Without exception, every fall I find myself spending more and more time in the kitchen. There's something about cooking warm food and joining as a family around the island that feels so appropriate for the season. While baking the other evening, it dawned on me that, while I've shared plenty of recipes, I've never shared a list of my go-to tools. Here are 18 of my favorite kitchen products and appliances:
For years I used neon green oven mitts (reminiscent of Shrek hands) that made baking a...less than pretty experience. It seems silly, but now anytime I slip on these grippy pink pot holders, whether I'm pulling out freshly baked cookies or a loaf of bread, they make the whole process a little more enjoyable.
My parents own a similar serrated utility knife and it's kind of like the MVP of cutlery - I use it for everything from slicing Sloan's apples to all of the vegetables required for a salad and despite how frequently I reach for it, I swear it never dulls.
We love this toaster oven so much that we have one at home and in the office. No matter what you're making, it always comes out perfectly (and special shoutout to the Hash Browns setting).
The biggest, most unnecessary splurge of quarantine, and G's birthday present to me, is certainly one of my favorite things we own. We use it every day, for iced coffees, to add to our water bottles, and perhaps most importantly, in festive cocktails.
I make homemade pizza every Sunday and this is the pizza stone that I heat up an hour before I'm ready to start putting the pies in the oven. It maintains heat beautifully and results in crusts that are both crisp, but light and airy.
We have two sizes of these cutting boards and they're the absolute best (they grip the counter, never slide around, and are machine-washable).
My dad sent us this lime squeezer after attempting to make margaritas at our place with our (what I'd thought was a totally decent?) version. Turns out, he was right and this lives up to its claim of getting 25% more juice in every squeeze.
Another great dad gift: a small Cuisinart food processor. We also own the large version, which is great for meals with more people, but also a bit of an inconvenience to access and use. This one is now something we reach for upwards of five times a week, whether we're chopping garlic, whipping up a simple salad dressing, or breaking up chocolate. It's a complete kitchen workhorse!
A great way to ensure whatever you're freezing stays as fresh as the day you sealed it, this is a tool we use (particularly for leftovers) all the time.
I use this to scoop ice cream and perfectly portioned sizes of cookie dough. I reach for this one at least a few times a week.
When this fancy wine opener arrived on our doorstep, I gave G a hard time for investing in what I thought was yet another exorbitantly expensive gadget. But as it turns out, it only gives the illusion that it's pricey since it removes corks with such ease with just the press of a button), which is saying a lot from someone who's forced many a cork into a bottle of wine. I would have justified a high price tag since it works so well, so it was only that much better when I found out it's less than $18.
A kitchen scale is a great tool when you're ready to take your kitchen skills up a notch. We weigh our coffee beans every morning (sounds intense, but it results in a great cup of coffee), and I swear my cookies/cakes/pizza dough is significantly better since all the measurements are now so precise.
We go through a lot of bread in our house, but it still helps having a good way to store it and keep from getting stale too quickly. We now use these bags (plus these papers), which make a big difference.
I always loved the idea of making homemade nut milks (the store-bought variety never appealed to me), but the overnight process and cheese cloth situation kept me from ever trying it on my own. This machine allows you to pour in the right amount of nuts and water and it magically grinds it up in a matter of minutes (plus it washes remarkably easily), resulting in incredible homemade nut milks. Bonus: The booklet of inventive recipes (the chocolate mint almond milk recipe is a favorite) it comes with should not be overlooked. (#gifted)
If you're looking for a way to drink more tea, you should consider buying one of these organizers and packing it full of various flavors of your favorite tea bags. It's one of the most satisfying ways to "shop" for tea from your pantry.
G uses this Bluicer for his green juice and I love it for smoothies and milk shakes. I appreciate that it's only one machine that can either juice or blend, depending on what you're looking to do. (#gifted)
Not sure what makes these frying pans so great, but if G asked for them for his birthday, you know they're good (since he does more research and is one of the most savvy consumers I know).
This tumbler with a straw changed my life. I used to be perpetually dehydrated, often forgetting to drink any water for days on end (I survived on coffee, iced tea, lemonade, and soda) and this made the process of drinking so much better. I own two, as does G, and I bought one for Sloan as soon as I realized they had an adorable version for kids as well.