spice grinders, except grating cheeses and zesting fruits also can be done with a microplane.The device might be the most useful kitchen accessory on the market.Its light weight allows you to grate or zest right over your food instead of having to do so on a cutting board or counter first.A microplane rotary grater works much the same way, although its primary function is to grate more solid foods like hard cheeses and nuts.

No one wants to take forever when cooking a meal, especially when you are entertaining guests other than yourselves.Thankfully, many more helpful items can be found at any kitchen store that will help cooks be more efficient with their time.Besides mills and other grating devices, numerous slicers, peelers and presses are available.For one, mandolines allow you to slice vegetables like onions and potatoes evenly and in any thickness you desire.A bow peeler looks similar to a cheese slicer, only it is much better suited for peeling fruits with soft flesh like kiwis and mangos, and yet it is also strong enough to shave chocolates and hard cheeses.To shred carrots, onions, cucumbers and the like into ribbons or thin strands, definitely try a new device called an Asian spiral slicer.This particular slicer creates fabulous garnishes quite easily.

Tomato presses allow you to divide the pulp from the skin and seeds, which comes in quite handy when making sauces and salsas.Similarly, a citrus press ensures you will get every last drop of juice out of your lemons and limes, while leaving any seeds and skin behind.As a way of cleaning your greens, a salad spinner or washer keeps you from having to run lettuce and spinach leaves under the faucet to remove excess grit.Simply place the leaves in the spinner, push down on the knob a few times, and your salad is washed and ready to go.And finally, another convenient slicing accessory comes in the form of a butter cutter.An entire stick of butter will be cut into neat, even pats, which comes in so helpful at dinner parties where butter is usually in high demand for breads and potatoes.

Numerous other food prep items can be found that will make cooking easier and more efficient for newlywed cooks.One such item is an angled measuring cup.Available in a variety of sizes, these cups fit into the cutting edge category of modern day cooking.Forget your basic measuring cups.Angled cups allow you to read the amount of liquid while looking over the cup.You will never have to crouch down or lift up the cup to measure again.You'll always get exact measurements the first time you go to fill up.If you are a baker, then a pastry scraper is a must for your kitchen repertoire.Easily lift and flip doughs with the pastry scraper.It also makes scraping up flour from your work surface a breeze.

Once you get to the actual cooking part of your meals, some items are must-haves.Splatter screens look kind of like upside down strainers, but they are used over pots and pans to keep food from splattering all over during cook time.A combo lid/spoon rest is more convenient than a simple spoon rest because its angled shape allows you to place pot and pan lids on the device along with spoons.Excess food and water stay off the stove and counter this way.Silicone pot holders will give you a better, more secure grip than cloth holders, while doubling as a surface protector as well.Add a three-tiered oven rack to your list if more space sounds desirable.The stacked effect allows you the option of cooking three dishes at once, while still cooking a turkey or ham alongside the rack.

Some men cook and some men grill.And some men do both.If you or your new husband falls into the grilling category, there are plenty of gadgets for him too.One is an indoor grill.It does all the work an outside grill does only it doesn't provide as big of a surface area.Still, the option is nice to have during the winter.A magnetic thermometer can be very helpful when grilling.Place the needle in your piece of meat, shut the grill's lid, and stick the thermometer to the outside of the grill.You can track the meat's internal temperature without ever opening the lid.When you can't start grilling until after dark, a flexible grill light is a great option.The light attaches to the outside of the grill and can turn at any angle so you'll always be able to see what your doing even after the sun goes down.

Some kitchen accessories are essential for anyone.Dishes, silverware, cutlery and measuring devices should be found in any kitchen.For those who want more options, however, the choices are endless.Of course, a wedding presents the perfect excuse for getting many of those funky gadgets you might not get otherwise.Many items if not the majority of them will also make your time in the kitchen easier and more efficient.So make a list and think of the practical functions accessories provide.Hopefully most of your wishes will be fulfilled and you'll be well on your way to a well-stocked kitchen.

© High Speed Ventures 2011