Top 10 Kitchen Gadgets and Tools for Every Home

The time has finally come to revamp your kitchen tool collection. Perhaps you’ve made a New Year’s Resolution to cook at home more and eat healthier food. Maybe your budget has gotten tight from eating out too much. Or it could be your knives have gotten so dull they couldn’t cut through snow, never mind a pork chop.

Whatever the reason, you’ll want the best kitchen gadgets and tools at your disposal. The folks at Miles Kimball have put together the list of our 10 favorite kitchen tools for food prep that are practical, affordable and easy to use. Cooking a meal in your own home doesn’t have to be a hassle — and with these useful kitchen tools at your disposal, it might even be fun! These unique finds and many others can be ordered through our online store, so start your journey towards high-quality home cooking today.

1. Rubber Spatulas

A rubber spatula is one of the best kitchen tools for food prep you can own. They can be used for scooping batter from a mixing bowl, flipping a burger on the stove, spreading mayonnaise on bread and so much more. We recommend having three different sizes in your drawer or stoneware crock to fit various containers or foods

2. Kitchen Shears

Scissors aren’t just for arts and crafts. Shears are another kitchen gadget you need. Uses include opening food packages, removing fat chucks from meat, cutting herbs and trimming aluminum foil or parchment paper to fit a pan. These heavy-duty kitchen scissors are safer than knives for these tasks to prevent injury.

3. A Good Knife Set

You don’t need your kitchen to look like a butcher shop. However, you’ll at need at least a few good ones. A 6-piece knife block set will have all the essentials for carving, slicing and pairing, and a steak knife set is perfect for the table. You’ll want a knife sharpener as well to keep them working their best. We also recommend a large plastic knife for slicing through brownies, lasagna and other softer foods without scratching the pan.

4. Food Grater

Try it and see: home-grated cheese tastes way better than bagged store-grated cheese. A grater is also a must for shredding vegetables and will help you add that “zest” of citrus you thought only existed in high-end restaurant. Whether it’s a simple one-side microplane grater or a four-sided stainless steel grater, they’ll save you plenty of time and elbow grease.

5. Electric Mini Food Chopper

Tired of manually cutting every single piece of food? An electric mini chopper does the hard work for you. Add meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts and anything else you can think of, then chop them as large or fine as you want for a salad, stew or stir-fry. These gadgets mix and dice as well, so you can make salsa, guacamole and other dips in your kitchen.

6. Bamboo Cutting Boards

Whether your beautiful kitchen counters are made of hardwood, marble or granite, you’ll want to protect them from scratches. While cutting boards can be made of many different materials, we like the bamboo cutting board the most. They’re heavy enough to stay balanced on a table, light enough to move and clean with ease and strong enough to withstand constant pounding and slicing. These renewable resource boards look amazing, too!

7. Burger Press

Anyone who loves a good burger can create their own with a burger press or hamburger maker set. Both of these useful kitchen tools allow grill-masters to make perfectly-shaped hamburgers, turkey burgers and sausage patties at any thickness. You can then toss them on the grill, store them in the refrigerator/freezer or put them in the cooler for a camping trip. They’re not just for meat-eaters, either — vegetarians can make black bean burgers or tofu burgers just as easily.

8. Large Colander

A colander is another useful kitchen gadget that you can use practically every day. Set your stainless steel mesh colander or plastic colander in the sink to rinse vegetables, fruits and meats. They’re also a safe way to drain pasta and other boiled foods after cooking to reduce the risk of burns or water spills.

9. A Spiral Slicer or Spiralizer

A spiralizer set might seem like one of those weird made-for-TV gadgets that doesn’t have much use in a real kitchen. But as soon as you use one, you’ll wonder why you didn’t sooner! Among other things, this cool kitchen tool can be used to easily make homemade pasta noodles, veggie pasta, French fries and salads. You can spiralizer many other fruits and vegetables as well for dipping, party snack plates or to make them easier for kids to eat.

10. Juicer

If you own a citrus juicer, you can enjoy fresh-squeezed juice in your own home with almost no effort. Make a glass of orange juice that tastes great and doesn’t have the added sugar and preservatives of store-bought juice. Add fresh lemon and lime juice to recipes or make your own lemonade and limeade instead of using powdered mixes. An electric juicer can also be used for vegetables, letting you create unique summertime drinks!

