I am woe to admit that I have not been spending nearly as much time in the kitchen as I should be. That’s not in a way of, “Oh, I’ve found so many time saving strategies that I have halved my time in the kitchen.” No, it’s more like me telling you that I know that I love the #4 and really like the #6 on the Jimmy John’s menu. (I also love the #3, but then get such horrible heartburn all day that it’s not worth it.) Bad sign, huh?
Still, we’re trying to buckle down on our budget, so I’m going to try to be spending more time in the kitchen. I just love kitchen tools and gadgets! So, today, I’m going to wander through my kitchen and share some of my favorites.
My Most Often Used Kitchen Tools and Gadgets
1. KitchenAid Artisan Mixer – I have had my shiny red stand mixer (my very first stand mixer) for almost four years, and I love it just as much now as I did when I got it. This is, by far, my favorite kitchen tool.
2. Can Strainer – While I know this seems like such a simple item, I use mine (I have two) for getting liquids out of cans, as well as far getting the water out of tuna. So handy! (If Eric and I could just agree on where they go once they’re clean, it would be even better.)
3. Pyrex Storage Containers – Sometime in the last year, we got rid of all of our plastic storage containers and bought a couple of sets of Pyrex storage containers with lids. We love these so much that I wish we had switched sooner. I like that these hold up better, don’t discolor because of the foods we put in, and we’re not slowly eating plastic from cheap plastic containers. Bonus all around!
4. Presto PopLite Hot Air Popper – There aren’t a whole lot of ways to make so many family memories with a product that you can pick up for just under $20, but the air popper is one of them! I loved this kitchen appliance as a kid, and I love it just as much as an adult. Fabulous product to have for healthier snacks.
5. Extended Set of Measuring Cups and Spoons – This isn’t the set that I have (pictured), but you get the idea. I love my set of cups that has things like a 3/4 cup and a 2/3 cup. It’s just handy, as well as being less likely to get the one cup dirty that I’m going to need over and over. (I also really love my set of metal measuring cups, but that’s a different set too.)
6. Adjustable Measuring Cup – I have an adjustable measuring cup that I got from an at-home party, so it’s not this one. But, I love it. I actually have two. I like it for measuring things that would stick to the sides of a normal measuring cup.
7. Silpat Mats – I went to a Demarle at Home party earlier this year and got a couple of these mats (amongst other things). I just love them. You use them with a cookie sheet (or with a Demarle perforated pan, like I have). Things don’t stick to them (even kitchen messes) and they help prevent burning. Plus, if you pay attention while watching things like Chopped and Iron Chef on the Food Network, you’ll see them in use.
8. Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker for K-Cups – While this is primarily used by Eric, this gets used every weekend. (Plus, I like that the old model, which we have, is red and matches my KitchenAid Mixer.) This is a less expensive option if you want to use K-cups but don’t plan on using it many times throughout the day. For us, this was the perfect machine to get, since he only uses it when he is home from work and I only make tea in it very occasionally.
9. Condiment Cups – We love having a set of condiment cups in our cabinet. Ours are slightly bigger than these (probably more like this size). We put everything in them from ketchup to little snacks. For any time that a condiment just doesn’t play nicely on the plate, we like this as a time out for said condiment.
10. A Big Yellow Bowl - My kitchen is not my kitchen without a big yellow bowl. I have three big yellow bowls. (They are all plastic though, not like this nice Fiesta one shown.)
When I was little, I had to do one of those activities where they ask you how to make a recipe you like and then the teacher compiles it into a hilarious cookbook for Moms to check out how clueless their little kids are about baking (“A gallon of milk in those pancakes, Susie? Yes, this year’s book will be pure gold!” the teacher probably thinks as she dictates.) One of my directions for making peanut butter cookies was to get out a big yellow bowl. My Mom used our big yellow Pyrex bowl to make the cookies. Apparently I thought that was an important step in cookie making. (When Molly did the same activity in preschool, one of her steps was to put all of the ingredients “in the mixer.”)
When I got married, Mom was sure to make sure I had a big yellow bowl to use too. (My Mom is good like that.)
What are some of your favorite kitchen tools and gadgets?
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