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Kitchen Speed Racers
Who has time to cook? Save time with these fab gadgets, vetted by moms across the country
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- by Meredith Bodgas
Dice, dice, baby
Chopping veggies can be fun (okay, at least fast) with the Chef'n VeggiChop. Throw in anything, from tomatoes to peppers, put the lid back on, and pull the cord; it'll do the rest. Just keep pulling for a finer chop -- the nonslip base helps hold it in place. ($30; williams-sonoma.com)
"My kids loved pulling the string! It doesn't take much effort, so it's a great way for them to help me in the kitchen."
-- Christine Gerdes, mom of Madison and Alexis, 4, Detroit Lakes, MN
No knife seems to slice herbs quickly (or well). Just roll OXO's Good Grips Herb Mincer over them and the mini-blades will create perfectly sized bits for cooking. ($15; oxo.com)
"Chopping cilantro is such a chore, but not with this. It also makes it a snap to cut toast and cheese into bite-size pieces for my one-year-old."
-- Heather Johnson, mom of Burke, 4, Ashlyn, 3, and Ryker, 1, Norfolk, NE
If you've ever chipped away dried sauce blobs with a knife (and scratched your dishes and pans), you'll want this: Dawn's Scrub and Scrape Sponge. Thanks to its easy-to-grip shape, your hands won't cramp. ($3.50 for a package of two; dawnkitchen.com)
"I didn't have to stop scrubbing and grab something else to scrape off hardened food. It got the job done!"
-- Verenetta Warner, mom of Kobe, 6, James, 4, and Riley, 2, Harvest, AL
Make a strawberry daiquiri, and you know an "I want one, too!" will follow. With Hamilton Beach's Dual Wave Blender, you can make a virgin drink and a spiked one at the same time. The two 16-ounce containers double as cups, plus it comes with an 80-ounce pitcher to make five servings at once. ($80; hamiltonbeach.com)
"One of my housemates has dietary restrictions, so I make a smoothie for him in a small cup, then a batch for the rest of us in the pitcher."
-- Amanda Walden, mom of Drew, 5, and Gideon, 1, West Danville, VT
Doesn't it seem like you're always looking for that one pan? Attach the Rubbermaid Pan Organizer to a cabinet wall or put it on your counter, then stow a pan in each slot. Voilà! You can quickly slide the right one out. ($10; target.com)
"My pans used to stick together, so I'd have to pull out a whole stack to find the right one. This organizer keeps some space between them -- I can see exactly where each one is."
-- Georgina Caddell Bruce, mom of Natalie, 4, Alyssa, 3, and Georgia Mae, 1, Morehead City, NC
Keep your fruits and veggies fresher longer in Rubbermaid's Produce Saver containers. The tray at the bottom and a vent keep food from getting mushy. A sanity-saving feature: The lids snap onto the bottom of the containers when you store them in cabinets, so you can skip the endless lid searches. ($13 for a four-container set; target.com)
"These nest inside each other, so I can open one drawer and find them all together. I told my mother-in-law to get them -- it's so hard to find the right-size lids for containers in her house."
-- Alicia Rexin, mom of Andrew, 2 and Lilia, 1, West Fargo, ND