8 Kitchen Tools Every Mama Should Own
We eat at home a lot. Truth be told, I’d consider it splurging to consume more than five carry-out or dine-in meals a month. That leaves more than 1,000 meals a year cooked in our kitchen, often with mini sous chefs right by my side (and the dog waiting patiently to caught anything that drops). That also means that I have tried nearly every kitchen gadget on the market and have been asked often which one is my favorite. Well, friends, I most certainly can’t narrow it down to just one, but I’ll aim for my Top 8.
Although it’s known that these whisks are often used in smaller bowls so that you can plunge your food, rather than stir, I use mine in all kinds of ways, all of the time. It’s a traditional whisk, essentially, but it has a flat bottom. The reason I adore mine? One, it was my husband’s grandmother’s. Two, you’ll never again burn a sauce or miss a spot on the bottom of the pan. The flat bottom works wonders for stirring in a cast iron pot and keeps food from forming lumps.
Veggie Strip Maker
Are you afraid of using a mandoline? Those bad boys can be far too sharp for me, so there is no way I would let my kids near one! Enter the veggie strip maker from Pampered Chef. We use ours daily to make shredded carrots, potatoes (hash browns) and/or squash “noodles”. We’ve also used this device a bundle to make cauliflower rice. Simple and safe enough for the kids to use.
What doesn’t this thing do? Cuisinart has invented the most fun (and often the messiest) gizmo of all! We use our smart stick to make soups, chunk up stewed tomatoes for a thick pasta sauce, and to breakdown spices like rosemary. The handle is long enough that little hands won’t get injured. What’s even better? There are optional attachments you can get for this thing such as a food processor, whisk, masher and chopper.
Lekue Steam Case
You. Must. Buy. This. These amazing cases can be put in both the microwave and the oven. They’re made from 100% silicone and dishwasher safe. We use ours for fish, quick-cooking veggies, microwaving bacon (it drains the fat), beef stew (cooks in its own juices), spaghetti squash… the list goes on and on. The brand also makes popcorn tubs, ice cream molds, and various size steamer cases. Lots of ways to use this, as well as hundreds of delicious recipes can be found on Pinterest or on Lekue’s website.
IKEA Food Savers
Do you spend far too much time trying to find the proper lid for your food container? I do. Well, I did. IKEA has come out with a silicone lid that tightly seals any size and shape container. They are magical. And oh yeah, they triple as both a conversation starter and a toy for my 3 year old daughter.
Salad Dressing Beaker
Pampered Chef has done it again. Their salad dressing container includes recipes for Asian, Italian, Caesar and Ranch dressing right on the side. Fill said ingredient to it’s line and then move onto the next one. It’s super simple, and there isn’t much better than homemade dressing made by a 4 year old. It can be used in a pinch as a protein shaker too.
Much like Lekue steam case, these are made from 100% food-friendly silicone as well. Why do we like Stasher Bags? They are freezer friendly, oven safe, microwave safe, come in 3 different sizes, you can boil them (sous vide) and you can store your food in them. Get the snack size ones and you can even write a little note to your kiddo on the front with a dry erase marker or ball point pen!
Fox Point Seasoning
This isn’t so much an actual tool as it is a tool for making everything you make taste amazing. Penzey’s mix of salt, shallots, chives, garlic, onion and green peppercorn is heaven in a jar. It’s great on eggs, fish, baked potatoes, chicken, popcorn (seriously), my tongue… They also have a salt-free version called Sunny Paris. You’re welcome for making this year’s mashed potatoes the surefire winner at Thanksgiving.
Of course there is the traditional crock pot, microwavable rice cooker, the popular instapot, my grandmother’s bread maker and a hearty dutch oven that could easily be added to the list too, but I had to stop somewhere. So whether it be an addition to your kitchen arsenal, or a gift for your friend, I sincerely hope you enjoy.