Gadget Wishlist

As we work through the stages of Kitchen Stewardship together, there may be a few items that will be helpful to have around. You can check the list here as you make your birthday and Christmas wishlists for family members!

2009 Christmas wish list post.

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Others have recommended:

2010 Top 10 Green Gift Ideas
image MadeOn Lotions and Lip Balms: With 100% safe (mostly edible) ingredients and really affordable prices, you can get a whole mantlefull of stocking stuffers for under $10. Renee is even offering darling new muslin gift bags. I also have lip balm from Natural Momma, a local (to me) Etsy seller. The ingredients are also super safe and more or less foods and essential oils, but totally different. The MadeOn lip balm is harder and the Natural Momma glides easier, MadeOn has a bit more peppermint “bite” (also a non-scented). I’ve been wearing them left side/right side for a few days to see if there’s an obvious winner, but I like them both and both seem to do the job. I also have a Burt’s Bees balm, but the ingredient list is longer, and I like supporting handmade small businesses. (I’m an affiliate of MadeOn, but not Natural Momma. Just trying to share what’s in my house…)
image Stainless Steel Water Bottles: The classic. A Christmas hasn’t gone by in three years that I haven’t gotten a stainless steel bottle for someone who doesn’t yet have one. This year will be no exception, as my father-in-law just received one for his birthday last month! Our family uses Klean Kanteen and EcoUsable, and we also have a few cheap ones from Bed Bath and Beyond (use that 20% off coupon to get it for about $8) or Meijer on clearance. Just look out for trickery and don’t get stuck with an aluminum bottle! (See my Ecousable reviews here and here.)UPDATE: We now have some of the Flylady insulated stainless steel bottles and LOVE them. They really do keep ice in there overnight!
image Stainless Steel Containers: A kind of pricey item, I love to ask for stuff like this for Christmas for myself. You can see my reviews of a couple here and here. Rare free shipping offer at Kids Konserve, and also find great options at Life Without Plastic (my husband has started using his thermos for soup almost daily now that he goes to work at a normal office outside the home, loves it!). My son uses our Ecolunchbox almost daily for school, too. (Reusable sandwich bags are also fun – my cloth sandwich bag review may help you get started.)
image Glass containers: I already have some from Bed Bath and Beyond ready to wrap for TWO people on my list (Shhh, don’t tell). Have you seen how much I love glass storage containers? We are constantly running out, particularly of the 2-cup and 1-cup size. I prefer Pyrex over Anchor-Hocking because their lids stay on better over time.
image Natural Cleaners: I am practical enough to ask for and even give such things as gifts. Geeky, I know. Once for a wedding I gave a tub of natural cleaners and ingredients and recipes to make homemade, and the bride loved it! I just found this source for Biokleen products, and my favorite dishwasher detergent is half what I just paid last week at the health foods store. UPDATE: Biokleen isn’t working for us anymore; try Ecover detergent. I also love Bac-Out for laundry. (just search “Biokleen”) I hear it’s worth watching for 30% off sales and stocking up! Check back Monday for a comprehensive list of ALL my favorite natural cleaners.
NaturOli Soap Nuts: Geeky again, I know. I actually asked for soap nuts for Christmas last year, and my MIL accidentally got the wrong brand (Maggie’s) so I can conclusively say I like NaturOli better. :) They last forever and wash well, and they grow on trees! Great conversation topic around the tree, if you ask me. Check out my soap nuts review. They also have cute gift sets; see the whole store here.
Microfiber cloths or Skoy cloths: Either would make a nice extra addition to a gift or little stocking stuffer. Many say microfiber is not “green” because it’s made of plastic, but I save so many cleaners (and time, another consideration) because of my microfiber that I’m going to make that concession. Here’s my Skoy review and how I love microfiber cloths.
Greening up your water: Two years ago, my mom got us a shower filter to remove the chlorine in our city water. We just ordered replacement filters from here – we knew it was time to get a new one because my son’s eczema was flaring up big time. I’m also pretty convinced that a Berkey water filter (for drinking water) is the way to go for us, if only I could find the space for it. Check out Lisa’s ode to Berkey, a fun read!
Organic clothing: I’m sure this would feature more prominently in other green lists, but I can’t say I’ve prioritized it much. I chose to focus on the youngest, most susceptible member of our family last year and the time of greatest exposure: sleep. My mom found Leah some darling organic jammies, and we got her some organic flannel sheets that have held up great.
Buy or make handmade: There are so many great local options, for kids’ toys, clothing, and food. I don’t even know where to start recommending!
The Original Gadget Wishlist

Here is the first GW I made, when I tried to keep up post by post updating here. Fun to see my valiant but impossible attempts!


  • Food Chopper
    • for chopping vegetables, nuts (especially onions)
This one is from Pampered Chef; you can also find them at Bed, Bath and Beyond and the like.

This one is from Pampered Chef; you can also find them at Bed, Bath and Beyond and the like.

    • Ice cube trays
    • Stainless Steel Water Bottle
    • Gargantuan stock pot
      • If you want to make a huge batch of chicken stock, this is a fun item to have on hand! Also good for corn on the cob…
    • Glass measuring cup…I especially love my 4-cup size.
      • You can use the big one with a handle for scooping and measuring chicken stock, among other things.
    • Picnic cooler
    • Spoonula
      • The ultimate tool for scrambling eggs in the pan, plus my fav for browning ground meat. Made of silicone with a wooden handle, so you can leave it in the pan without worrying about melting anything.
      • spoonulaIt’s hard to tell in this picture, but it’s a spatula that’s extra thick, like a spoon.
    • Steamer Basket
    • Toaster Oven
      • Another near-imperative if you’re trying to avoid microwave use. I love my toaster oven! It can bake a whole pie or roast a whole chicken, toast 6 slices of bread at a time, and does a great job on our leftovers. I like to be able to bake a dozen cookies with frozen homemade cookie dough and not heat up the whole house, or bake a quick graham cracker pie crust.
      • Here’s a photo (it’s a Cuisinart, selling for about $60-80 nowadays):

        You can move the rack around, which is a nice feature.  It's pretty basic, but does everything we need.

