As we move from the lazier, less structured days of summer into schedules, school and a little more time management, it means more time in the kitchen for a lot of us. I love the simple, easy meals of summertime but have also found ways to make the next season’s meals just as quick and easy.
I have my go-to list of kitchen gadgets that go a long way to making any meal much easier and, yes, enjoyable to whip up. If I were caught on a desert island and could only take 10 things with me, these are what I’d tote through the water and sand for my new island kitchen:
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This is not just for the smoothies you know I love to make. I use this baby for anything from mixing salad dressings, to chopping herbs to most anything calling for a food processor. It might sound a bit pricey but you will have it forever and will be well used.
Now this may sound silly, but this is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. It is also a fairly recent purchase and might be the best $7.00 purchase I have made! Why did I wait so long?
Cast Iron Skillet
This is one of my favorites in the kitchen. I was fortunate enough to inherit several in different sizes from my mother, grandmother and even great-grandmother. They are wonderfully seasoned. Did you know there are also health benefits for using a cast iron skillet? That’s another post for another time. These would definitely go with me to my island.
These seem to come and go in my kitchen for some reason. I end up putting it in the dishwasher, or leaving it in the over or I’m not exactly sure what I do to them but I always want a good one for cooking all that meat for the men in my home. I have tried several types, digital, attached to the chord, small and large, but I really like this simple one with a large face so I can read the numbers and it also tells the temps for various meats – so you don’t have to google if you don’t know by heart!
This is definitely a kitchen essential for all purposes. Many folks are picky and very loyal to their preferred knives and I get that. I have a wonderful full of Cutco knives, because when your son (and later other friends’ sons) sells Cutco you buy, right? And I do love these knives – they are great. I use these knives daily but also have a secret little knife that sits right in a drawer where I prep food so I find myself reaching for it every single day and it works wonders.
A good pot is a must in the kitchen. You need one good, heavy one that isn’t too small or too large. You’ll use it to start the base and to prepare soups, stews, sauces. I inherited a wonderful set of Le Creuset from my mom and have bought a couple of my own from Ebay and TJMaxx. Find your favorite and you’ll be loyal forever.
This is such a simple, little thing. It makes your life so much easier though! It doesn’t have to be fancy either. I good old fashioned paint brush will do! Use it for olive oil, butter, or any other ol’ thing.
If you’ve been around this place for any length of time you know my unconditional love for a good crockpot. (In fact I have three!) It’s not just for cold, winter days either. I used one last night for meatballs and sauce for pasta. I know folks who love their InstaPot also, but I haven’t tried that. My advice is to get one and use it. Get it off the shelf, out of the cabinet and set yourself free with so many healthy and delicious meals you can make while you go about your day.
Okay, this is not an essential. I get it. But it brings me so much joy! Sometimes that really is essential! It is a small, inexpensive tiny tool that makes my morning cup of coffee a thing of joy. Do you have one and agree?
This is a no-brainer. I love these silicone pot holders. I am soooooo tired of having food spill onto my nice, fabric potholders that get completely ruined. These silicone ones are perfectly heat proof, can go right onto the counter and then into the dishwasher.
Those are my personal top 10. I’d love to hear what you depend on as your own top essentials!
I also have a wonderful list of Pantry Staples that I think are key to keep on hand so you can whip up most anything at a minutes notice. My Pantry Staples are included as part of the 4 Week Mindful Meals
Have you received yours yet? Well, why not? Make your life and time in the kitchen as easy and enjoyable as possible!