food, home

kitchen must haves

I’m a sucker for a good kitchen gadget, anything to make less work or less mess. But sadly there are too many that end up in my drawers and cupboards unused and covered in dust (hello dumpling folder). So here are my must-have kitchen items in random order – the ones that I use A L L the time. They are tried and true and have more than likely been purchased in multiples (because now I know I can’t live without them).

1. Mini Food Processor

WHY? This might be my number one go-to item, or at least tied with the mini whisk (see number 4). I use this for everything. You can easily chop garlic with it. I use it to make salad dressings and dips, small batches of pesto or chimichurri. I use this at least once a day and it’s always the one item that is going in and out of the dishwasher. It saves on so much time because you don’t have to chop everything and you can literally just throw it in and push a button. I like the small size because we are only two people and I never have to make a ton of anything, however I do have a large one, too for when we have people over I need to make a lot of something, but it’s just not as convenient as this little one.

2. Quarter Sized Sheet Pans

WHY? Need to just roast a few things but don’t want to pull out the giant pan? These quarter sized sheet pans are amazing for just that. They are also a great size for a slab pie, too. And because they are a lot smaller than the typical pan, they easily fit into the dishwasher.

3. Silicone Jar Scraper

WHY? If I have to only have one of these in my house it will be this size and it’s because it has universal use. It fits into every jar while still being able to mix everything and scrape the bowl.

4. Mini Whisk

WHY? The size. That’s it. Because it is so small you can use it beat eggs, make salad dressings or really just mix anything without having to make a mess with a large one. My favorite one is actually from Crate and Barrel, but sadly they don’t make it anymore. Good thing I have four of them!

5. Classic Chef’s Knife

WHY? Truth be told I was actually afraid of using a big knife like this. I was convinced I was always going to cut myself, but when I actually started using it I realized how much nicer it was to use a proper, sharp knife.

6. Kitchen Shears

WHY? They are sharper than most scissors, are dishwasher safe, some even come apart for easier washing and when you need to chop scallions and don’t want to get out a cutting board and knife, these are the best thing for the job.

7. Berry Colander

WHY? So important to wash all your fruits and vegetables before eating them. So why not just put them in one thing that can wash them and look pretty at the same time so that you don’t have dirty another bowl.

8. Salt Cellar

WHY? Being able to grab a pinch of salt in the middle of cooking without having to open anything or worry about over salting from the shaker is why I like this in my kitchen.

9. Large Mesh Sieve

WHY? Cooking with a can of beans? Or rinsing off berries? Want to sift flour? Or add a little confectioners sugar on top of your waffle? This is a multipurpose tool. And those four reasons listed above are big reason why I really like in our kitchen.

10. Large Soup Pot

WHY? It’s cold in the winter and I like to make a lot of soups, chilis, pasta sauces – really anything warm and a large pot like this means I also can double the recipe and have leftovers for lunch (probably dinner, too).

11. Prep Bowls

WHY? My husband faults me for finding the smallest cutting board possible and trying to cut everything on it, but never have enough room for everything (go figure), so these mini prep bowls are great for putting your cut up veggies in and not have to worry about the cutting board space. I also like to make small dips and salad dressings in these, too.

12. Silicone Tongs

WHY? A good pair of tongs makes everything easier, but having one that grips is even better for mixing things up so that you know you coated everything just right.

13. Comfortable Grater

WHY? Ever grate an entire block of cheese or cucumber for a dip? It can hurt if you are making a lot of something and the design of this one is so nice with the round handle at the top and curved design.

14. Giant Kitchen Towels

WHY? Maybe because I’m messy. I love flour sacks towels because of their size. And these ones are just pretty.

15. Batter Bowel with Spout

WHY? Having to mix anything in a bowl and then pour it into another while making sure you don’t make a mess can be tricky. It’s much easier when the bowl has a spout, trust me.

16. Melamine Bowl

WHY? A multipurpose large acrylic bowl does wonders in the kitchen. I usually use mine to mix up salads or as a trash bowl so that I don’t have to keep dragging the garbage out.

17. Pasta Bowls

WHY? I plate everything in pasta bowls. I rarely get out dinner plates these days. Large pasta bowls tend to be the size of a salad plate, but with a lip. They’re great for any meal!

18. Portable Blue-Tooth Speaker

WHY? Okay, not a kitchen tool admittedly, BUT I like to listen to music while we cook and this guy just makes everything sound better, plus because it’s portable we take it outside on the patio.

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