October 8, 2012

Five Kitchen Essentials

I spend a good amount of time in the kitchen cooking and baking.  Below are my favorite must-haves for the kitchen in addition to the basics you might already have.

1. KitchenAid.  I use my KitchenAid for everything!  It comes with two bowls and three attachments, and one of them is the dough hook which I use for a lot of my breads.  (My KitchenAid is the 4.5 quart size which is adequate for my needs.)  In addition to making cookies and cakes, I also use it as a shredder and to make applesauce.  I also have the slicing/shredder attachment which makes slicing potatoes and shredding zucchini a breeze.  Shredding mozzarella cheese (for homemade pizza!) Combined with the grinder attachment, I use the fruit and veggie strainer to make homemade applesauce.  (I used to use a food mill, but this is much easier since I make large batches at a time.)

2. Knife sharpener.  My knives are adequate, but certainly not top quality...However, any knife is a bad knife it is dull.  I finally have a simple knife sharpener, and I love having sharp knives again!  It has the proper preset angles ensuring proper sharpening.  (The one I linked to is not my own, but I really like that it has the two stage sharpening, which my own does not.)  I sharpen my knives every couple of uses, and it shows.  A visitor recently mentioned that the knife she was using was nice.  I explained that it was just sharp!  If you don't have one, they are incredibly affordable and will make your knives cut like new again!

3. Measuring tools.  To properly measure quantities of ingredients, a person must use dry and liquid measuring tools.  I like having various sizes of liquid measuring cups.  I use the one and two cup variations the most, but also have a very large 8 cup measuring cup.  (My son broke a 4 cup size, and my husband replaced it with the 8 cup.  I actually found the 4 cup size more versatile.)  AND my favorite that you may not have is a liquid measuring cup for teaspoons and tablespoons!  I use this all the time!  It measures up to two tablespoons (1 ounce) of liquid.

4. Rubber spatulas from Pampered Chef.  I prefer the Classic design.  In my baking, I tend to use two at a time.  These are heat resistant, so they are perfect for making gravy, jam, fudge, and No-Bake Cookies, in my opinion.  I also use the skinny spatula a lot, though my Mix N Scraper isn't used so much (because I have my handy KitchenAid!).  I have tried other brands of rubber spatulas, but nothing lasts like these Pampered Chef ones.  I know I've had at least one of mine for over ten years.

5. Parchment paper.  For cookie baking I find parchment paper is my best friend!!  And I like to bake cookies, and this keeps my pans clean in between batches.

Patience.  In the kitchen I tend to rush myself, but nothing helps in the kitchen like a good dose of patience!

So what are your absolute favorite kitchen items?  Maybe you can add some things to my wish list for Christmas this year!

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}

4 comments:

  1. Probably my favorite "gadget" is my Mini Prep. It chops everything! And it's small so a little easier to use over a food processor.

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    1. What brand is your Mini Prep? Do you recommend that brand over others? (When I googled it, it came up with other stuff...) I do have a food chopper on my wish list. I had one years ago, but it was a freebie version, and did not last long.

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  2. I confess it: I do not have a Kitchen Aid. And I've begun thinking recently that this situation probably should be rectified. Hmmm...

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  3. Definitely my Pampered Chef garlic press, love that! And my Quisinart stick blender/mini chopper combo. Love that too!

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