the 11 things in my kitchen I cannot live without

Friday, December 01, 2017
I have been cooking a lot lately.

I mean, a lot.

Patrick got me a bread machine for my birthday, and once we got home on Sunday, it was honestly like a food blogger's kitchen – so. much. cooking. I loved it. On Sunday we made homemade King's Hawaiian rolls for our sandwiches, and on Monday, we made homemade pizza. On Tuesday, skillet fried chicken with roasted bell peppers and rice, and three-cheese focaccia bread. (Which was amazing.) And Thursday was a Tuscan chicken sheet pan dinner courtesy of my girl Ree and the new Pioneer Woman cookbook, with homemade ciabatta bread. Yum.

Because I am spending 2-3 hours in my kitchen every evening, making dinner and cleaning up, I wanted to share the 11 (I tried to do 10 then remembered one I could not leave out!) things that I cannot live without in the kitchen. These 11 things have made my life – as a not super put-together cook – so much easier.


1. Bread maker. I have lusted after my stepdad's bread machine since he got his first one (he killed it a few years ago and I replaced it for a gift) when I was a kid. We made bread a lot in those first few weeks, but it got old fast, because I was a kid, and everything got old. Focaccia would have meant nothing to me back then. But it was the pizza dough that sold me and Patrick on the bread machine, and he got it for me for my birthday so we could make homemade pizza together. And we did. It is totally worth it, y'all.

2. Glass bowls of all sizes. Almost every time I cook I dirty 3-4 glass bowls, from mixing bowl size to tiny bowls I use for spices or olive oil. I love having tons of these mixing bowls around though, and they make cooking and prep work so much easier. Buy more than you need! Trust me – you do not want to wash dishes while cooking.

3. Plenty of silicon spatulas. Think of how many you probably need, and double it. Maybe triple it. I use at least one of these, usually two, every time I am in the kitchen. I love them more than real spatulas and, well, any other kitchen utensil out there other than wooden spoons. These are great for sauces, eggs, desserts, everything.

4. Glass and ceramic bakeware. My two glass Pyrex baking pans are my best friends, and I am so thankful for the new Corningware set I got this year, too. I use them for more than just baking – they are great for storing and for prep work, too – this is how I easily, with minimal mess, bread chicken or pork chops to bake in the oven, or season meat before it goes on the skillet or in the oven. And I honestly think they clean up way easier than metal pans!

5. My Keurig. I just scored an amazing deal on a Keurig from Target and I am so glad. I love my Keurig to make coffee of course but it is so handy if you need a cup or two of hot water, fast – for tea, for anything.

6. Glass measuring cups. Again: Buy more than one. I have two in different sizes and use them both. It is so easy to do prep work for recipes when you have more than one, and these are safe to pop in the microwave too to melt butter or chocolate.

7. Cutting and prep boards. This is becoming my mantra: Buy more than you think you need. I have three cutting boards and it is not enough, especially when I am cooking a big meal or prepping a lot of produce or meat.

8. Paring knives. I do not have very nice knives at the moment, but my cheap little paring knives do almost all of the work that a bigger, fancier knife would do. (I do have bigger knives for things that require it, Mom. Don't fret.) I have two on hand and could honestly add a few more just to make my life a little easier, because they are handy for everything.

9. Garlic press. I did not know I needed this until I tried it for the first time. Almost every recipe Pat and I make requires garlic – but we love garlic so much that I would add garlic to every single recipe I make if I could. I was mincing it by hand, but the other day, I got a garlic

10. Sturdy cookie sheets. I just asked for more of these for Christmas, because I cook everything on cookie sheets, honestly. (Baking sheets, whatever they're called.) You want to make sure you have a set that can withstand high heats in the oven (a cheap one of mine got totally warped at 450┬║ last night and scared me to pieces!)

11. Cooling racks. I just invested in a few cooling racks on Black Friday because of our newfound need to break 10 loaves of bread a week. (Thanks, bread machine!) This has made cooking so much easier and is protecting my counters and tabletop, too.






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