It’s no secret that I am a frequent occupant of the kitchen. It is my playground. One of the most magical experiences was creating a wedding registry for my husband and I and getting to request a ton of kitchen gadgets that I had always dreamt of. Cooking is a skill that I spent a lot of 2019 trying to develop, so I had an idea already of what I would want to ask for to make the whole thing easier.
I don’t have a super modern kitchen by today’s standards. My oven is considered an older oven. I am the dishwasher. It’s significantly smaller than most of my friends’ kitchens, but it does everything it needs to!
Here are a few things that make my life easier, help me be creative, and help me make food that tastes good:
I’ve decided that an oven is an obvious one here, so I’m not going to give you a recommendation.
KitchenAid Mixer: I have this model. As a kid, I always wondered why my mom didn’t want one. She instead had hand mixers, which were still very effective. Sure, it’s a bulky and heavy appliance. When I first got mine, it it made its home in a bottom kitchen cabinet and it was a pain to keep pulling it out and putting it back. Nowadays, especially since quarantine began, it has made its permanent home on my countertop. It’s a workhorse unlike any other and 100% worth the investment. I haven’t even begun to dabble in the magical land of attachments.
High-Speed Blender: Some folks splurge and get a VitaMix. One day I may be among those people. I found a great high-speed blender a few years ago, marvelously marked down at a Home Goods. This is the model I have, and I definitely found it for a fraction of the listed price. If you’re someone that intends to use this as a food processor as well, mine isn’t the best for this purpose and I have instead also purchased a very compact KitchenAid food processor. I use this blender for my favorite thick smoothies as well as when I make homemade nut milk.
Instant Pot: I blame Lisa Bass for this one right here, but trust me, I have nothing but gratitude to her for getting me into this lifestyle. My husband purchased an Instant Pot for me for Valentines Day 2019 after I had talked his ear off about all the things I wanted to do with it. I have this model, which is the mac daddy 8-quart. I had planned on getting a 6-quart, but my dear husband thought the larger option would be better. Although it requires more space, it has still been a blessing! It is so versatile and I have thoroughly enjoyed this as an addition to my kitchen.
Garlic Press: I made the mistake of putting a very ordinary garlic press on my Target registry. I ignored numerous bad reviews on the product but thought that it couldn’t be too bad since it only had one simple job to do. I was WRONG. This was my worst choice on my registry. I’m grateful that I was gifted it, but I had to upgrade to something that worked and didn’t waste food. When one of my friends from church hosted a virtual Pampered Chef party, I knew it was time to finally get a proper garlic press. This is the one that I have and I am not exaggerating to you when I say that this has been a game changer. It’s easy to clean and it absolutely destroys garlic cloves. Very little is actually left behind. I highly recommend this or any “nicer” garlic press.
Grater: Here is the one that we have. If you or your spouse love cheese, do yourself a favor, step away from the bag of shredded cheese and give grated cheese a chance. This particular one is great because it has a container within that will catch the falling shreds and will also measure it for you.
Potato Masher: Maybe the name isn’t specifically “potato” masher, but this is certainly the food I use it exclusively for. I am a potato-loving girl and I make homemade mashed potatoes fairly often and there is no substitute for a good masher. I don’t have a specific recommendation. I think we got ours at Walmart before we got married and I was making us dinner one night. Just a tip: clean the masher right after finishing mashing potatoes because it can be a pain to clean off later on.
Digital Infrared Thermometer: Now this is one way to have fun in the kitchen. This is useful to me especially as I make yogurt in the Instant Pot.
Cutting Boards: Notice that was plural? Gotta have a couple, if you ask me. We have my husband’s trusty plastic cutting board that is kept solely because I think it’s more hygienic for when we cut meat. We have two 12″x16″ acacia cutting boards that I have gotten a lot of good use out of as well.
4-Cup Measuring Cup: We have individual measuring cups and spoons from the Hearth and Hand line at Target, however, this is a great tool that I use especially when I need to strain something, such as for nut milk making and bone broth. It pairs well with a 5″ stainless steel strainer.
Stasher Bags: I have so many Stasher bags I have accumulated over the years. For a good stretch of time, I was buying one every paycheck. Amazon lists them for about $11 a pop, and since I was looking into ways to reduce my need for plastic, this is something I decided to invest in. They’re easy to clean, perfect for freezing prepped veggies, and they do last.
Okay, that’s enough.
Back to the kitchen I go!