Monday, July 18, 2016

My Kitchen Essentials


Sometimes I pretend like we are downsizing and have to live in a tiny house. It keeps me from buying extra gadgets and doo-dads we don't need and it keeps me more organized (something I ALWAYS need).

When it comes to kitchen gear, I am blessed to have a wide variety of just about everything we could need but truthfully, only a small portion of it gets used regularly. Here are some of my "can't live without and would keep them if we moved into a tiny house" items. (NOTE: all Amazon links are aff links)

Pineapple Slicer
This is a gadget I just bought two weeks ago. Friends had been telling me for years that it was something worth having and I just couldn't stand behind buying something that only had one job. Well, I finally spent $4 at ALDI and bought it. It's totally life-changing. For all the times I wasted times and wasted fruit on pineapple, I am sorry. My friends were right. This thing is WORTH it. I cannot link to Aldi's version but above is a link to one similar on Amazon. 

8" Chef's Knife

We watch America's Test Kitchen pretty religiously and they always have the best reviews on products. If I could only own one knife, it would be this Victorinox chef's knife. It's large enough to cut up a watermelon without a wrestling match, durable and easy to maneuver for minced garlic or chopping peanuts. Plus, great to handle for all of my regular cutting, chopping, slicing and dicing. 

Stackable Melamine Mixing Bowls

In my imaginary tiny house, obviously I would need to maximize all space for storage. Stackable mixing bowls are a must in any kitchen. My personal favorites are from Williams Sonoma and have a rubber bottom which helps them to grip the counters when I'm stirring or using an electric mixer. In said imaginary house I would probably get the kind of bowls that nest with all measuring cups and spoons, but the link above is my personal fave that I own. My original set came with four bowls. I have dropped one of them and shattered it, but the remaining three have been with me for five years now and are still going strong.

10" Skillet

This is something I just got at Costco a few weeks ago. I'd been in the market for new frying pans for a little while and though I had planned on getting these per ATK's review, the price of these GreenPans at Costco was too good to pass up. I am a huge Le Creuset fan, so I knew I would love cooking on ceramic. These pans do not disappoint (so far). They're truly non-stick, I can cook an egg without any fat added to the pan and they come clean very easily. If I could only take one with me, the 10" is the keeper for sure. They're on sale through the end of the month at Costco so if you are also in the market for some new pans, snatch them up! $32!!!!

Dutch Oven

As I mentioned above, I'm a big Le Creuset fan. Their products are as beautiful as they are hard working. I snagged a 5.5 qt dutch oven at the outlet mall for $75 six years ago for Hubs as a birthday gift and it's been the best gift I've ever given him...for myself :) It's the perfect size for a batch of soup or chowder and cooks so consistently every time. I just LOVE this pot. 

VitaMix Blender
I never would have guessed I could love a blender so much...but I really do. It seems excessive to spend so much on something I really only use to make smoothies. I know it can do so many other things, but I truly love it for how it blends leafy greens. It's really important to me to have green smoothies and this is the ONLY blender (I've tried MANY) that truly liquifies the greens while consistently blending all of the other ingredients I add (chia seeds, frozen fruits, ice, etc). In my opinion there are no other blenders on the market. Only VitaMix. 

Toaster Oven

Obviously space is an issue in my pretend tiny house, but in truth, I use this oven more than my standard sized double oven. It perfectly toasts every muffin and piece of bread, it makes every slice of pizza perfectly crispy, it's never ruined a pan of brownies and it is large enough to roast a small chicken. Actually, I've made perfect chicken in this toaster oven *every. single. time* I have tried. Can't say that for my big ovens! Not to mention, it keeps my house from getting too hot in the summer when I need to roast or bake something. This thing is ABSOLUTELY worth it. 

Tervis Cups
If you know me IRL, you know I don't go anywhere without my Tervis. A 24oz tumbler with a lid and a hard plastic straw might as well be my calling card. They are durable as heck, keep beverages hot or cold for impressive lengths of time and they are guaranteed for life. A younger me thought drinking out of "plastic cups" was tacky, but real-life, had two kids and been around the block me knows...plastic cups are excellent. Having glassware is nice for parties but we use Tervis for all day-to-day and outdoor entertaining. Plus they come in tons of cute designs so you can play with them and have fun. My boys even use the small tumblers with lids and straws as sippy cups. 

Super Pot
There is no link here because they haven't been made in decades, but the Oster Super Pot is my slow cooker and it's magnificent. Now the non-stick coating is chipping and it's wearing out around every edge so I know its days are extremely numbered, but it's given us a damn good run. This pot gets hot enough to brown meat so all soups, stews, braised dishes and chowders can be done completely in one pot. Plus, it's ENORMOUS. There's a reason they named it the Super Pot. Why it's no longer manufactured, I don't know. I plan to get this "multi cooker" by Cuisinart as the Super Pots replacement unless I can find something similar by Breville that gets great reviews. I saw this Cuisinart on demo at Crate and Barrel a few years ago and it did the job well but I love Breville products since having their toaster oven.

Pressure Cooker

We owned this for probably a year or more before I took it out of the box. In honesty, it intimidated me. That's all. However now I can't imagine my kitchen without this - the whole set. I use the smaller pot with pressure lid to braise meats and make stews in record time. Last week for the first time I used it to make brown rice - which usually takes an hour - in 25 minutes. HELLO!!! Amazing. The 8qt pot is my stock pot. I make all of our stock and I wouldn't have the patience to do it with anything but a pressure cooker. If you're looking for a great wedding gift for a kitchen enthusiast, this 5 piece set is the perfect thing. 

In retrospect, these things absolutely would not all fit in a tiny house. Good thing we are staying put here!!

What are your kitchen essentials? 

1 comment:

  1. In my kitchen I discover the comfortable siting arrangement while cooking the food I love this and also I discover some stylish chairs from Chairthrone.
    In front of kitchen slab someone told me to put slab chair, but i love to enjoy the most stylish chairs which offer comfort while sitting during dinning.