Friday Favorites: Kitchen Essentials

Friday, November 9, 2012

This is the time of year when everyone becomes an amateur chef. Whether you are cooking for a day or a lifetime, having the proper kitchen tools makes cooking more enjoyable and the food taste better. I don't know exactly how, but it just does. Building a proper kitchen has taken me years. Finally, I'm to the point where I feel like I have 90% of the essentials. Here are a few of my favorite go-to kitchen items.  

  
  1. Cast Iron Pot— Not only is my Le Creuset red pot aesthetically pleasing (I leave it on the stove top permanently), it makes everything heat evenly and taste delicious. Worth the cost? Absolutely!  
  2. Spatulas— I have four silicone spatulas in my utensil holder (three large and one mini). They are perfect for mixing and scraping. And since I cook with a lot of curry and turmeric, I usually reach for the orange or yellow spatula to avoid visible stains. 
  3. Food Processor— It's true, making pesto in a blender is torture. This wedding present has made life 1,000 times better. Chopping nuts? No problem. Dicing onions? Five seconds flat. Make room on your counter for this essential appliance! (Honestly, I don’t know how I lived so long without one.)  
  4. Silt Baking Mats— These rubber mats are perfect for baking and make clean up easy. I use them regularly when I whip up weekly batches of granola.  
  5. MicroplaneThis is another recent acquisition and I love how easy it is to use. Plus it's super affordable. Try adding citrus zest to desserts or poultry. You'll notice how that little extra zest adds bright fresh flavor to any dish.
  6. Chef’s Knife— There is nothing quite as nice as cutting with a sharp knife. Fortunately, Spouseman contributed this to our relationship. We have this knife, which makes slicing and dicing a cinch.  
  7. Measuring cups— I have a lot of measuring cups. Make that A LOT. Nesting measuring cups are great for baking, while Pyrex glass measuring bowls are essential for large batches of soup or jam.    
  8. Electric Stand Mixer— My red Kitchen Aid mixer was a Christmas gift long ago (thanks, Mom!). I use it constantly. The stainless steel bowl and attachments make everything from bread to whipped meringue. I suggest giving this appliance a well-deserved permanent counter spot.  
Do you cook? What’s your favorite kitchen essential?

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