I’m sure many of you will be finding yourselves in the kitchen at some point today or tomorrow. Whether you’re hosting or doing your part in bringing along a side or dessert to your Thanksgiving dinner, chances are you’ll be keeping yourself busy. And it won’t end there. December is likely the month where your oven, and all of your kitchen gadgets get put to use the most. I have the below group of items titled ‘kitchen essentials’, however this would work just as well as a gift guide for the chef/baker in your family. I’m no pro, but all of these items have certainly aided in many of my kitchen adventures, yet funny enough, before I had them I never knew what I was missing. Trust me, if you know someone that’s lacking one of these items, do them a favor and help complete their kitchen. They’ll surely thank you, possibly in baked goods ;)
1. Dutch Oven: This pot just may be my favorite item in the kitchen. From soups, to one pot meals and braising meats, it’s put to use at least once or twice each week. It cleans easily which is another big plus. You can find a less expensive option here.
2. Pampered Chef Mix ‘n Chop: Although it can be used for chopping fruits and vegetables as well, my main use with this utensil is breaking up ground meat while browning it. A spatula or wooden spoon just can’t compete here.
3. Garlic Press: For years I spent extremely too much time mincing garlic with a knife. I’d now be lost without this guy.
4. Bundt Pan: You can literally find these in hundreds of shapes and sizes and once you have one and discover the wonders of a bundt cake, you may end up a junkie like me!
5. Mesh Strainer: Great for sifting, but it’s main use in my kitchen is for rinsing quinoa which we eat often around here.
6. Crock Pot: Chances are you have one, but if you don’t, it’s life changing. We’ve had to up-size ours as our family has grown, but for the relatively inexpensive price, they’re totally worth it.
7. Wooden Spoon: Nothing new here, but I’m constantly grabbing wooden spoons for baking and cooking. I couldn’t have enough.
8. Salad Spinner: We eat salads year round and this thing is a huge time saver. A nice perk is that you can use the bowl for serving your salad as well allowing you to have less dirty dishes, yay!
9. Mini Spatulas: These things are life savers when it comes to getting brownies or baked bars of any type out of that darn pan. Knives just won’t cut it (ha).
10. Pastry Mat: Before purchasing this mat, I had one without any grip and it would drive me crazy sliding all over the place as I did my best to roll out dough. Not only does this one stick, but it also has some very convenient measurement markings which allow me to roll my pie dough accurately.