My Six Favorite Things in My Kitchen

A couple times a year I go on massive grocery shopping trips and load up on all sorts of pantry items that don’t expire and are nice to always have on hand (grains, nuts, oils, spices, etc). This often is followed by a massive day of cooking. This happened over the weekend. On Friday I went to Wegman’s and Costco and bought crazy amounts of food. I’ve been to Wegman’s a few times and have always been really impressed, this time I wasn’t though. I think I would have been better served to just do Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods excursions. It would have saved a whole lot of time (not to mention, I couldn’t find Tahini at Wegman’s! Come on, that’s not a weird thing for a gigantic grocery store to carry.).

By this time you probably have figured out that I don’t really like eating processed food (and, thanks to being fructose intolerant, I can’t eat much processed food) but I do like having easy to grab food for snacks and for those days when I am too tired to cook or too hungry to think. This weekend, I spent nine hours cooking one day. I made granola bars, enchiladas, burritos, shepherd’s pie and lots more and it got me thinking how lucky I am to have some pretty awesome kitchen tools. Here are my favs:

  1. KitchenAid Mixer – my mom bought this for me a few years ago at some super mega Black Friday sale I think. Mixing is so easy. Plus, it’s beautiful. I do kind of wish I had a shield for it because sometimes I forget and I’m making a triple batch of cookies and flour flies everywhere!
  2. Food processor – this can do just about anything. From slicing 6 bell peppers almost instantly (I did that this weekend) to pureeing squash to chopping up nuts, this can do anything! I’m actually on my second food processor because I broke the first trying to grate chocolate. I have a big one which is great, and my roommate has a small one that I use a lot as well to make black bean burgers and dressings and other smaller quantity things.
  3. Bodum coffee grinder/programmable coffee maker – probably not surprising to anyone who knows me, but I’m quite particular about my coffee. I’ve had a few grinders and this Bodum grinder is definitely the best (there was even an unfortunate incident with the lid breaking and they sent me a new one for free three years after I bought it!). The programmable coffee maker is key for me and my roommate as we don’t have the same morning schedule but this way coffee is ready for both of us! I’ve recently starting drinking french press quite a bit and love it, though sometimes I just want the coffee ready when I wake up.
  4. Stoneware – I’ve got a few pieces of Pampered Chef stoneware and it’s amazing. Cookies come out so perfectly done and it’s super easy to clean. When I win the lottery, I will replace all of my bakeware with stoneware.
  5. Cast iron – (relatively) inexpensive, super fun to cook on, can go from stove to oven and – contrary to what people I’ve talked with think – easy to clean. I would love a dutch oven from Le Crueset someday but I think I’ll have to win the lottery first (I probably need to start playing if I have any hope of winning).
  6. Crockpot – I don’t think this needs any explanation. Throw dinner in before leaving in the morning, come home to a wonderfully smelling delicious dinner. Mine came as a gift from my grandma several years ago!

And thanks to an aunt, I now have a pressure cooker so that may soon replace something in my top six! I haven’t used it yet but it is out of the box and washed and I’m collecting recipes to try. So very excited!