        You can move the rack around, which is a nice feature. It's pretty basic, but does everything we need.

    • Vegetable Scrub Brush
      • This may seem like a silly item to have on a wishlist, but I think it’s important to really get in the grooves of things like carrots, potatoes, celery, and peppers (see the Dirty Dozen post). I know some people don’t have one…
      • This is more or less the one I use right now, found at Target.

        This is more or less the one I use right now, found at Target.

    • Glass storage containers
      glass-dishesSee this post for what you can do with them!
    • Garlic Press: so you don’t end up like me. There are lots of different version of a garlic press; one pictured below (Marc Pinter). Some of them even let you keep the skins on, which is a lot less work and smell.
    • Stick or Immersion Blender: good for blending soups (like garlic soup) or making guacamole or Caesar dressing.
    • Silicone Baking Mat:  makes cleanup of cookie sheets easy without using aluminum foil, and if your cookie sheets are aluminum and/or all scratched up, you can avoid having your food touch them, too.

See Aluminum Foil Post

Yes, these are mostly affiliate links. Amazon will share a bit with us bloggers if we send people their way. But feel free to shop at a store with a coupon, instead! It’s just nice to see a picture of what someone is talking about. Pleasant Hill Grain sponsored a grain mill giveaway in exchange for some advertising, a fair trade to be sure!

Pleasant Hill Grain offers Tilia Food Saver vacuum sealers for home use as well as ARY industrial vacuum sealers. (They also explain the differences.)

17 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. says

    My favorite kitchen gadget is the “Flexicado”. We got it as a gift (ironically enough from Katie!) and use it all the time! For you guacamole lovers, it’s perfect for coring out an avacado…but we’ve also found other uses too! Its great to scoop the insides out of a baked potato or mango!

  2. Jeannie says

    Where did you get your huge stock pot? I am in the market for a huge one but am having problems finding one that’s not aluminum. Thanks!

    • Katie says

      Mine was a gift, but I know it’s from Meijer. It was billed as something for cooking lobsters, corn, gumbo, etc. But – I’m not positive it’s not aluminum and that kills me! I rec’d it before I knew to check the packaging for such things. It’s coated with something (enamel??), but it’s just starting to have issues inside with rust showing through when it air dries, so it’s time to be concerned. Wish I could help more! Maybe I need to look for a new one too!

      Good luck with your search,

      • Jeannie says

        well rust isn’t an “aluminum thing” so I have a feeling you are safe. We use our stock pots for tomato based cooking (salsa & tomoato sauce every summer) so non-aluminum is a must!

        Thanks for the response though!

      • Sandy Munroe says

        I’ve seen the stockpot you recommended before and it was graniteware. Graniteware is completely safe the only bad thing I’ve found about it is that it wears easily as you have noticed with yours. It is made out of carbon steel and then has thin enamel over it. Since it’s so thin that’s why it’s cheap. This stuff use to be very good and lasted, but it appears that the newer stuff is more cheaply made and doesn’t last no where near as long. Mine lasted about 6 months. It was a 15 qt stockpot.

    • Sherilyn Medkeff says

      I use my pasta cooker for bigger batches of soup, of course, with out the pasta strainer. It’s stainless.

  3. jan says

    I have almost everything on your wish-list. No veg brush, but I use those plastic mesh dish scrubbies for potatoes and carrots. Also, did you know that you can buy those foaming soap things on sale (dial w/coupon) and refill with non-creamy soap when empty? Soap+water, ratio is like 1 part soap to 9 parts water, don’t overfill, shake gently. I’ve been refilling all mine.

  4. Courtney Holcomb says

    I’m with you on all the gadgets! My kitchen is identical :) I’d add two: a. Juicer (I have an Omega, love the raw, nutritional, fresh benefits of juice, can also make frozen banana ice cream and other yummy treats!) and b. ice cream maker: can make family friendly treats according to your nutritional preferences! Nut or raw milks, reduced sugar, fruit, sorbet, etc.

  5. says

    Love this list! I have almost everything on it, although I am still working on the glass containers. One thing I would recommend – a combination blender/food processor. I got one when I got married, and it is the best! It cuts down on storage space, which is awesome for those of us with very little. The one thing you do sacrifice is a smaller food processor container, but basically the food processor part and blender hook onto the same base, so it is a two in one. I would highly recommend it!

  6. Sherilyn Medkeff says

    I was gifted Martha Stewart’s (Macy’s) microplane zester. I love it. Not only does it zest lemons, but I have grated hard cheese, garlic and ginger.

  7. jan says

    I’ve been using my cheap plastic mesh scrubbies instead of the traditional (uncleanable) veg brush. They’re top-rack dishwasher safe, IMHO.

  8. Kristie says

    Have you researched any more about the graniteware stock pot that is on your gadget wish list? I am very tempted to buy that! I don’t wish to eat lead or cadmium though. 😉 I am supposed to have a heavy metal test soon so I want to be careful. I have been looking for a while and trying to figure out what to buy!

    • Katie says

      I haven’t, but I wonder often when I use it. On my mental wish list, there sits a stainless steel massive stock pot… Sorry I’m no help, but good luck! :) Katie

  9. Katie says

    I’m so glad you like it! After you scoop out the baked potato, then you can make potato crispies with the skins and harness the iron within. 😉

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