Wow! The year went by so fast! Now it’s that time of year where everyone is making or buying gifts for each other. I do recommend making gifts for people if you can, but if you would like to purchase a gift for that food lover in your life, I’ve put together a list of some of my very favorite items. I have three items on the list that are a little on the pricy side, but they will give you years (even a lifetime) of use. The majority of items I tried to keep under $25. I use them. every. single. week.
Give them a look and let me know if I’ve forgotten anything! What items do you use all the time cooking? Anything that makes your life easier?
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I’m sure you’ve heard of the Instant Pot by now. There is almost a cult like following of this product. Great for making food speedy fast, transporting food, and making the perfect hard boiled eggs. One of my favorite features is the stainless steel pot. You don’t have to worry about chemicals leaching into your food from any non-stick surfaces.
This is a bit of a splurge, but I have to say, this is my favorite thing to cook in. Everything comes out perfectly. Just make sure to never go higher than medium heat. The oval shape is a bit lighter in weight than most dutch ovens and it makes it so much easier to wash. Hey, it’s hard lifting a 10lb pot and maneuvering it in the sink.
My mom gave me my Kitchen Aid as a wedding present. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, because I thought it was mainly for baking (I’m not much of a baker). This ended up being one of my most used items. While I still use it for baking, I also use it for whipping butter, shredding meat, mashing potatoes, and mixing ground meat with spices and other ingredients. Seriously, it is so useful! So far, it’s lasted me almost a decade and still acts like it’s brand new. This is probably the number one product I recommend to people.
A mandolin. Yes, I love it. I use this for quickly slicing/julienning vegetables into beautiful, uniform pieces. I could do this with a knife, but hey, as a busy mom, sometimes I just want things to look the best they can with the least amount of time.
The vegetable chopper is even better than the mandolin. You’d be amazed at people’s reactions when you bring salsa or make a salad of perfect little cubes. The chopper is my little secret and now it’s yours too. It also prevents you from crying when cutting an onion.
6. Cookie Scoop
I love this little gadget. Perfectly sized meatballs, cookies, and even a fantastic little scoop for cupcake batter.
I use tongs for everything: grilling, flipping meat or veggies in a pan, tossing a salad, and to serve with. I love the silicon tip because it won’t melt, and you don’t have to worry about burnt plastic in your food. I actually have quite a few of these and always think I need more.
My favorite zester! I use it for all my citrus as well as for nutmeg.
9. Peeler Set
Growing up, I had the worst peelers. When I came across these I fell in love and my prep time was cut in half. I will never go back.
Now that I’ve talked about all these sharp accessories, I’m going to introduce you to the cut resistance glove. I especially use this for the mandolin. PLEASE be careful with the mandolin or any other crazy sharp cooking accessory. This has saved my hand when I wasn’t paying attention and I should have been. I’ve also used this to grab things out of the oven, which I wouldn’t recommend doing.
My silpat is awesome and I like that I don’t need to use foil or parchment paper and can cut down on my waste. Baked goods come out great, and I also use this for meatballs, roasted veggies, or pretty much anything that needs to go in the oven on a sheet tray.