Before you start coming up with Valentine’s Day dinner ideas, take stock of your kitchen gadgets. You might have what it takes to make a delicious romantic dinner, but if you don’t have the right tools your meal isn’t going to be nearly what it could be. You want to be relaxed and free for the big day, not stressing over dull knives and burnt spatulas. If you’re planning a home-cooked meal for your significant other on February 14th, do yourself a favor. Leave anxiety at the door. With these nifty kitchen gadgets, your meal and your cooking skills are sure to be a smashing success.
Start with a nice, simple cookbook. You might have a collection of these already, but if you don’t this is a good one to get started with. You want your ideas for Valentine’s Day dinner to demonstrate your culinary genius. Plan something sophisticated, a three-course meal on your best dishes. It’s time to grow up and be better than take-out and sex pasta.
A DRY RUB SEASONER
If your brilliant romantic dinner idea is a nice juicy steak, you need this gadget. Smearing a tantalizing dry rub onto your festive steak will prove you’re a chef who knows what he’s doing. This tool does the task in tidy, sweeping strokes. When kitchen gadgets make the cleaning up easier, how can you say no?
THE 3-IN-1 AVOCADO TOOL
With this little plastic tool, you can slice, pit, and scoop your avocado in minutes. You don’t have to be serving guacamole to justify buying this gadget. Use it to slice up a ripe avocado for your salad, as a side, or to garnish your filet of fish. Buy it now so when you need to make guac for your pals, you’ll have it handy.
NOCRY CUT RESISTANT GLOVES
These appropriately-named NoCry gloves will make any cutting you have to do during your date less stressful. They look bad-ass too. Most Valentine’s Day dates prefer their salads without blood dressing, so if you’ve planned a salad with sliced tomatoes and diced eggs and cut up onions and chopped celery take precautions.
A MANDOLIN SLICER
The mandolin slicer is a salad lover’s sexy friend. No need to worry about guiding your knife through even slice after even slice. You can simply run the vegetables you’re cutting up and down this washboard-like tool. I’d advise wearing your new cut resistant gloves if you can. Mandolins are super smooth, but they do have a nasty tendency to nick naked fingers.
THE DECORATIVE PLACE SETTING
A simple mat will give your romantic dinner a presentational boost. This one even helps you with your table setting. If you forget where the knife or fork belong, sneak a quick glance at this placemat. Place-setting sheets also make the cleaning up easier. Gather the mat so all the little spills are caught in the middle and throw everything away.
THE SUSHI BAZOOKA
If you need to prove you’re adept at making sushi, there a plenty of kitchen gadgets to help you. This is the best of the bunch. All you must do is load white rice into both sides of the bazooka, lay some meat and vegetables on top, fold it together, and push it out. Sushi just became one of the best ideas for Valentine’s Day 2017! Once you own this, you’ll never have to over-pay for sushi again.
THE STALK CHOPPER
If you like steamed vegetables, you need a stalk chopper. It eliminates the awkward task of plucking good chunks of broccoli and cauliflower with your hands. Flip the plant on its head and get chopping. Your hands will be tidy and dry, optimal for Valentine’s Day dates, and you’ll be done in just minutes. More time for post meal snuggles that way.
THE SILICONE SPATULA
Believe it or not, the wrong spatula can be a genuine fire hazard. While it’s highly unlikely a whole apartment fire will erupt because you use the wrong spatula, a smoke alarm snafu could. Invest in a spatula you can count on. This one is heat-resistant up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit. If you leave it sitting in the pan for a moment while you do a little kitchen kissing, no need to worry.
A PASTRY MAT
If one of your brilliant ideas for Valentine’s Day is to make your significant other something sweet, you’re going to want this mat. It comes with measurement conversions and a to-scale chart to help you know how wide your pie crust needs to be. You know you’re going to use this more than once, so pay the 15 bucks and get baking.
THE MINIATURE KNIFE SHARPENER
If you’re in the middle of dinner preparations when your knife stop working, it’s a problem. You’ll find yourself re-inventing the end of your spoon as a knife or tearing food unceremoniously with your fingers. A little sharpener like this will keep your cutting tools effectively sharp. No need to be tearing into your ingredients if you can help it.
A LEMON SQUEEZER
It’s tricky to get all the juice out of a lemon. You can squeeze until you’re blue and still not be satisfied. A lemon squeezer is one of the most classic of cooking utensils because it’s effective. No one is satisfied with what they can wring from a lemon manually. This tool is the magic answer.
THE COOKING TORCH
If you own a cooking torch, it will inspire you with plenty of fresh ideas for your Valentine’s Day. You can use it to melt cheese on a few quick hors d’oeuvres, brown the edges of your meat that didn’t quite cook, or caramelize a sugar design on your romantic cake. The secret of the cooking torch is the more you use it, the more ways you can think of to use it. Let February 14th be your excuse to add it to your kitchen.
A PAIR OF KITCHEN SHEARS
These are not just a pair of scissors it’s safe to use in the kitchen. You can use any pair of scissors to open packages. These scissors are for cutting strips of bacon and trimming slices of romaine. They are cooking essentials. If you don’t have any, get some. It’s going to make your job as the chef so much tidier.
If a home-cooked meal is one of your ideas for Valentine’s Day, take my advice and get some cooking essentials to help you. If your kitchen is full of efficient gadgets, your meal is far more likely to be a success.
— Julie Grossman