Now that the holidays are officially here, many of us are spending lots of extra time in the kitchen, baking, cooking, prepping and serving loads of delicious, festive food for our family and friends. And it's at times like these, when the busy-meter is on EXTRA HIGH in my kitchen, that I am always most aware of, and thankful for, some very helpful, essential kitchen tools (these also make great gift ideas, I think!) Here's my personal list of most helpful kitchen tools to help you through the hectic holiday season:
1) Good oven mitts. This might sound like a no-brainer, but I can't tell you how many crappy (even fancy) oven mitts I've had, which burn right through to my skin just from picking up a very hot casserole dish. Try finding some with rubber on the outside, which adds a strong, extra protective coat and really keeps the heat off. Without a good pair of these, I'm lost in the kitchen.
2) Tongs. These are essential for flipping, tossing, separating and serving so many foods in our home from sausage and steak to pasta, salad, veggies and fruit. I like the kind with the rubber coated tips, which makes the grip more delicate and helps you from breaking food up, if you grab too fast.
3) A blender. We have always just had a little cheap hand blender which stores easily in a small drawer, and comes with two simple attachments (a blender and a whisk), but it's still ideal to make fast, fresh delicious food like soups, purrees, sauces, batters, whipped cream and so much more.
4) A sharp chef's knife. There's really nothing more useful than a sharp chef knife to prepare good food at home. The sharper your blade, the quicker and better you can chop things. Storing you knifes properly and safely, and cleaning them by hand instead of in a dishwasher, both go a long way to extending the usefulness of your knives too.
5) My last choice is a toss up between a good peeler, which I use so much, every day, and my trusted meat thermometer, which I am sure we might all be dead without in my home (due to poor cooking). Either way, you can't go wrong ensuring you have a good version of either of these very essential kitchen tools for your home.
Wishing you happy cooking and happy holidays, from my kitchen to yours, and bon apetit!
What are your favorite essential kitchen tools?