Remember the Presto salad shooter and that annoying ditty in the commercials?

 For awhile, it was the hot kitchen gadget that everyone had to have - but hardly ever used.The shooter looked like a mod meat grinder and chopped veggies and fruits, grated cheese and then flung all the ingredients into your salad bowl or on a pizza.

We thought we’d eat more salads and vegetables with the salad shooter close at hand, like a professional chef assembling our low-cal meals.  After I made two salads - the shooter  landed in a lower cabinet - never to emerge again.

Last year I was gifted - at my request — one of those must-have Magic Bullets, which is basically a mini-blender. It came with mixing cups and drinking mugs and a recipe book.  I was savoring  mixing no-fuss, no-muss healthy fruit smoothies every morning to drink on my ride to work.  My inaugural smoothie was a blend of yogurt, skim milk, sweet & low, frozen strawberries and ice cubes.  I pulsed the bullet and poured the drink into a to-go cup and off to work.  But apparently I didn’t blend it well enough because soon I was choking on chunks of frozen strawberries.

When I got home, the Magic Bullet landed in a top cabinet. Whenever I open the door and see 25 cups taking up space – I vow to smooth again.

This year’s will-it-catch-on gadget is the pricey Soda Maker, I’ve seen it everywhere from Kohl’s to Macy’s. Signs boast that it turns tap water into sparkling water or soda pop in under 30 seconds.

I think the best feature is the drinking cups, a smart alternative to pop cans and water bottles that end up in landfills.


Which kitchen gadgets can’t you live without and which ones are just sucking up your precious cabinet space?  Is your George Foreman grill a godsend when you're craving a cheeseburger in January?