Sometimes people ask me, “What can you not live without in your kitchen?” That’s a great question! So I’ve made a list of my top five favorite culinary items. I’d recommend these to anyone looking to stock their kitchen, or they would make the perfect gift for any home cooks on your list!
($90-$180) You knew that would be at the top of my list!
I’m in LOVE with my Cuisinart CPC-600 6 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker– it has totally changed the way we do dinner and I dig that!! No more overcooked hunks of meat from the slow cooker for me – no sirrrreee. Because I have a family of protein-eatin’ guys, I find myself using my pressure cooker mainly for cooking meats and poultry, grains, beans, and stews. It also works great for cooking squash and potatoes, as well. Did you know you can even hard-boil eggs in a pressure cooker??
I didn’t expect to fall in love with pressure cooking, but the speed and efficiency, plus the quality of the food it produces has been eye-opening and we love having dinner ready in 30 minutes. This is a tool that every busy family should learn to utilize.
($25-$150) I’ve got lots of cast iron cookware, but I find myself using these 3 pieces almost daily: 12” skillet, Dutch Oven, and Griddle.
- 12″ Skillet
I love stovetop skillet meals because they are speedy, but it’s also wonderful to use my skillet for oven baking a casserole, such as lasagna or enchiladas.
- Dutch Oven
I try to keep a pot of soup on hand at all times since it’s something to grab, heat, and go. My dutch oven is the perfect size for making family-size batches of soups, stews, and chilis.
This guy gets used a lot of mornings for pancakes or French toast and also in the evening when we want to add a grilled sandwich to a salad or bowl of soup. I also enjoy using my griddle because it reminds me of my Grandma Lucille.And, yes, cast iron is heavy to lift, but that quality is what creates such even heat retention, leading to the browning of foods that’s like no other! Here is more info on using and seasoning cast iron cookware – read on!
- 12″ Skillet
($15-$45) Long ago, my good friend, Karen, gave me a magnetic knife bar for my kitchen. Why in the world I waited until this year to put it up and use it, I’ll NEVER know.
Having my knives securely placed on the magnetic bar not only keeps them organized and easily within reach, it also protects them, since they are no longer banging on each other in a utensil drawer. And, since a good chef’s knife is absolutely ESSENTIAL in the kitchen, the magnetic knife bar provides the perfect prominent place for the display that knives deserve.
($10-$25) I’ve got two pair of kitchen shears and find they are both in use nearly ALL of the time, for a variety of chores: trimming chicken, chopping a bundle of scallions, mincing herbs, peeling shrimp, sectioning grapes, cutting whole canned tomatoes, opening packages…….the list goes on!
($8-$20) My kitchen will never be without a microplane. This tool makes zesting citrus (a powerful and flavorful ingredient that should never be left out of any recipe) so easy. Plus, I love Asian-inspired dishes so being able to use my microplane to do a quick grating of fresh ginger root makes my day – talk about aroma-therapy!
Merry Christmas from Chef Alli’s Farm Fresh Kitchen!
Now You’re Cookin’,
***Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to purchase all of these products from Amazon.com and have them shipped (because online shopping is SO easy!) BUT you could also find these quality products in your favorite store!