At the back of kitchen cupboards across the land, lurking away in dark corners, is an array of contraptions purchased or received with good intentions but now left unused, unwanted and quite likely unnecessary in the first place. Here's some that are much more than one-hit wonders - they're full of function and visual appeal so they can stay on permanent display.
Tefal Optigrill - £129.99 from Lakeland.co.uk
For bacon, burgers and bangers as well as chicken and fish, this griller delivers the perfect results every time. The technology inside includes sensors which measure the thickness of your food and ensure it is cooked to your exact requirements. Excess fat is drained off into an easy-clean tray and we wager you'll wonder after a single use what you ever did without one.
Alessi Electronic Duck Timer - £34 from dreamicons.com
The humble kitchen timer has often been maligned for its lack of finesse, but this one is a real game-changer. The design gurus at Alessi have engineered a timing unit inside a retro android-looking duck, offering it in three different shades, to guarantee boiled egg perfection and much more. No bells and whistles on cool device - a quacking noise alerts you that time is up.
Karoto vegetable peeler - £11 from maidenshop.com
Despite its name, this peeler shaped like a giant pencil sharpener can tackle much more than carrots. It makes fast work of cucumbers, parsnips and courgettes too. The makers claim it makes peeling fun, so much so that any children in your house will be clamouring to lend a hand. With limited practice you can create curls and shapes too, adding artistry to your salads.
Horn of plenty
Unicorn Sprinkles Shaker - £7.95 from prezzybox.com
This colourful unicorn has been created to contain all those yummy pieces of sweetness that get sprinkled on to cakes, biscuits and the like. Why this mythical animal has been roped in for the job is not exactly clear, but sitting on the worktop in your kitchen it can't help but raise a smile and everyone will want to be the one doing the sprinkling.
Cuisinart Soup Maker - £140 from cuisinart.co.uk
It's the perfect time of year for some home-made soup and this ingenious machine is all you need to serve up some delicious varieties. Just saute the vegetables on the integrated non-stick cooking plate then cook, simmer and blend your ingredients. When the cooking cycle is done, either pulse for chunky broths or use the powerful blades for silky-smooth soups.
Joseph Joseph Foldable TriScale - £30 from johnlewis.com
Kitchen scales are frequently needed but often consigned to a dark cupboard because of their ungainly and bulky appearance. However, this uber-cool creation is minimalist enough to stay out on the side at all times but can be conveniently folded flat for storage. The add and weigh function allows multiple ingredients to be measured in the same bowl.
App of the week
Zombies Run! - £2.99 from Google Play
What better incentive to pick up the pace than to be pursued by zombies? The trouble is that could be quite unhealthy and, well, they don't exist. This immersive experience lets you set your targets and intensity and creates an audio adventure with warnings along your route that the undead are close by. A super fun fitness app.
Top 10 paid for apps for Android phones
1. Angry Birds Star Wars II
2. Camera for Kindle Fire
3. The Room
4. The Chase
5. Minecraft - Pocket Edition
6. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
7. Alice Trapped in Wonderland
8. Where's Waldo Now?
9. Plants vs. Zombies
10. Catch Phrase
Top 10 free apps for Android phones
1. FIFA 14 by EA SPORTS
2. Angry Birds Star Wars II Free
3. Dumb Ways To Die
4. Zombies Ate My Friends
5. World To World Seasons - Fun And Addictive Word Association
6. BBC iPlayer
7. Kingdoms Of Camelot: Battle For The North
8. BBC Media Player
9. Monsters University
10. Despicable Me: Minion Rush
(Both charts courtesy of Appstore on amazon.co.uk)