Aside from the fact that I’ve never been able to figure out why the classic from The Sound of Music is a Christmas favorite, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite things in my kitchen for this holiday season.
I plan on starting a series of blogs that cover kitchen essentials; consider this the first post. Some of the tools listed here are expensive, but if you feel like investing in something that would help you in the kitchen I highly recommend them. (And a disclaimer: I’m not being sponsored by any companies I mention. I just really, really like their products.)
On to My Favorite Things!
Each tool on this list makes my time in the kitchen a whole lot easier. You certainly don’t need each of these, especially the expensive tools, but I do recommend them if you’re going to be doing a lot of cooking.
- Glass Mixing Bowls
Mixing bowls are great in general but I especially love my glass mixing bowls. I bought them at Williams-Sonoma a long time ago and I do almost everything in them. They come in a variety of different sizes, look just as good on the countertop as on the table top, and they can handle both hot and cold foods. I even use them as the top half of a double boiler (as seen in my fudge recipe). That being said, I also have a set of Pyrex bowls given to my husband and I that I also use as mixing/storage bowls (they even have lids).
- A Stand Mixer
First, a stand mixer is a very handy thing to have in a kitchen. Yes, I do love to do certain steps by hand, such as kneading dough, but mostly I use my stand mixer. It’s usually faster and creates a superior product than one I could make by myself. Hand mixers certainly have their uses, but stand mixers can do much, much more, especially when you have the dough hook and paddle attachments.My stand-mixer of choice is my beautiful soft yellow KitchenAid® mixer that I adore.
- Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
The weight and the fact that they’re cast iron means enameled cast iron Dutch ovens regulate heat well, cooking food evenly. And because the cast iron is enameled you can cook acidic foods like tomatoes (acidic foods will harm regular cast iron).My pick? I love my Le Creuset® Dutch oven. My grandmother had a Le Creuset Dutch oven, my mom has one and when I went off on my own for the first time, she bought one for me. I usually use mine at least once a week. They’re incredible multi-taskers; you can make everything from braised dishes, stews, and soups to rice or risotto to jam and fried foods. Companies like Staub® and Emil Henry® make very good Dutch ovens as well.
- Silicon Spatulas (of All Kinds)
Silicon spatulas are amazing. You can use them to scoop, spread, scrape, flip and stir fry almost any type of food. They are usually resistant to very high heat and flexible enough to get into tight spaces or wiggle beneath difficult food. At the same time, they’re usually flexible and gentle with delicate food and easily-scratched surfaces.Another plus? They come in a rainbow of colors and designs!
- Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons
Measuring cups and spoons are a non-negotiable in a kitchen. Eyeballing works sometimes (and I’m definitely guilty of eyeballing when I probably shouldn’t be…), but sometimes you really have to have exact measurements. I’m also partial to stainless steel because it doesn’t absorb odors or bacteria, which makes them extremely hygienic.
- A Food Processor
A food processor is an amazing thing in a kitchen. It really does slice, dice, cut, chop, and blend. It’s also a fast and easy way to make pesto, hummus and especially pie crust. Food processors really do make life in the kitchen so much easier, but they are heavy, expensive and take up a bit of room. To me, it’s worth it, however, because doing certain tasks manually is very time consuming and the food doesn’t come out the way it’s supposed to.
So these are the tools in my kitchen that I love the most and probably use the most (I truly dislike cooking without them). As the series progresses, I’ll take a look at truly essential items in the kitchen that no one should be without.
Questions? Comments? Blog topic requests? Leave a comment below!