Here is a breakdown of some of my favourite kitchen essentials, tools that make cooking easier and often times more fun. Most of the items are titled with clickable links which will take you a website that will give you more information about the products. I hope to keep adding to and changing this list so please do check back for updates.
Blendtec Blender – If I had to pick my favourite appliance, my Blendtec would be an easy choice. After researching high-speed blenders, my hope was to find one that fit in my budget, was easy to clean and fit under my countertop. The Blendtec met all these requirements. It isn’t cheap by any standards but for my kitchen needs it was well worth the investment. For my Blendtec I have three jar sizes. The largest size Wild Side Jar, the medium size Four Side Jar and the small Twister Jar. These easily accommodate all my blending needs.
Panasonic Rice Cooker – Growing up I thought the only way to make rice was in a rice cooker, I had never seen it done any other way! Though I now know rice can easily be prepared on a stove top I enjoy throwing rice, water and occasionally seasonings into our rice cooker, pressing start and enjoying pretty much perfectly cooked rice every time. We were gifted this Panasonic Rice Cooker for Christmas from my in-laws and it’s been great though before that we used one that was more budget friendly and it worked really well too.
Calphalon Grill Pan (Panini Press) – we recently got rid of our barbecue because let’s face it, vegetarians just don’t barbecue that much. Sure veggies taste delicious when grilled but we thought it unnecessary for us to have a big old appliance gathering dust on our deck. Enter the grill pan. We originally bought our Calphalon grill pan to be used as what it’s really meant to be used as, a Panini press. When I expressed the desire to grill some onions and peppers for lasagna I was making Adam suggested using the Panini press as a grill pan, which is what it basically is. I’ve been using it this way ever since, grilling up onions, zucchinis, peppers, eggplants, mushrooms and more. Grilling is a great way to get a caramelized and smoky flavour into your veggies, so delicious! Of course a traditional barbecue can be used for the same effect, this just takes up less space.
Sauteuse Pan from Calphalon – I love all my Calphalon pots and pans but one of my go to favorites is my Sauteuse Pan. You’ll see it in a lot of my pictures because I use it pretty much on a daily basis. It’s great to make sauces, stir fries, and pretty much anything that is voluminous. It’s great because you can make a sauce in it and there is still enough room to add the noodles, rice, etc. in with it afterwards.
Mortar and Pestle – I have two of these handy little gadgets in my kitchen, a stainless steel one that I use exclusively for grinding spices for chai (Indian tea, yummy!) and an inexpensive ceramic one from Ikea that I use for spices. Have you ever tried store bought cumin powder vs. freshly ground whole cumin? Completely different taste and potency, there really is no comparison. I do have a coffee grinder that I use for spices as well but it’s more difficult to clean and sometimes grinds the spices finer than I would like so I find I got to my good old-fashioned Mortar and Pestle more often.
Epicurean Gourmet Series Cutting Boards – I have two of these beautiful cutting boards, one for vegetables and one used only for cutting fruit. I like the grooved edges that catch any juice from things like tomatoes or pineapple. They are large and heavy weight to make for a large prep space as well as preventing the board from sliding around.
Pressure cooker – I have a few different pressure cookers that I bought in India which work fantastically for cooking lentils and legumes super fast. I don’t have a brand in particular or one that is readily available here to recommend and I would love to hear if you have a favorite brand.
World Cuisine Spiralizer – Have you ever tried zucchini noodles before? They are incredibly good and kids like them. They seriously do. I bought this middle range spiralizer and have been pretty happy with it though I might try a different one the next time I am in the market for one. I recommend a horizontal style spiralizer as they make the longest noodles and are the easiest to use.
Nesco Dehydrator – This is a recent purchase for me but it’s one that I love. The Nesco Dehydrator I purchased met all three of my dehydrator requirements; it is very quiet, has a timer and adjustable temperature. So far I have dehydrated soaked nuts and some fresh fruits like strawberries, nectarines and peaches; all have been delicious and kid friendly.
KitchenAid Stand Mixer – This mixer is really a baker’s dream. I use it for all my baking needs; cookies, cakes, and for doughs like pizza and bread dough. I have a basic model and have been using it for a few years with no issue. It’s definitely one of my go to tools.
Wüsthof Classic Chef’s Knife – For our wedding, Adam and I received a set of Henckels knives that were great. But a few years ago Adam treated me to a beautiful Wüsthof knife and it’s my favourite knife by far. Every chef needs a good strong knife that they are comfortable with and this knife was my perfect match. It’s forged out of one piece of high carbon steel (so cool) so it’s very strong and stable in your hand. It’s unbelievably sharp and so easy to use. The kitchen store we purchased it from does free sharpening and it’s like Christmas morning using a freshly sharpened knife.
Crock Pot – To be honest I haven’t had too much success with slow cooker recipes. I find they often come out bland and overcooked and not to my liking. But the one thing I absolutely love my crock pot for is making overnight steel cut oats which we eat with a variety of toppings everyday through the fall and winter.
Measuring Cups – I keep a variety of glass measuring cups in many sizes; from 1 cup to 8 cups. These are great as for measuring liquids, holding ingredients while I prep and heating things up in the microwave. I definitely use them everyday and recommend having a few sizes like 1 cup, 2 cups and 4 cups.