Our family eats in on seven nights of the week.
Mostly, we eat simple meals: cheese quesadillas and fruit, cinnamon peach pancakes, grilled tilapia, roasted red potatoes and onions, and big salads. Tim and I share the cooking duties. Often, we cut, grate, peel, and prep side-by-side. Either that, or I read the ingredients out loud with a baby on my knee.
Here are 9 kitchen appliances and products that have proven themselves in our kitchen.
1. White Dishes. Tim & I registered for white dishes by Strawberry Street when we were engaged 11 years ago. What a smart pick that was! Our dishes mix + match with absolutely any decor and they're classic simplicity will likely last our whole lives.
2. Pyrex Glass Bowls. Equally ideal for mixing up cookie dough or storing leftovers, Pyrex is a brand that we've come to trust. We also love our Pyrex 9" x 13" dish for casseroles and enchiladas...so convenient for bringing hot meals to families experiencing hard times.
3. Pampered Chef Cookie Scoop. My two young daughters (ages 3 & 5) beg to take turns scooping out the cookies - and I know why! This is the ultimate tool for bakers.
4. KitchenAid Blender. Powerful and easy to use, this blender is aesthetic and ultra-functional. Ours is Onyx Black to match our kitchen decor, but you can choose from 6 other vibrant colors.
5. Big Metal Spoons. Gotta have 'em. For stirring, scooping, and serving. Also ideal as a host/hostess gift.
6. Pampered Chef Square Baking Pan. We use this simple steel pan for corn bread, brownies, fruit crumbles, and more.
7. White Ramekins. Who else likes dipping? We like putting these out on the table with ranch or blue cheese dressing and lots of vegetables. A perfect pre-dinner treat. You can also use these elegant dishes to serve single-portion desserts like ice cream, sherbet, or brownies.
8. Pampered Chef Springform Pan. I only use this pan for cheesecake, but it's a quality design that doesn't disappoint.
9. Lodge 17-Inch Cast Iron Skillet. Tim uses this pan 3-5 X a week out on the grill. He grills fish, roasts potatoes, and sautés peppers. Use outdoors or indoors. For a small family or a large crowd. This pan may not be pretty, but it is sure to last.
Note that we have yet to find a pots & pans set, knives, or a cookie sheet that we absolutely love and would recommend without hesitation.
Off the top of your head, what are your 9 favorite kitchen products?
I am in desperate need of both an iron skillet and some ramekins...maybe Christmas :)
I'd say my 9 faves right now are a Silpat (nothing sticks to it, not even my cookies with candy cane chunks in them!), a paring knife from Natural Home that made me realize how terrible my old knives were, a big steel pot that we cook everything from spaghetti and chili to stir fry in, a rectangular glass Pyrex baking dish we bake chicken and brownies in (but not at the same time!), bamboo turner & slotted spoons, silicone measuring cups (burnt myself badly on a glass one recently that had an invisible crack in it, allowing steam to get out and burn me-now I only use the silicone ones!), muffin tin (my 3 year old LOVES to help make muffins and eats them much better than he does loaves for some reason!), and a half colandar thing-it's shaped like flat half circle with lots of little holes and you hold it over the edge of the pot. It's easy to use and easy to clean. We use it for noodles and veggies mostly.
I have never regretted the Mikasa French Countryside stoneware I chose for our wedding registry 8 years ago. (I don't have a fine china set though. Is that common?) Anyway, one kitchen tool I have grown to love is a mandolin for slicing anything and everything. It's a cheap little tool ($9.99 Bed, Bath & Beyond), but it makes life so much easier.
My favorite kitchen items are: my grandmother's colored pyrex mixing bowl set, some decent knives we purchase about a year ago (victorinox and chicago cutlery,) my airbake cookie sheets, my large wooden cutting board, my cheapo food processor (not perfect but it works,) my All Clad 10" skillet (it's the only all clad I own, but I'd love more,) my silicone spatula, and our white Corelle plates. Our pizza stone has been fun for making pizza on the grill this hot summer, but I wouldn't call it a necessity.
I have a 4" deep lasagna/roasting pan on my Christmas list - actually it's the only item I'm requesting from my husband.
I love this list! Probably because I love the kitchen. Kitchen tools and gadgets are my FAVORITE kinds of gifts to receive.
For pots & pans I recommend All Clad stainless steel. For knives I recommend Wusthof Classic. (They instantly replace a knife for life if it breaks or bends. But mine never have.) Neither of these brands are cheap. But I think it's an investment that will last a lifetime. I have yet to be disappointed!
To your list I would add my KitchenAid stand mixer and my Cuisinart food processor. I'm also a wooden spoon hoarder and I love the heat-proof silicone spatulas. I'm sure there are a lot more I'm leaving out but these are the items that I can look at and say were worth every penny.
That's great that your family cooks so much at home - it seems like you've worked out a good system for eating healthy and cheaply. I'm not much of a cook, but want to do more so I love your list as a good place to get started. Thanks for sharing!
A popular post! I guess we all love to cook and have our favorites!
Let's see, my most used, go-to items are: my Henkels chef's knife (the knife set was a wedding present and still going strong after 15 years!), a huge handcrafted cutting board (also a wedding gift, hand made by a friend) that I use every day and sits in its place of honor on the counter next to the stove, a mortar/pestle that my husband brought back from India, our Williams & Sonoma dish set (another wedding gift that has been used 3 meals a day for 15 years, and has not had a single chip), and the final wedding gift - our pots and pans. Revere made a professional line back then, but I haven't seen it lately. Not quite Calphalon quality, but no complaints at all!
