While I am exploring the reworking possibility of my job and trying to figure out how to cram all the food I eat into a carrier that won’t make it look like I am going on a week long cruise, I thought I would show what I like to use in my kitchen all the time. I really enjoy cooking and have a few gadgets, but really the basics are what make cooking at home easy on a daily basis. You don’t have to have a lot of fancy equipment, but a few good pieces of quality things can make a difference.
Here are the things I use pretty much daily:
1. A good quality chef’s knife. This thing is amazing! I never thought much about the quality of knives until my sister gifted this knife to John.
2. The Magic Bullet blender. Yes, I fell prey to an infomercial. Actually I fell prey, but did not purchase. My mother gave it to me We use this thing all the time! It is wonderful for doing my protein waffles, whipping up cream, chopping nuts, grinding spices, making smoothies. I have had it for probably 5 or 6 years now.
3. The coffee maker and espresso machine: Nuff said. Wait. Not enough said – I would like a supreme machine of each, but no $$ for that.
4. Good heavy-bottom fry pan and lid. I use this at least once a day. This is always used for sauteing my broccoli. Since there is only 2 of us in the house, it is nice to have a smaller pan.
5. Food scale. I weigh pretty much everything. It is such a habit now that I don’t mind and really don’t notice much. I get portion distortion if I don’t weigh, especially with nut butters and grains. I also weigh in grams because it is more accurate.
6. Toaster Oven. This is the one I got from CSN. I love it! It is great for cooking single or 2 servings of something. Again, with just 2 of us, it is such a waste to heat up the whole oven for a serving of baked clam strips or roasted cauliflower. This is a convection oven, which really makes a difference.
Things I use a lot, but not daily:
8. Hot air popper. Not for what you would think, though. I use it to roast coffee! I have a bigger 2kg roaster, but it languishes because it needs a special power hookup ($$$) that we don’t have since we moved here. Fresh roasted coffee is da bomb!
9. Parchment paper. Seriously – if you have never used this stuff, you have to try it. Line your baking pans with this and you won’t have to soak and wash the pans after baking something. I like the no clean up aspect of it. Nothing sticks to it. It’s also great for making steaming packets to bake or put on the grill.
9. Kitchenaid Mixer. I love this machine. You can do a lot of things with it and get all kinds of attachments for it – we have the ice cream maker. At first, I got this because it was a great deal ($100 and it is the 5-1/2 quart one!) and wasn’t sure how much we would actually use it. Turns out quite a bit. Plus the green is a really cool color for a mixer.
10. Microplane grater. This is great for zesting lemons, grating nutmeg (which should always be done fresh), parmesan cheese, chocolate, fresh ginger. A very nifty tool.
Question: What are some of your most used kitchen items?