Gardening Tips for Success

Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start thinking about your garden. Before the ground thaws and the weather warms, you need a plan to make this year’s garden your best yet. Follow these gardening tips and tricks to help you succeed and watch your garden flourish.

Using Raised Beds

Raised beds gardening tips are popular because raised beds offer many benefits when it comes to gardening. One of the main ones is that they allow you to start the season a little earlier. Because these beds aren’t dug into the ground, the soil is warmer, which means you can begin planting seeds earlier than you would with a traditional garden. 

The height of garden boxes and raised beds allows for better drainage to help keep plants and vegetables healthy. Plus, since the beds aren’t at ground level, tending your garden will involve less bending over and less back strain. If you want the benefits of height without investing in or building a raised bed, you can use pots for container gardening and place them on a garden stand.

Hand-Weeding like a Pro

Nobody likes weeding, but it’s necessary if you want to keep your garden healthy. Weeds can steal nutrients, sunlight and water from the plants and vegetables you’re trying to grow. Plus, they can be unsightly. 

A common mistake novice and experienced gardeners alike make is deep hoeing to cut down the time it takes to weed. However, hand-weeding is the way to go. Hoeing the soil can cause more harm than good by bringing weed seeds to the surface and spreading them, which results in more weeds. Hand-weeding allows you to have more control and causes less of a disturbance.

You don’t necessarily have to be on your hands and knees to hand-weed, though. You can still get the control you want with a no-bend weed grabber. This device allows you to easily pull weeds without disrupting the soil like you would with a hoe and without straining your back.

A New Use for Long-Handle Tools

Do you have a long-handle tool you use often? Maybe an extendable garden shovel (Pictured to the right) or a rake? If you do, we have a creative new use for that tool that will make your gardening life easier. All you need is a ruler and a permanent marker. 

This is one of our best gardening tips for beginners, experts and anybody in between. Take the ruler and mark off inches, feet, centimeters or whatever measurement you prefer on the handle of your tool using a dark permanent marker. Now, you have an easy-to-access measuring stick on hand. This will help when it comes to measuring the distance between seeds while planting or how deep a hole you’ve made is. 

A Comfortable Gardner is a Happy Gardner

We cannot stress enough how important it is to stay comfortable while gardening. If you’re straining joints, hurting your back or just feeling uncomfortable in general, you’re likely to rush through your work and risk making mistakes. That’s why we have some comfort-focused gardening tips for you. 

Gardening can involve a lot of bending over, sitting and kneeling. Whether you’re hand-pulling weeds, planting seeds or admiring what you’ve grown, you’re going to end up spending quite a bit of time close to the ground. Luckily, there are ways to make this easier and more comfortable.

A gardener’s knee rest is the perfect way to take some of the stress off your body while gardening. The padded rest is gentler on your knees than the hard ground and it will be easier for you to get up after spending time planting seeds. Another great option is a garden seat (Pictured to the right) that can be adjusted to your desired height. This lets you kneel or sit and helps take the strain off your back from bending over. 

Keep Your Tools Organized

An often-overlooked gardening tip is the importance of tool organization. There’s nothing worse than spending time searching through shelves and drawers in your shed or garage in an effort to find that spade you need. 

Keeping your gardening tools organized will make it easier to find the tool you need when you need it. Consider purchasing a corner garden tool rack (Pictured to the right). This rack fits perfectly into the corner of a shed or garage and can hold up to 20 tools, including rakes, shovels and shears. It’s the perfect way to keep your tools neat and easy to access.

Save Time with Seed Mats

When it comes to planting vegetables, you’ll definitely want to take the time to make sure your seeds are spaced out and buried in the right amount of dirt. When it comes to flowers, however, there are some shortcuts you can take. 

Pre-seeded flower rolls are a great way to save a little time and effort during your gardening adventures. Flower mats contain hundreds of seeds that you simply have to roll out. There’s no digging or hand planting. It’s quick and easy and gives you more time to focus on other gardening tasks. 

Finding the Right Tools and Supplies

A gardener is nothing without their tools. At Miles Kimball, we have a wide selection of affordable gardening supplies to help you kick the season off right. From planters to flower rolls, we’ve got what you need. 

