My Favorite Kitchen Tools
Not surprisingly, when Streusel and I give gifts to one another, they’re usually kitchen items that we love, and want to ensure the other person gets to experience that same kitchen-tool nirvana. In honor of that – and because we’re in the midst of a gift-giving season* – we decided that for this month, we’d talk about our favorite items as well as put those items to use in some well-loved recipes.
note: to be clear, I’m also a fan of getting yourself gifts year-round, as well – if you don’t, who can guarantee that someone will?!
1. Immersion Blender: I’ve used mine to make salad dressings and homemade mayonnaise in a snap, but mostly I find it invaluable for pureeing soups. Rather than pouring hot liquid into a blender (I’m much better at spilling than I am at precision pouring), it’s safer (and easier) to use this immersion blender; it’s also a quick clean-up. I’ve had mine for about 5 years now, but I’ve linked here to the model I could find that comes closest, though I bought mine at a kitchen closeout store for about $25.
2. Manatea Tea Infuser: It’s definitely a little silly, but I love the Manatee’s expression starting back at you as you steep your tea. I’ve found this to be a great gift when you want to give a small, but sweet, gift to a friend.
3. Le Creuset Cast Iron Dutch Oven: I never dreamed I’d own anything so fancy for my kitchen; to be clear, I own a ridiculous amount of cooking tools, but with rare exception, most are not particularly expensive – this pot being one exception. This was a lovely gift from my lovely partner (who I believe tired of watching me longingly gaze at it during trips to Williams-Sonoma). It hasn’t disappointed, I use mine to make sauces, stews, and most often, soups. That he got it for me in my favorite color, orange, is just a special bonus.
4. All-Clad 12” Fry Pan with Lid: And speaking of fancy… another gift, this one from my brother (he loves his and wanted me to have the same sautéing experience). The pan gets super hot and heats evenly, and based off the price of other All-Clads, is a pretty good deal. It’s also really handy that it comes with a lid.
5. Kale and Herb Stripper: Made by Chef’n, this is absoluratly the sort of tool I’d roll my eyes at if I saw it in the store. But I got it in my gift bag during my epic visit to Sur La Table, and it’s turned out to be incredibly handy. Seriously. We eat quite a bit of kale at my house, and that sucker strips the hell out of those leaves. For $8, it’s a bargain for us lovers of the leafy greens.
6. Rectangular Measuring Spoons: It took me far too long to figure out that while round measuring spoons don’t always fit inside of spice jars, rectangular ones do. These have made my baking life less irritating, for sure.
7. Chick Egg Mold: Admittedly, it’s ridiculous and I’m not sure that it will get a ton of use. But – IT’S SO FUNNY! I got mine after spying it tucked away in a drawer in my dad’s kitchen; I was suspicious that the egg would mold as well as the picture shows, but it actually works great! It’s simple too – you just hard boil an egg, briefly shock it in an ice bath, peel, snap into the mold, and put back into the ice bath. After 15 minutes, you’ve got a chicken. It’s amazing and makes me love America for creating such ridiculous items.
8. Cuisinart Food Processor: With all the focus on Kitchen Aid Stand Mixers (and I love mine too! So much!) and high speed fancy-pants blenders, I think the simple food processor gets overlooked. I’ve got the most basic model, and have had mine for about 15 years. It’s extremely helpful for quickly grating cheeses and butter, and indispensable when making pie crusts and scones.
9. Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls: I find having a variety of lightweight bowls to be invaluable in my kitchen; they are probably the most commonly used kitchen item I own. I used to have some very cute ceramic mixing bowls, but I found that their weight was cumbersome when pouring from one bowl into another. Plus, I don’t worry about damaging or breaking these bowls.
I’ll be back in a few weeks with a recipe I frequently make using my immersion blender!
December 6, 2015
Posted in gifts