When I was young, poor, and just starting to cook, I dreamed about one day owning a food processor, just like the chefs I saw on TV, who used them to make big batches of pesto, silky-smooth hummus, and perfect pie crust in a flash. But dropping over $100 on a kitchen appliance wasn't a priority — or even a possibility — especially when I could use my clunky old blender or even (gasp!) my hands to do what the food processor could do, albeit more slowly and inconveniently.
Still, I was happy when my mom gave me a 3.5-cup mini food chopper for my birthday one year, and figured it would be a good placeholder until the day I got the real thing. Little did I know this little food chopper would become one of my most-used, essential kitchen appliances, and that — even years after finally getting a full-size food processor — I would love it even more than its bigger, more expensive older sibling.