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There are so many tools, appliances, etc that I enjoy cooking with in my kitchen, but here are 5 of my ‘must-haves,’ or things I just couldn’t live without!
1.Instant Pot – By now, if you’ve looked around much at my blog, you know I am a huge fan of my IP. I cook everything in there, from soup to mac and cheese to mashed potatoes and stirfry. It is so versatile; I’m pretty convinced I can make almost anything in this guy! For example:
– I love making pasta and rice in it, because I don’t have to worry about pots boiling over on the stove.
– I cook chicken in it for any recipe that I might need shredded chicken for.
– I make soups in it – no more simmering soups for 2+ hours; 10 minutes and soup’s on!
– Mashed potatoes pressure cooked with chicken broth = best potatoes ever. And you can use a potato masher or immersion blender and keep the whole dish in 1 pot!
– Greek yogurt – I can make greek yogurt in this thing! That’s all.
– It also works as a slow cooker, which means if I don’t want to put the dish together when I get home, I can start it slow cooking in the morning.
– Popcorn – you can use coconut oil to pop popcorn in it!
– Freezer meals – freeze in round container and heat in minutes in your IP. Dinner is served.Seriously – why would you NOT want an Instant Pot? It has taken the place of my rice cooker, my popcorn maker, my slow cooker, and quite often, my stove/oven.
Plus, there’s a SMART Instant Pot now. Obviously it’s more expensive, but it lets you monitor and control your Instant Pot remotely from an app. That way, if you’re using it as a slow cooker, but don’t want to start it until 30 minutes after you leave the house, it’s easy to do.
Recommended Accessories: glass lid for IP (for use when sauteing/boiling/popping popcorn, steamer basket (it comes with a trivet, but the basket can sit on top to keep smaller vegetables out of liquid).
2. Cover Blubber – My husband bought me CoverBlubber two years ago for Christmas, and once I remembered to use it, I was hooked. Now, I collect the stuff, because I use it all the time. It’s a stretchy, silicon covering
I use it to cover bowls, cut fruits and vegetables, small plates, and especially open cans. We always seem to have open cans of something (beans, condensed milk, Rotel, etc) and the small CoverBlubber is fantastic for covering those. I hate Press and Seal, because once it’s in the fridge, I have a hard time getting the P&S to work a 2nd time.
Anything you would cover with plastic wrap/foil/P&S, you can use CoverBlubber in its place. I love that I’m eliminating environmental waste, because CoverBlubber is reusable! It’s also very durable.
I just handwash it, and hang it on the edge of my drying rack to dry.
3. Pizza Stone – I bought my mom a pizza stone for Christmas years ago, and our homemade pizza was never the same. We finally got one last year when we got married, and it gets a ton of use in our house. The taste of pizza on a well seasoned stone is so much different than pizza baked on a baking sheet. It also gives it that perfect crisp-on-the-bottom/soft-chewy-on-top that you get in pizzerias. It’s cheap – less than $20! – and definitely worth the investment to take pizza to the next level!
My best tip: Roll your dough out on parchment paper covered with cornmeal. Then put it on the pizza stone before topping it. The cornmeal will stop your crust from sticking to the stone.
4. Joseph Joseph Cutting Boards – These are my favorite cutting boards in the whole world! I love the standup storage, because they’re easy to store on the back of my counter or in my cabinets, and I can still get to them easily. But what I love most about them is that there are separate boards for different uses. I don’t like cutting raw meat on the same board that I use for anything else, and I never feel like I can get it cleaned and disinfected enough (I feel like raw-meat-bacteria gets in the grooves). But this set has a board just for raw meat, as well as one for fruits/vegetables and things of that nature, one for fish and seafood, and one for cooked meat.
The boards are durable and sturdy, and they are also reversible – you can use either side. They are also dishwasher safe, which is another big plus for me! You can get them in a large, small or mini size and they come in silver (pictured) or gray.
5. Rachael Ray Thermal Tote – This tote is amazing and less than $25! It keeps cold food cold or hot food hot really well. When I’m traveling with it, I just add an ice pack or heating pack for extra security. I keep this in my car (it folds flat) for grocery shopping, especially in the summer. It’s great for all those cold groceries – like milk and ice cream – in a hot car while driving home. I can’t rave enough about this tote; honestly, I keep telling my husband I’m going to get a second one. It comes in red (pictured), blue, green and orange.
RR also has a thermal lasagna lugger that fits casserole dishes. We got one for my mother-in-law last year and she really enjoys it! It seems to do just as well at keeping food warm.
Ok, I’ve shared some of my favorites. Now please share yours! What are your favorite tools/gadgets in the kitchen? What am I missing out on??