If your significant other is anything like mine, he (or she) is great at shopping as long as he's been given a list of exactly what to buy. It's ok, I don't mind it at all. I always get exactly what I want for my birthday or Christmas, because I have given him a good list! I make sure to give him a long list of things to choose from though, so I still get to be surprised at what he chooses.
For this holiday, I thought I'd help you out. I've pulled together a list of my favorite and must have kitchen gadgets and gear. If you want to cook like I cook - then you should check out the gear that I love! Just forward this link to anyone who asks you want you want! These aren't just ideas or things I've been admiring - these are the actual things that I have in my kitchen and use all the time. These really are all my current favorites.
Enjoy! (and good luck!)
My Favorite kitchen appliances.
I have limited storage space and limited budget, so I'm only going to buy things that really make a difference in my life. And these are those things. I don't mind paying a premium for a product that is going to be worth my money. I won't spend my money lightly, but I am a big believer that you get what you pay for, and there are some things that I really think are worth paying extra for.
If you don't already have a good quality, high powered blender, then this needs to be first on your list. I use mine almost every single day. Sometimes several times a day. For that kind of use, it's totally worth it. Mine is a refurbished model. You can get these for sometimes $100 - $200 off the full retail price, but it comes with the same warranty, and when you pull it out of the box it will be so shiny and beautiful, you will have no idea it's got a refurbished motor. You can go here to get a refurbished model like I have.
Not just any slow cooker though - I love mine because it can go on the stove. This is really one-pot cooking. You don't have to use another pan to brown meat or saute vegetables. The insert pot is metal so it goes right on the stove for browning or just to get something up to a boil. I love this thing.
My food processor is old, but it goes and goes. I got it for a wedding present, and we've been married for a long time. So this isn't the exact model I have, because mine isn't made any more. But this is the current version of the same brand, and this is what I would buy if I was replacing mine.
I sat on this guy for over a year before I used it. I was a little intimidated. But once I finally got it out and gave it a try, I was converted! It is awesome. You can cook a whole chicken in 25 minutes. You can make perfect boiled eggs, with shells that fall right off, in 5 minutes. You can make amazing homemade bone broths that tastes like they simmered for hours - in just an hour. It really is amazing, and there is no need to be intimidated - modern pressure cookers are really safe.
This is a newer item for me, I've only had it for a couple of months. But so far I am loving it. I use it to make pancakes with the kids away from the flame of the stove, we've used it to make grilled sandwiches and quesadillas, we've even used it for bacon and eggs. It is quickly becoming an important piece in our kitchen.
Other Kitchen Essentials
I consider these things to be staples in my kitchen. These are things that you just need one good one. You don't need a whole cabinet stocked with pricey chef's knives and enameled pots. You need one good one, and you'll be set.
In the fall and winter especially, I use my big Dutch Oven several times a week. It's great for making soups, sauces, stews, applesauce, and more.
A Good Chef's Knife
I know it seems like a lot for a knife, and I usually don't advocate spending a lot on one item. But for a knife, it's worth it. A good knife saves you time! You can cut faster because it slides right through things, and cut fruit and veggies last longer when their cut edges aren't all bruised and squished from a dull knife. They stay sharp longer, so you don't have to sharpen them as often. And you are actually less likely to cut yourself with a sharp knife. It's worth it.
But this gadget is not expensive! I've had more expensive knife sharpeners, and they don't work as well as this. This thing is easy to use and it works really well. So even if a better knife isn't in your budget, you can still keep the knives you've got really sharp with this.
A vacuum might not seem like a kitchen tool - but when you have kids and pets, it is! This vacuum hangs on a wall just around the corner from my kitchen, and I use it several times a day. It is one of my favorite things in the whole house. It saves me so much time, not having to haul out my bigger vacuum every day. And with four kids and two cats and white kitchen floors, I would be vacuuming every day. They make cheaper versions of this same brand, but don't be fooled - they aren't nearly as powerful. I've had the lower power versions, and they are ok, but this thing is amazing. It will suck up just about anything, and the batter lasts long enough to cover most of my whole house before it runs out.
Cutting Boards - Various Sizes
We have these cutting boards in several sizes, a couple of each size. I use them at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I like having lots of cutting boards so I can be working on multiple things at once. We often just eat right off the cutting board or use them to serve on.
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