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Tools to save you time in the kitchen.
I am such a sucker for kitchen resources. Bowls, plates, spoons, mixers, and even cherry pitters. What’s a cherry pitter you ask? A nifty little tool that pops the pits right out of cherries and olives, and makes making fresh cherry pies and olive appetizers for cocktail parties a DREAM. I am ALL about the right tool for the right job, which you can learn more about here in my 5 Tips for Kitchen Success! Below, though, is a list of some of the things I can’t do without in my kitchen, from ingredients I use for cooking, to the appliances I can’t live without (hello Kitchen Aid Mixer, let me count the ways in which I love you!).
I wanted to mention a few single use kitchen resources, because I feel like they get a bad reputation. In the whole case I make for using the right tool for the right job, though, single use items are heavyweight champions, because they cut prep time. And spending less time on the small stuff is important, because then you have time for the bigger stuff. Like the Fox themed birthday cake I am planning for my son!
I already mentioned that I love this aforementioned cherry pitter, and this avocado peeler/pitter. In this category would also be, though, this garlic peeler, and this garlic press, my pizza stone (though I also use it for baking bread, so maybe not), and even these corn on the cob holders. But I LOVE these corn on the cob holders and I can tell you why in two words. Melted. Butter. This way I can take the corn and roll it all over a stick of melted butter, sprinkle it with my favorite French Grey sea salt, and INDULGE. It’s less mess, better coverage of the corn, and some people may say pshaw! Waste! I say, butter my corn!
And honestly, if we’re being realistic, a wine screw has but one function. To get my wine open and I mean now! Ahem. Sorry for that. I have perhaps been pregnant and nursing too long…. Ahem. Best not to dwell on that! I go basic here. Because I have about five of them hanging around. Why should you have to go to another room when you’re entertaining and another bottle needs to be opened NOW?
I have about five different pie plates, from this basic Pyrex version, to this prettier it-begs-for-apples version, to this removable bottom one that I love using for quiche. And this pie crust shield was seriously a game changer. Our oven in our house right now is wonky, and I needed a shield to keep it from getting too crispy around the edges before my fillings were done. Just thinking about this makes me want pie! Blueberry please, blueberry lemon in fact, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting into it. Mmmmm!
I am also of the mind that you can’t have too many mixing bowls in your kitchen. I am always reaching for another one. A nesting set like this one, or this one, are critical I think. Frankly, I have at least two sets and could always use another one. Maybe this is a bland addition to the kitchen resources page, but seriously. Cakes don’t make without messing up some bowls!
I also find 101 uses for ramekins. From using them for brunch, to food prep, ramekins are a must. I have them in both half cup size, and one cup size, and I love these colorful ones for kids. I even occasionally serve soup in them. And of course, for French Onion soup they are a must! Again, maybe a boring kitchen resource, but then, if you have the Le Creuset ones, maybe not!
Pots and Skillets
I was introduced to Debuyer skillets by Chocolate & Zucchini (I LOVE this blog by the way! It whets my travel lust and my hunger at once!). These skillets are WONDERFUL! If, like me, you worry about the chemicals used to make nonstick skillets nonstick, then you might want to check these out. They are treated with beeswax which makes them almost naturally nonstick. I have this little one which I use for eggs, and this larger one which I use for – well, almost all of the things!
What DON’T I use my Debuyers for? Well, for one thing, I make this skillet pot pie every fall, and for that, I want Le Creuset. This Le Creuset skillet was on our wedding registry and folks, I did NOT think we’d get anything off of our registry. But we did, and this skillet is THE BEST. I sue it for frying things as well as those aforementioned pot pies. Basically, I get this one out for anything that requires a little heavier duty prep. I’d have two if I could! Kitchen Resources Wish list?
I’m really a big fan of Le Creuset, but right here at home we have Lodge products. And this Lodge dutch oven is a workhorse in my kitchen. I make soups in it ALL the time. It’s heavy duty, can be used in the oven or on the stove, and comes in at less than $75 dollars usually. Well kept and well maintained, though, and it will probably out last me. I don’t mind paying for quality products ya know? And with both this and Le Creuset – well, these items get handed down you know? Heirloom pots and skillets! Am I the only one who thinks that’s the coolest?
When I was growing up my mom had this food processor that forever lived on our counter. It was expensive, it was big, and it rarely got used. My mom didn’t cook much. It wasn’t because she didn’t WANT to, but a working mom with two kids and a husband who’s approach to money was Monopoly-game-esque doesn’t have much time for haute cuisine. So basically, I hated that food processor. But I cook frequently and have need of one. This one is similar to the one I bought years ago, and it works for me. It is neither to big nor too small. It obviously won’t hold up forever, but I have had it nearly ten years now, and it’s still chopping strong!
Oh my gosh my hand blender. I make a pot of soup nearly every week all year round, and I can’t imagine what I’d do if this hand blender quit. Run right out and by another one I guess! Pureeing soups in the pot means not getting scalded as you transfer from pot to blender to pot to bowl. It’s also faster. And we are always about home cooked food in my family’s mouth faster right?
And of course, most bakers will recommend a Kitchen Aid mixer, but I genuinely use it for so. Many. Things. Mashed potatoes. Bread. Cakes, cupcakes, cookies – you name it. I mix it in here. I also have a spiralizer attachment, and you cna get attachments for pasta, grating, sausage making – really the possibilities are endless. This is not an inexpensive item, but I got it for my birthday and Christmas combined one year, and oh my gosh. It was the best ever!
So these are a few of the things that help me in the kitchen. What kitchen resources can you not live without? Let’s chat about it in the comments!
And don’t forget to grab my 5 Quick Tips for Kitchen Success here!
Save yourself time and stress in the kitchen with these amazing secret weapons.