I’ve been cooking for nearly all my professional life… and when I’m not in my own kitchen I’ve learned to make do with pretty much anything. BUT there are certain tools I use that make my life SO much easier, and my food SO much tastier! With the holidays coming up, this is also a great list to work from for anyone you know who loves to cook, or could just use a few new zesty pieces in their kitchen!
I use my zester daily! Citrus zest goes into ALMOST every meal in my kitchen, but I use my zester for so much more! I use it for grating ginger and garlic, nutmeg and cheese to name a few! Using a zester in your cooking is a super simple way to add bold flavor to your dishes.
2. Chef Knife
A well-made chef’s knife may be the most important item in one’s kitchen. This 8″ knife is not only sturdy and built-to-last, but is affordable as well. My mother-in-law would frown if I didn’t mention her superstition in giving knives as gifts though! As it goes… very bad luck and can sever the relationship between the gift giver and receiver. To get around the superstition, whenever she gifts a knife to someone, she insists that they give her a penny in return. That way it’s technically NOT a gift since they’ve paid her for it… and therefore any potential for bad luck is squashed!
3. Citrus Juicer
From salad dressings to cocktails to tacos! I can’t live without my citrus press. Not only does it make short work out of juicing lemons and limes, but you get more juice than hand squeezing alone. Winter is citrus season, so brighten up those short winter days! This is a great stocking stuffer, or pair it with a zester for a perfect gift for the citrus lover in your life!
4. Dish Towel
I know that I cook a lot, more than most people, though I go through AT LEAST 2 dish towels a day, and I need to replace them about twice a year as they get pretty beaten up! No matter how much or how little you cook, dish towels are a MUST in any kitchen, and always make a great gift. Key Lime Lexi brand towels are cute and colorful, adding a little fun to anyone’s home!
5. Pinch Bowls
The key to stress free cooking is what the French call, “mise-en-place”. This roughly translates to “everything in place.” Essentially, it means if you prep your ingredients, your cooking will go much more smoothly, and importantly allow you to be a more relaxed cook. These pinch bowls come in a 5 piece set of various sizes for everything from chopped onions to spices.
6. Batter Bowl
Can’t you just imagine mixing up a decadent holiday cake in this cute mixing bowl? Or some pancakes for the grand-kids on Christmas morning? Just the right size with a handy handle and convenient pour spout, this will be a hit in your kitchen, and add a nice pop of color!
7. Baking Dish
We are deep into holiday season, and these deep dish bakers are a must for this time of year! From stuffings to lasagnas and mac ‘n cheese for the kids’ meal, to breakfast casseroles for your house guests (baked french toast anyone?), to desserts like apple crisps, cakes and brownies- these bakers do it all!