Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kitchen tools for cooking fools.

Yep. I just did.

Reader Nicole asked me to do a post about kitchen gadgets in the heat of the BBT series and I am just now getting around to it.  Here's the deal.  Nicole is a firm believer that in order to be a great cook, you need great tools...

I however, am not.  Did you know that I have 2, count em, 2 tools that would be considered "desirable" for anyone who loves to cook?

One is a Wusthof Chef's Knife, the other, Suzy, the Kitchenaid mixer.

All of my other tools, are shit. Which is why I am getting married. To have non-shit tools sent to me in the mail so that I can frolick and play the housewife way!  Kidding that's not actually why I am getting married, but it was one of the most exciting things that crossed my mind after it sunk in that I, in fact, was engaged.

So here's the what's what. Great tools are helpful.  Tools do not define you as a cook, and I will not have anyone thinking they can't make anything I make with their hands.

In the event that you feel like you'd like to be educated on the types of gadgets that make me excited about life, you are welcome to read on.  Just know that cooking tools provide convenience, not ability. Got it?  It's like suzy, I never made pasta before I had her, but that doesn't mean I couldn't make pasta by hand before, and that it wouldn't taste any different.

That all being said - here are the top - however many i can think of - gadgets for your kitchen.

1) Kitchenaid Mixer.  If you bake, she makes life feel like a cool breeze on a hot summer day.  Whether you're whipping heavy cream or egg whites, or creaming butter, this takes the armwork out of baking.  She also has a babillion attachements to make more complicated dishes such as pasta, meat grinding and case filling for sausage, ice cream attachements, juicers, you name it.  She was the first thing I bought myself when I had enough disposable income to support my cooking habit.

2) A good set of knifes - Whether they are Wusthof, Cutco, or Shun, (or any other popular brand) a good knife is like a toddler.  You have to keep your eyes on it, or it'll run off with your finger. They are expensive as hell but the key to a good set of knives is knowing proper knife care.  You can get by with a chefs knife, I know this, because I have to.  It would be great to have a good serrated knife and a pearing knife.  But if you're buying just one, get the chef's knife.  Bottom line, do your research, ask questions, and for the love of Martha, hone, clean, and love your knife.

3) A Good Blender - Can you say Vitamix? Cause I sure can.  I have the shittiest blender ever.  In fact, I hope the first wedding gift I get is a good blender.  (I tried to find a father of the bride video clip and it didn't work. sorr.) My blender leaks out of the bottom, it's a big ole mess.  I prefer Vitamix or Kitchenaid here.  I have a cuisinart, and well. She sucks.

4) Pans - Pans Pans Pans. Good quality, non stick pans are super helpful and worth every expensive penny they cost.  Calphalon. Just do it. Thanks.  If you're looking for the cheap pan I have a little secret.  I use ikea nonstick pans and they are good enough to get the job done.  (who's surprised?)

5) Food Processor - I know I just hated on cuisinart but I do like my food processor.  It is way too flippin small, so you know I registered for a big ass 16 cup food processor, but Cuisinart get's the job done just fine there.  ( word to the wise - when you see the blender/food processor combos - don't think this is a good way to cut corners.  It's twice as likely to break on you.)

6) Wood Cutting Boards - I know I know - the meat.  I don't care. They are better for your knives, just scrub the damn board.

7) I believe in the power of cast iron.  Whether it's enameled or not. Cast iron makes miracles happen that other materials just don't.  If you don't by a dutch and you buy a cast iron skillet, for the love, season it properly.  And don't ever. wash it.

And honestly, those are the things I rely on day to day.  You don't need much to make a fabulous meal other than the mindset to be open and calm, the ability to read, and your hands and mouth to lead you. 

What are your favorite kitchen tools?  Or are you the neanderthal that just hacks shit with a stick and hopes it works out?




  1. I hack at stuff despite the kitchen tools :) But I do love the kitchenaid mixer and food processor. If you ever upgrade yours, kitchenaid KPF750 is awesome (dedication ain't it..remembering the model number and all). Is it me or is kitchenaid taking over?

  2. I have to completely agree with you about the Wusthof Chef's knife! That's the only great knife I have too!!

    The moment I attempted (and continue to attempt) making pesto with my frickin Cuisinart blender, I knew I needed a food processor. I looooove pesto and only make it from scratch. A food processor is definitely necessary in the kitchen.

    Kudos to the Kitchen Tools!

  3. LOL! This is the third post I've seen with reference to a list of most helpful kitchen gadgets! One of the three is a list I threw up - and it looks like we share some of the same priorities (kitchen aid, cast iron pot, knife!) Great minds think alike! Thanks so much for sharing - lots of fun.

  4. OMG like reading my mind! Cast iron. Totally there. Love Bessie my fiery red mixer (cuz a redhead needs a redheaded Kitchenaid) I got all my fancy gadgets from the marrying party except Bessie who was a gift from my hubs on first Christmas together. Still lusting after a candy apple red big processor. Jump on that registry honey!