Why should kitchens with small (or no) counters get left out of the fun all the big kitchens have? They shouldn't, and they don't need to. Space-saving appliances abound, from under-counter toasters, to miniature microwaves. But when it comes to a do-it-all machine that chops and grinds, bulky food processors usually have all the fun. Unless you think small.
The Cuisinart Elite 4-Cup Food Chopper/Grinder (model number CH-4) is a smaller alternative to its larger brethren. Measuring less than 10 inches tall, with a base of 7.5 inches by 5 inches, the mini machine does big work in a small space. The appliance chops and grinds and purees, and with a 4-cup capacity, is able to handle most prep tasks. The touch-pad controls offer the choice between chop and grind, determining which way the dual-sided blade spins: sharp edge for chopping, dull edge for grinding.
Available for $49.95 in black or white, the model also features a die-cast version for $59.95. The versatile machine makes it easy to chop tomatoes, garlic, onions and herbs for a quick salsa or relish, and then turn right around and use it to grind whole spices or nuts for pies. All removable parts are dishwasher-safe, and the base can be cleaned with a damp cloth. With its small size and price to match, the chopper/grinder is sure to find space on your kitchen counter, no matter what you like to cook.