Kitchen Gadgets You Actually Use

I'm certainly not immune to impulse buys. Many are cooking oriented, but only a handful have been truly useful.

Here's what I've ended up using on a regular basis, long after the initial purchase:
- Slow cooker. Once I discovered the little liners, this became an amazing purchase. Virtually no cleanup, good results, and a nice time saver.
- Breadmaker. So cheap to make the loaves, SO tasty, and the whole apartment smells incroyable.
- Rice cooker. Beats the heck out of that 10-minute rice junk.
- Electric mixer. I have the cheaper handheld version (as opposed to those glorious, but expensive, KitchenAid mixing stands), but golly do I ever get some good use out of it. Cupcakes and mousses and frostings, OH MY!
- Airpopper. Noisy noisy noisy, but yum. Infinitely yummier than the microwaved stuff - AND healthier. Win-win.

Despite my best intentions, these have mostly gone unused:
- French press. I don't have a dishwasher, so I don't feel like adding to my daily dish load. Delicious as a treat, but I only pull it out a few times a year.
- Handheld milk frother. Super cool, purchased to help me make a homemade version of Starbucks green tea lattes. Also delicious, but I haven't even dug it out of the cupboard at all in 2012.
- Blender. It's just such a pain to clean. I dreamed of a life filled with breakfast smoothies, but it was not meant to be.
- Espresso maker. Muse had one when I moved in, and we've maybe used it three times since 2004. Apparently I don't value my kitchen real estate enough to get rid of it.
- Drip coffeemaker. Used a few times a year, but it's just not as good as the french press and/or the stuff we get at the local coffee shop down the block.

P.S. Links go to the actual makes/models I purchased with my own real-world monies. :) 

Various fruits (or baked goods) of my labor:

Orange cranberry cupcakes with buttercream frosting

A mushy but lufferly rainbow layer cake

Angel food cake with Cool Whip, blueberries and strawberries for the 4th of July

Yummy rum cake

Interior of rainbow cupcakes

Exterior of rainbow cupcakes, plus chocolate peanut butter cupcakes.

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