Your Guide to Decorative Garden Stakes

Decorative yard stakes are a fantastic way to add a little something extra to your lawn or garden. You can use them to celebrate holidays, welcome the seasons or let your neighbors know some of your interests. Take a look at these fun and cute garden stakes ideas.

Holiday Stakes

Decorative garden stakes are perfect for celebrating holidays, especially the less prominent ones. Christmas and Halloween involve a lot of decorating to begin with, but what about all the other holidays that pop up throughout the year?

Easter is a holiday that usually isn’t decorated for, but Easter yard stakes can bring some more color to your garden or lawn. With pastel colors and cute characters, they’re sure to catch the eye of anyone passing by. Check out these Easter bunny garden stakes that can be used to greet your guests. 

During July, you can show your patriotic side with some red, white and blue. Garden stakes are a great way to show your pride and celebrate America. You can go a more lively route with something like these patriotic dog stakes or you can choose something on the sophisticated side like these banner star stakes (to the right).

For St. Patrick’s Day, you can bring the luck of the Irish to your house with a personalized leprechaun stake with your last name on it. No matter the holiday, you can find the right garden stake to celebrate with.

Seasonal Decorative Plant Stakes

You can decorate your front yard with garden stakes that fit the season. Spring yard stakes are the perfect addition to your garden because they let you have flowers on display while waiting for your own to grow. Some good choices are tulip stakes or daisy stakes. They will bring some life to your garden and be a preview of what’s to come. If you don’t want flowers, some hummingbird stakes (to the left) will look beautiful in front of your house.

In the summer months, dress up your lawn or garden with beachy garden stakes like these summer boy and girl stakes. They’re a fun way to welcome the warmer months and kick off beach season. If you’re into a summer sport like golf, you can get this golf cart stake featuring solar power headlights that automatically turn on when it gets dark.

For autumn, this harvest truck stake will bring some fall flavor to your yard with the bright pumpkin a red truck bed. Plus, the wheels on the truck spin in the breeze for extra fun. You can swap this yard stake out with an adorable witch stake around Halloween. 

Garden Stakes That Light Up

If you want to add some extra light outside your home, solar-powered decorative plant stakes have you covered. These stakes soak up energy from the sun during the day to power their bulbs once night begins to fall. 

A set of solar balloon stakes can make your yard more festive. Place them along a walkway to light up a path for visitors and guests. You could also go with a color-changing butterfly stake (to the right). It comes with four butterflies that you can adjust with its flexible wires. Best of all, the butterflies put on a show by changing colors. For something more rustic, this metal tractor stake will provide a soft glow with its solar headlights.

Yard Stakes with a Car Theme

Garden stakes can also be terrific decorations for car enthusiasts. There’s no better way to show off your love for classic cars than through some lawn and garden decor.

This antique car stake not only features the font view of an antique car, but it also comes with solar-powered headlights and a welcome sign on the stake. It’s a fantastic way to greet anyone who might stop by your home.

For a sleeker design, a classic car stake is a good choice that will bring some nostalgia to your yard. This stake comes in a beautiful light blue color and the solar headlights turn on automatically at dusk.

The vintage car stake has an iconic yellow design that everyone will recognize. It’s a sturdy decoration that will help you remember the good old days every time you see it. 

CHAPTER 1. Loomings

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation.

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time tozz get to sea as soon as I can.

Animal Garden Stakes

Some of the most popular garden stake designs include animals. With choices from farm animals to pets, there’s something for everyone. 

You can stick to the classics with options like a cow yard stake. This stake will look right at home on your lawn. It also comes with a back hook so you can display it on a wall or fence. Another option is a set of duck family stakes. The momma duck comes with three little ducklings, making this decoration perfect for your human family. 

You can go more fantastical with this raincoat cat stake. The whimsical design features a cat standing on two legs in a yellow raincoat and holding an umbrella over its head. As a bonus, this yard stake doubles as a rain gauge because the cat holds a little glass jar to collect water. 

For those with a flair for the dramatic, a gorgeous peacock stake will take center stage in your lawn or garden. This brightly colored stake will draw the attention of all your neighbors and have your yard looking great. 

Other Yard and Garden Decorations

Don’t stop at just garden stakes when it comes to decorating your yard. At Miles Kimball, we have a wide selection of outdoor decor to help you make your home look its best. From birdbaths to garden flags, we have what you’re looking for.