A more recent addition is our Vitamix! An expensive purchase, but it has been fantastic. Smoothies every morning (with any leftovers easily turned into popsicles), Beautifully pureed soups. And wonderful dressings. I love it.
And finally, on the sheet pans, I finally did what Cheryl did and got some restaurant quality pans, and have never looked back. They hold up great.
What a fun post! I like seeing everyone else's 'must-haves'.
I love the new look!
You have some great items. I too have the Pampered Chef cookie scoop. Its irreplaceable. I love my white dishes too (Corelle). My favorites/must haves are my Kitchenaid stand mixer, my bread baker and my crockpot. I dont think we would eat without them...I use them ALL the time.
Love posts like this...
Our favorites in no order: 1. Crate & Barrel nesting glass mixing bowls 2. Kitchenaid cheese slicer 3. Cuisinart Pasta Pot (used for draining pasta plus draining fat off of meat) 4. fine mesh strainer 5. Calphalon stainless steel saute pans 6. silicone spatula 7. toaster oven
I spend so much time in my kitchen I could write a book on this. Off the top of my head, though, here are my nine:
1. Wusthof knives 2. Calphalon stainless steel cookware 3. Food processor 4. Fine mesh strainer 5. Pyrex custard dishes 6. Kitchen Aid stand mixer 7. Chicago Metallic cookie sheet 8. Bamboo cutting boards 9. Melamine mixing bowls with the non-skid bottom
Honorable mentions to my cookie scoop (which can also be used for cupcakes) and silicone baking cups. Also, we picked up eight soup spoons at Crate and Barrel and we love them. Fun idea for a post. :)
Tell me more about the Chicago Metallic cookie sheet. I HATE the ones I have now and need to make a change. Do they ever burn the bottom of cookies? Are they easy to clean?
I buy sheet pans from a restraunt supply store and love those. Not terribly expensive but sure do last. (haven't bought any in ages but under $15 I would say.). I love the idea of white dishes to mix and match. When we got married 12 years ago my sister sold Longaberger and we received their dishes. They are wonderful quality and haven't had a plate break but I wish they didn't have the little blue motif on them. I feel it's not really my style but I know it would be hard to find something of that quality now(plus back then they were made in the USA). I have one sharp chefs knife by Wustof. It is my go to knife for every job. As far as pans go I have all clad and a couple pieces of le crueset which I love!
There are lots of things in my kitchen I love, but you mentioned you don't have knives...
Growing up our knives were never sharp and I hated it. When we got married we registered for some very expensive ones, but they have lasted and other than the fact that I dropped one of the paring knives and it's not missing it's point they will probably last many more years. I have bought some for my mother and my brother and sister in law. They hold their edge and also sharpen well when needed. :)
Ours are J.A Henckels, mid grade, and we love them! ;)
Other things that get a lot of use... garlic press, cheese graters (yes two, plus a slicer), toaster oven - so great for making anything with tortillas although I can't find a good brand that lasts more than a couple years, and an electric kettle. Ours is plastic and I hate that, but I have my eye on a metal one for Christmas. But it gets a LOT of use, especially in the cooler months for drinking tea!
I own six out of the nine products that you mentioned :) White dishes, Pyrex glass bowls (same set!), Pampered Chef cookie scoop (I use it to make meatballs), metal spoons, white ramekins (perfect portion control for nuts & ice cream) and the Lodge cast iron skillet.
We also eat at home most every meal so having quality tools is important. In addition to what you mentioned, we are adore our Calphalon pots & pans. We had one pan & a roaster that we loved, so we recently splurged and bought a whole set at Kohls when we had the 30% coupon. I love my KitchenAid standing mixer (great for whipping frosting). We use our Garlic Twist almost every day to mince fresh garlic. And the Baby Bullet is getting a workout right now, making food for the 8 month old :)
I'm intrigued by the Baby Bullet since my little one will begin eating solid foods in 2-3 months. What kind of purees do you whip up for your baby?
If I am steaming veggies, I'll make extra and then just puree them in the Baby Bullet. I can freeze some and they defrost quickly in the microwave (or overnight in the fridge). You can puree very smooth or just pulse the blender a few times to make it with more texture. I have also ground oats & brown rice. I haven't yet put cooked chicken in it yet but that will be next! Sometimes I do buy jarred baby food and then mix in a bit with one of the defrosted bullets.
garlic press, lemon juicer, silicon spatula, salad spinner, carrot/potato/apple/squash peeler, cheese grater, bread maker, ice cream maker.
Do you cook/bake with lemons often? Or do you make your own lemonade? Tell me more!
We use our cheese grater quite often as well. In fact, sometimes I wish we had two! ;)
Personally, I think the Pampered Chef pots and pans and German forged steel knives are the greatest, ”use every day”-type tools.
I was given a huge, ceramic mixing bowl from Williams Sonoma as a wedding gift almost 17 years ago. When I first got it, I wondered what I would ever do with it! But I can honestly say it gets used several times a week, for dough prep, salads, etc. for my family of seven. I love, love, love, my Pampered Chef cutting boards, too. I own three of them in various sizes and use them daily if not more then once a day. The other thing I really love is my Longaberger lasagna pan. It's a 9x13, but deeper than my Pyrex (which I also love). The best part, though, is that it is so easy to clean!! That's a must when making casseroles in it!! Those are just a few of my favs!!
Good to know about the Pampered Chef cutting boards!