My Kitchen Favorites (AKA Stuff I actually use daily)

Today I thought I'd share some of my favorite kitchen tools. These are the things that I actually own and use in my kitchen on a near daily basis. Take a look--maybe you'll get a few fun gift ideas for the cooks in your life! (Or just for yourself, that's cool too!)
 
(From left to right, top to bottom)
1. Metal Tongs: I have about 5 sets of tongs in my kitchen and I use them constantly. They're great for putting marinated chicken or steaks onto the stove, flipping grilled veggies, turning tortillas, tossing and serving salad, the list is endless. I even use them for pulling down boxes from high shelves in my kitchen (do this at your own risk--I usually end up with a box on my head). Bloomingdales, $29
 
2. Kitchensmart Solid Oven Mitt: These are my FAVORITE oven mitts. When I got married, a bunch of people gave me overpriced oven mitts from Williams Sonoma--and they all developed holes within days. But THESE super cheap ones from Bed Bath & Beyond, rock. I also love how they're designed with the thumb on the bottom (as opposed to the typical "mitten style") so that you can easily grip hot, heavy pots. (They're also great for opening up jars.) Bed Bath & Beyond, $7
 
3. Le Creuset Saucier: I love this little pot and actually want to get myself a couple more. It's made with the same heavy construction as the large dutch ovens, but is the perfect size for everyday cooking--I use this to make soup, fry foods, make tea or hot chocolate, make rice or quinoa, reheat food--it's incredibly versatile. Amazon, $180
 
4. Joseph Joseph 8-Piece Nesting Set: I first discovered this super cool nesting set of measuring bowls, sieves, and measuring cups at City Cookhouse, the commercial kitchen space I occasionally rent to teach in. Each piece is a different bright color and they all nest right into each other--which is great if you have limited space. They're dishwasher safe, too! Amazon, $36
 
5. Krups Coffee/Spice Grinder: I don't really drink coffee, but I use my grinder all the time for whole spices, and to grind down espresso beans for cooking purposes. It works super quickly, doesn't take up much room, and is a great way to add intense flavor to your cooking. Bloomingdales, $25
 
6. PAM Baking Spray: I'm generally anti cooking sprays, but this thing is a gem. It has flour in it so you can easily spray baking dishes (especially tough ones with weird crevices like bundt pans or decorative molds). I always have consistently perfect results when I use it. Most major grocery stores, $3
 
7. OXO Hand-held Mandoline: One of my favorite and most fun kitchen tools by far! I'm a cucumber salad addict, so I use this almost daily to slice up super thin slices of cucumber in mere seconds. It's also great for potatoes (potatoes au gratin!) and fruit. I actually own three mandolines, one that cost about $300 and another that cost about $150, but this one is so low-maintenance that I use it WAY more often than the others. Crate & Barrel, $15
 
8. Le Creuset Batter Bowl: This is a great bowl for mixing up pancake or cake batter--the spout makes it easy to pour things without spills. It's perfect for melting large amounts of chocolate in the microwave. I also use this for soup (I sieve into this bowl and pour into serving dishes or storage containers). It's heavy, thick quality and dishwasher safe. Amazon, $40

9. Williams Sonoma Spatulas & Spoonulas: For Christmas last year, my dad got me this entire set of spatulas and I absolutely love them. I used them daily to get the last bits of cake batter out of the bowl, to fold things, even on my nonstick skillet for things like scrambled eggs. The high quality silicone can withstand high heat and the thick wood handles don't break like cheaper plastic versions.  Williams Sonoma, $8-$22

10. Mikasa Swirl White Dinnerware: This is our everyday china and it's absolutely gorgeous. Matte swirls on the outside and a glazed center. The texture is just lovely (the bowls and mugs have a great hand-feel) and they're really versatile for food photography, or for paring with other brightly colored pieces. I'm kind of a klutz and these take quite a beating without showing a scratch. Bed Bath & Beyond, $150

11. Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce: I don't like regular tabasco, but this smoky spicy version is fantastic. I use this on tacos, on seafood, on my eggs in the morning. It's great over soups, and I occasionally even use it as a marinade. Good stuff. Get the big bottle. Most major grocery stores, $5

12. Smoked Spanish Paprika: My most used spice by far! If you haven't tried it yet, you really should. It adds fantastic smokey flavor and color to dishes. A little smoked paprika, olive oil, and salt, and you've got a great simple seasoning for chicken, shrimp, fish, veggies--everything! Gracious Home, $3.50

13. Le Creuset Balloon Whisk: This is a great silicone whisk to have on hand for use with delicate pots (like enameled dutch ovens, nonstick pans, etc.). It withstands high heat without scratching the pans. I got mine as a gift ages ago and it ended up being one of my most used utensils. Macy's, $27

 
Important note! All of these products are things that I actually own and use in my own home kitchen. I purchased these myself and/or was given them as gifts from friends (not companies). I'm not being paid to recommend these to you, although if you happen to buy them via my Amazon link, I will get a teeny tiny affiliate commission (pennies on the dollar!) that goes to help support my work here on this blog. 
 

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