Best of…Kitchen Tools

I’m just starting this list and it will grow as I have time to catalog all of my favorites and as I discover new ones!

My absolute favorite kitchen tools…


Blender: VitaMix Professional Series 500 Blender

I seriously use this almost everyday. It is worth the high price tag. It blends EVERYTHING. I most often us it to make smoothies in the morning. I fill the container 2/3 of the way up with baby spinach and kale (flat varieties), then add 2 cups worth frozen and fresh fruit (with 1/3 of a frozen banana), some chia seeds, some hemp seeds, some raw cocoa powder and 1/3 cup of organic low fat kefir. Blend, smashing everything down with the included tamper tool, then at the end add another 2/3 cup of kefir and you have one mighty tasty and healthy smoothie. It makes about 2 servings. I share with my daughter. I love that I can stick in kale, stalks and all and even seeds and it blends everything to a nice smooth consistency. If you put in a lot of chia seeds (which have a hard shell) or use seedy fruit then you may have some seeds in the end result, but it is still yummy and easy to drink. My almost 3 year old daughter loves them. It is a great way to get veggies, fruit, seeds and probiotics in her (and me). Clean up is a snap too. All you have to do is fill the container 2/3rds of the way with warm soapy water and then run the blender on the smoothie cycle…then rinse. And viola, you have a clean blender! I used to avoid using my old blender just so I didn’t have to clean it! Some other things I’ve made with it include apple sauce, tomato soup, pesto and fava bean spread. If you blend up things that are more on the oily side, you may have to run it twice with soapy water to get it totally clean. We bought the one at William Sonoma, I like that is has some preset options like for smoothies and soups. You should watch the video they have on the site, very educational. You can also buy direct from VitaMix. I was first introduced to it at a nutrition class a friend organized with nutritionist Nina Manolson. And 2 years later I finally got one, and am so thrilled.

IMG_6388IMG_6390IMG_6402


Bowls (prep): 10-Piece Glass Bowl Set from Williams Sonoma

img88mWe got this as a wedding present 5 years ago and use some of the bowls at least every other day. They are great for prepping ingredients, baking, even marinating. They are glass and so, microwaveable and dishwasher safe. They nest into each other so they don’t take up too much room in the cabinet or drawer. We have only broken 2 in the last five years and that is because we dropped them on a tile floor. Love the set. (Picture is from the Williams Sonoma site)


Cookware: Le Creuset Oval French Oven 6 qt.

IMG_6522This is my favorite piece of cookware in our kitchen. It is great for roasting and braising. I’ve made beef stew, chili, sausage and lentils, Portuguese chicken, various soups, apple sauce, even roast chicken and rib roasts. For beef stew, I sauté onions, then brown beef, add in veggies and Guinness to deglaze and finish by popping the while thing in the oven for 3 hours – all in one pot! Clean up is a breeze, the enamel coating is a miracle! It is pricey but in my mind well worth it! It cooks so well, is so versatile, easy to clean and I love the look. The photo is from the last time I made applesauce. 


Cutting Board: Bar Board from Pampered Chef

1001_productIf you have a young child, like me, you probably find yourself cutting up food all day long for meals and snacks. This little cutting board is perfect for quick small tasks. It is inexpensive, so we got two. You can just pop them in the dishwasher when your done. (Photo from Pampered Chef site)

 

 


Food Processor: Cuisinart Food Processor – more details to come.


Microplane – more details to come.


Pizza Stone –  14” x 16” Pizza Stone from Williams Sonoma

We love making pizza at home and using a pizza stone really makes a difference. With a pizza stone you get a much crisper bottom crust and overall a tastier pizza in my opinion. It also works well for reheating left over pizza (homemade or not)…no more soggy pizza! This large one works well for us so we can make a couple different personal pizzas at the same time. Before we got this larger stone, we used a round stone from Pampered Chef which also worked well. 


Oven thermometer: All-Clad Oven-probe Thermometer

img17mIf you do any kind of roasting, you need an oven thermometer, and this one has worked really well for us. Before we had it we were constantly trying to guess at how long whatever we were cooking would need to cook for (whole chicken, turkey, rib roast, etc) and then constantly checking the food while it was in the oven to see if it was done. With this baby, all you need to do is insert it into your food appropriately, determine the setting and wait for it to beep when your food is at the perfect temp! (Picture is from the Williams Sonoma site)

 


Peeler: Swissmar Peerlers, Set of 3

I tend to prefer using a knife to peel anything rather than a peeler. I often cut myself with peelers. That was until I found this set. Great for everyday peeling of potatoes, apples and even butternut squash. And great for decorative peeling or slicing (making veggie noodles).


Reamer: Wood Reamer

reamerThis is perfect for getting the most juice out of any citrus for use in marinades. It’ll work well for juice as well, but you will have some pulp and will have to pick out seeds. I’ve used it on oranges, lemons and limes. (Picture is from the Williams Sonoma site)

 

 


Rice Cooker: Zojirushi NP-HBC 18 10-cup Rice Cooker and Warmer with Induction Heating System, Stainless Steel

A few months ago we finally replaced my very old National rice cooker which had been leaving a crust of slightly burnt rice each time we used it. After some research, we decided to get this one. Not only does it look cool but it works really well. It has many different, yet easy to use, settings for various things, such as type of rice (white, brown, sushi…), whether you want it firmer or wetter and a timer. Rice comes out perfect every time. I’ve used the timer a bunch of times when I have prepped rice the night before so it will cook up fresh before I wake up so put in my daughter lunch box. It plays cute tunes when it turns on and when the rice is done. My two minor issues with it are that the tunes are a little loud and that the power cord isn’t retractable. But neither are a really big deal.

 


Salt Keeper: Olive Wood Salt Keeper from Williams Sonoma

salt keeperI love this olive wood salt keeper. I had been searching for the perfect one for a while and was so happy to find this one. It is beautiful on the kitchen counter, holds a good amount of salt, had a lid to keep the salt away from contaminants and it is easy to open one handed. (Picture is from the Williams Sonoma site)

 

 


Spatula: Bamboo Spatula from Pampered Chef

2042_productReally good shape and feel while you’re cooking with it. It is durable and safe to use on non-stick pans. (Photo from Pampered Chef site)

 

 

 

 


Stand Mixer: Kitchen Aid Mixer  – more details to come.


NOTE: Except for having a friend who sells Pampered Chef products, I have no affiliation with any of these manufactures or sellers. I receive no benefit from any of them for blogging about these products. I just want to share the things I love to use in case you’re in the market for new kitchen tools for yourself or looking for a gift for a loved one. I’ve included links but if you search around you can probably find the items at other stores too. Just want to provide one link for more details.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: