Sometimes the smallest of things can make your day a whole lot better. ~Unknown
Having the right equipment to do whatever it is you’re trying to do, can make all the difference in the world. The kitchen probably has more gadgets, equipment and items in it than anywhere else in your house, other than the garage or maybe a workroom/workshop. As a former home economics teacher and someone who loved gourmet cooking and baking, I had a huge supply of items in our previous kitchen. So when we downsized a few years ago, deciding what to keep and what to part with was a rough decision. Obviously, I’m not sharing everything we have, but the following are some items I just can’t be without. Life in my kitchen is so much better with them.
- A great set of knives – I was fortunate to work at Williams-Sonoma 10-13 years ago as seasonal help for the holidays. We had just purchased our cottage and many items from our house were going to the cottage. All employees at WS got a 40% discount on any of their non-electrical items, including knives and cookware. One of the employees worked primarily in their cutlery section and in checking around, Wusthof (pronounced Voostof) knives were highly recommended, not just by her, but by several other long-term employees. My recommendation would be to buy the best set of knives that you can afford. Some of the worst cuts I got were from using old, dull knives.
- The Santoku knife is awesome for cutting raw food into very thin slices. I love oriental cooking and with this knife you can slice onions that are paper-thin. It can be used anyway a chef’s knife can be used.
- I have several sets of mixing bowls, but my go-to ones are my nesting prep bowls. I use these for everything!
- I love my stacking cooling rack. It really comes in handy when I‘m baking lots of cookies, pies, or muffins.
- My mini-sized spatula is perfect for taking that first slice of brownie or lasagna out of the pan, along with all the other uses you’ll find for it.
- Along with my 2 sets of regular measuring cups, I also have a set of odd-sized measuring cups: 1 1/2 cup, 3/4 cup and 2/3 cup.
- This is my favorite grater. It had belonged to my mother, but I really love the way you can grip it at the top. My hands hurt if I grip anything thin or tiny for too long a time and this works perfect for me. I also love the way all the grating sizes work, plus its dishwasher safe.
- Maybe it’s because my hands are starting to get a bit of arthritis in them, but I have found that using this lemon press I’m able to get a lot more juice from a lemon versus me trying to squeeze it. It works like a charm and I’ve also used this same one for limes.
- This is my favorite vegetable peeler. I love how the blade swivels just enough and it’s sharp enough to do a great job of peeling your vegetables.
- I love my Longaberger pottery! Their pottery is vitrified, which means it can be used in the microwave, dishwasher, freezer and oven. You can literally take it from the refrigerator directly into the oven. In addition, it cleans up so easily. I have several of their baking dishes, along with a few small bowls and some of their mugs. Their mugs are perfect for serving coffee to your guest.
- My 11 cup Cuisinart food processor can be used for everything from mixing my biscuits, slicing vegetables, pureeing, and so much more. My first one was given to me as a thank you gift from my sister. She told me never store it away, but to leave it on the counter. It’s heavy and if it were stored in a cupboard, I wouldn’t use it nearly as much as I currently do.
- The same is true with my 5 quart Kitchen Aid Mixer. It’s really heavy, so I just leave it on our countertop. I know they have a special cabinet that’s made specifically to hold your heavy small appliances that can be swung up to counter level, but I never had one and probably never will. Using this is so much better than a hand mixer and a lot less tiring.
I have a lot more kitchen gadgets and items that help to make cooking and baking a lot easier, but these are a few that are at the top of my list. If you have any special gadgets you love, feel free to share them in the comment section below. I’d love to see what’s at the top of your list!
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