Kitchen Essentials

by Katie on August 7, 2012

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Most of the time, I enjoy it. :)

After a recent move and going from a nice, spacious kitchen to one about half the size, I realized how many kitchen gadgets I have (and just how spoiled I had gotten with our last two kitchens). We have a spare room off the kitchen that I’ve turned into a craft room (weeee!!) that has a closet, where a good 1/4th of my old kitchen currently resides.

There are a few things I discovered I just can’t live without/ Please, let me profess my love for a few of my favorite, most useful kitchen bits!

1. Mrs. Meyer’s Liquid Hand Soap in Basil – The first time I smelled this heavenly scent, it was at a friend’s place. It was love at first sniff. I would never have guessed basil would make such a superb soap scent but IT DOES. Mrs. Meyer’s makes a plethora of wonderful products, all earth-friendly and cruelty-free. Plus, their products “do not contain ammonia, chlorine, glycol solvents, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, artificial colorants, phosphates or petroleum distillates.” YES!

2. Pampered Chef’s Food Chopper – Any time I need to chop, dice, or mince, I use this little beauty. So basically, I use it just about every time I make something. It. Is. Amazing. I know there are other products out there that do the same thing. This is the only one I’ve used so it’s the only one I can speak for. And it is in one word, fabulous. It will chop big or little (or tiny) pieces. It’s easy to take apart to clean and put back together (or you can throw it in the dishwasher, which in and of itself makes it great in my book).

3. Dish Brushes – I really dislike doing dishes. Unfortunately they are a constant in my life (much like laundry). ;) I have grown to adore these types of brushes (thanks for turning me on to them, Diane!). They making getting tough gunk off of dishes of any size relatively easy which is fabulous for manicured nails! And for the record, I value good looking nails over clean dishes any day.

4. Silicone Basting Brush – Ok, so I don’t use this one weekly, but I do use it a ton. For holiday hams, biscuits and rolls, egg glazes, etc. My favorite thing to use them for? THESE Cheddar Bay Biscuits. It does its job wonderfully and it goes in the dishwasher when you’re finished which, as we know, means it’s awesome.

5. Hold-All Tupperware Container – I don’t have all of these pieces. I have one in fact (the largest one), and it is the best piece of kitchen storage I have (thanks Aunt Jan!). It holds everything from cupcakes and cookies to bread bowls to leftovers of all kinds. Whenever I make treats to take somewhere, they travel in this. It stores well when it’s not in use (which is rarely). It’s lightweight and cleans up easily. Someday when I have more space, I might just have to invest in a few more. ;) Tupperware brand or not, having an “everything” piece is such a lifesaver!

6. Nylon Pan Scrapers – Another PC favorite. I have a few pieces of stoneware that came with these and I use them for stoneware (of course), pots and pans, and anything with food really stuck on it. They don’t scratch the surface of your cookware, are easy to hold and scrape with, and can go in the dishwasher. They are pretty inexpensive to boot.

7. Deep Cover Baker – THIS beautiful piece of [Pampered Chef] stoneware is like a crockpot but even more awesome if you can believe it (think fresh chicken fajitas in twenty minutes). It goes in the microwave and the oven, and keeps food warm for HOURS. Well, I’ve never actually timed it, but I know even after an hour of sitting out, the dish and the food in it are still hot (I’ve learned this from many holiday gatherings and husbands coming home from soccer games later than expected). It is simply FABULOUS, just like all of the other PC stoneware pieces. Totally worth the investment in my book!

What are your favorite, just-can’t-live-without use-all-the-time kitchen pieces? Do tell!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara August 7, 2012 at 7:26 am

I LOVE those type of dish brushes! They’re a must in my kitchen. I just think they make doing dishes by hand so much easier!

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Sarah Koci Scheilz August 7, 2012 at 10:00 am

Friend! That basil Mrs. Meyers hand soap is my favorite as well. I haven’t bought a different one since I found it. You hit the nail on the head!

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Kristy Weaver August 7, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I’ve always loved mason jars, but have recently found practical uses for them. It makes me feel very 1950s and I love that! I fill them with homemade dried fruits and homemade yogurt. I found a website that sells super-cheap mason jar lids, like the one piece kind, not the seal and ring. So I ordered a dozen or so in a silver/pewter color… and they make me very happy, too!

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Rachel Marlena August 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm

I am also a convert to Mrs. Meyers basil hand soap. I always thought those choppers don’t work but now I kind of want to get one! My favorite kitchen “gadget” is Ziploc steamer bags. I know I’m probably giving myself BPA poisoning but whatever, they are SO handy. I’m also more than a little in love with my Keurig.

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