When I first began my venture into the cooking world, every book, tutorial, and blog that I read made it abundantly clear that I needed a proper chef’s knife. There are so many quality knives to choose from if you really do your research, however, one of the main qualities that stood out to me among all of the recommendations was that I needed a knife with “full tang.”
What the hell does that mean, you ask? The tang is the part of the blade that extends into the handle connecting the handle and the blade. The more conjoined these two parts are, the stronger the knife will be.
I also took into great consideration the shape of the knife. I choose a Mezzaluna knife, which is curved on each end, making chopping of herbs and garlic a breeze, but is versatile enough to be used to cut most vegetables and meats.
I took great inspiration from the lovely Giada when I first began to find myself inspired by cooking tutorials, and I quite adored her Mezzaluna knife, which has become my go to knife in the kitchen.
After acquiring such a lovely knife and putting it to lots of use, I soon came to the conclusion that I would need some sort of handy way to display the knife that would also keep it easily within arms reach. Enter: the magnetic floating knife board.
Not only does this knife board beautifully display your knives for all the world to see, it can be kept right out on the counter so your knives are safely in reach whenever you may need them. Mine currently holds 3 large chefs knives, so it is quite roomy, and the quality and display are not to be beat.
3. Flexible Plastic Cutting Boards
While I will admit, I adore my high quality wooden cutting board from Williams-Sonoma, it’s not nearly as light and handy as I find these boards to be. Not only can they be so easily rinsed right off and popped in the dishwasher after each use, the plastic doesn’t hold those strong unpleasant odors that linger on so many wooden cutting boards, such as those that you encounter when chopping onions or garlic. I also find them much more sanitary for cutting raw meats.
4. Avocado Tool
Speaking of cutting and slicing, raise your hand if you have ever struggled with the great feat that is halving, pitting, and dicing an avocado. I knew I wasn’t alone!
While with much practice with your chef’s knife, you will eventually become a pro at this task, in the meantime, behold one of the most genius tools to hit the market.
It seriously does every thing. It peels, it pits, it slices, it dices, it scoops. The first time you use this tool, you will immediately wonder how you have lived without it. And it’s definitely going to come in handy for all of that avocado toast you’re going to be making.
The first time I encountered this tool was when I came across a beautiful recipe in The Forest Feast cookbook that I wanted to make for my girlfriends on New Year’s Eve. I love pasta, but what I love even more is any sort of healthy alternative to pasta. Not only does the spiralizer turn healthy vegetables into noodles waiting to be coated with pasta sauce or made into pasta salad, it creates an absolutely elegant and impressive presentation.
6. Instant Pot
If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you’ve most certainly seen me mention the instant pot in several of my recipes. Mainly, because it is a huge time saving alternative to many chores such as slow roasting meats, cooking rice, farro, or quinoa, and slow cooking soups and stews.
What I think is great about the instant pot is the “set it and forget it” mentality that comes along with it. I find it such a treat to have this handy appliance doing all the work cooking my rice or side dish while I’m busy focusing on other recipes elsewhere in the kitchen.
Also, there’s nothing worse than having a craving for your favorite slow cooker recipe, but not enough time to make it. With the instant pot, you’ll have fall off the bone short ribs or beef stew in a fraction of the time, and quinoa in 1 minute (ONE minute!)
No good meal is complete without a well thought out cocktail (or mocktail) to pair it with. I first bought the soda stream because I drink a LOT of water throughout the day, and I am always adding some sort of flavor to it, so I thought it would be nice to create my own flavored water options. However, I found my favorite thing about having a Soda Stream was that when I need seltzer or sparkling water for a drink recipe, I don’t have to run to the store or worry about having it on hand, I can make my own! It’s so convenient your neighbors will be asking to borrow some sparkling water in a pinch as well.
No kitchen is complete without a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. While I will admit, it’s not an appliance I use every day, or even every week, it is an appliance I am proud to own. This appliance has seriously stood the test of time.
What’s more, is there are so many neat attachments to add to your arsenal that will really make you feel like a pro. There’s not much that is more satisfying than making your own pasta completely from scratch or casing your own sausage. It even takes all the work out of shredding chicken.
I don’t think I have to do much to convince you that you need a cast iron skillet in your life. All you need to do is use it once, and you will be hooked on its versatility and the amazing flavors and crispness that it creates.
Cast iron skillets are another kitchen favorite that truly stand the test of time and are so durable and timeless they can even be passed down through generations. Some of my favorite things to make in my cast iron skillet are cornbread, and a good, simple steak.
10. Sponge Caddy
One downfall to spending countless hours in the kitchen creating recipes, is the loads of dishes piled up to wash at the end. If you’re lucky, you can charm your husband into doing them for you in exchange for the beautiful meal you just cooked, but if you’re stuck doing them yourself, I suggest you save yourself a ton of mess and headache and get yourself one of these sponge caddy’s.
The suction cup attachments are a great thought, but they tend to collect mildew, and who needs a germy piece of plastic in the same place you are trying to achieve clean dishes? Not only does this one hold several brushes and sponges, it is efficiently designed to drain and can even be taken apart to be washed itself.
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