You're a young, busy, urban professional. Your time is precious, and you can't always afford to spend it in the kitchen. Take-out and Delivery get monotonous and the dollars quickly add up. Make these five products your go-to gadgets to expedite your culinary endeavors.
1. Magic Bullet Blender
Great for making single servings of any liquid. You can have smoothies in the morning and frozen cocktails in the evening when you're entertaining friends. Your Magic Bullet kit contains a high-torque power base, two blades, two cups, four lids and four party mugs with color-coded 'comfort lip rings' for instant sippage. There's also a cookbook of '10 second recipes' included for everything from soups to omelets. You can pick up a set at Bed, Bath & Beyond for around 50 bucks. (Note: I've had one for almost five years and it still runs like a champ.)
2. George Foreman Grill
Who knew a former Heavyweight Boxing Champ was also such a great Grillmaster? There are now lots of varieties of the mini grills but all you really need is a basic Champ™ Grill for around $20. It's 36 sq. in. surface cooks up to two servings and now it comes with a nifty grill sponge for easier clean-up. (Note: Also try putting a wet paper towel inside after your food is done but while the grill is still hot. It helps keep stuff from sticking to the surfaces.)
3. Crock Pot Slow Cooker
This classic slow-cooking tool does most of the work for you. After a little bit of prep, you can set it and forget it as you go about your day. When you return home, there will be a hot, hearty meal waiting for you. The Pot itself comes in several colors, but we like the red one that adds a pop of color to contrast your otherwise monochromatic pots and pans. You can pick up a 4-quart sized Crock Pot for under $20 online or in several retail stores including Target. (Check out their free app that contains recipes and a timer in the iTunes store.)
4. Vidalia Chop Wizard
Talk about saving time (and your fingertips). This device is easy-to-use and comes with two different blades for finer or coarser chopping of food into neat little chunks. Use it with just about any fruit or vegetable from apples to zucchini. This fun little gadget retails for between $20 and $25 and is rated an average 4/5 stars on Amazon.com and 4.8/5 stars on bedbathandbeyond.com. (Note: The only downside is it can be a b*tch to clean. Don't lose the white, plastic comb that comes with it or you're kinda screwed.)
5. Michael Graves Liquid Dispensing Kitchen Brush
Of course there is going to be clean-up after you've spent even a little bit of time in the kitchen, especially if your digs don't include a dishwasher. This Michael Graves-designed device is made of sturdy plastic, including the bristles, so it doesn't get as germ-ified as sponges and dishrags. Just unscrew the top of the handle, pour in some liquid soap and you're ready to polish those plates. You can grab one at Target for less than $5.