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Since you know I am constantly in the kitchen (when I am not fighting a headcold and making my husband make dinner instead), here are my Top Ten Kitchen Must-Haves in honor of Top Ten Tuesday.
1. Stand Mixer. Yes, many people sing the glories of their KitchenAids. But my grandma was not feeling up to shelling out $300 (she has 15 grandkids!) and she bought
us me this awesome Subeam stand mixer. I will say I’ve never had a KitchenAid so I can’t compare, but I loooove my stand mixer. I grew up without one and I never knew how easy it made baking! At under $100, it can’t be beat.
2. Good cookie sheets. I started out with some perfectly fine AirBake cookie sheets–but they were small. I love these giant Wilton cookie sheets I have. I can cook 16 cookies on each sheet–that’s 32 at a time if I use both sheets in the oven at once! The worst part of baking cookies, to me, is the tedious waiting for each batch to finish, switching it out with new dough, etc. Love the huge cookie sheets.
3. Stacking cooling racks. While we’re talking cookie baking–I love these basic stacking cooling racks. We got them off our Target registry and you can still get a set of 3 for under $10 at Target.
4. Thin spatula. I know this is weird, but a very thin spatula is vital for getting cookies off the cookie tray. I stress out if mine is dirty and I have to use another spatula for cookies, or for flipping things in the frying pan, etc. I guess that means I probably need to buy another one!
5. Really good slow cooker. I cringe to tell you I’m on my third Crockpot since we’ve been married. Model 1 Mr. V and I bought for about $10 at a department store before we were married. It was wonderful, but it only had the knob that went to high or low, and I wanted one that was programmable. So I think my dad bought me Model 2, a great big one that has wonderful programming features. Unfortunately, my lid was weird and probably defective (my mom has the same one and hers is fine). It didn’t fit completely right, and so a ton of steam would escape and leave everything burnt and dry.
SO, this year for Christmas, I asked for Model 3 and my darling mother-in-law (who also bought me those cookies sheets, silicone pastry brushes, and anything else I would ask for because she’s awesome and also loves to cook) got it for me. LOVE IT. Great settings. For us, because we’re gone about 11 hours during the day, it’s important that a crockpot will switch to the warm setting after its set cooking time. This one is perfect–and it has a locking lid!
6. Lots of rubber spatulas. I have a great Pampered Chef spoonula (can’t find it online), a KitchenAid Silicone Spoon Spatula, and the red one for tomato sauce. Great for baking–gotta have one to scrape batter out of the bowl and smooth the tops of cake batters. And for putting icing on the cake after it’s done! And stirring. And…
7. Wooden spoons. Lots and lots of wooden spoons! Just right for breaking up ground meats, stirring sauces and thicker batters, and beating your spouse. 😉 Someone gave me that bamboo set from Pampered Chef I linked. I guess that counts as wooden! I like them a lot.
8. Big skillets. I got tired of washing my biggest skillet over and over again–and plus it wasn’t nonstick, so I had to scrub it continually. Last Christmas Mr. V bought me these huge nonstick KitchenAid ones, and I use them all the time. Nonstick coating may kill us, but it’s sure easy to wash up! The only fault with this set is that they don’t have lids.
9. Dutch oven. Also known as, a big pot with a lid. But not a really deep stock pot, like what came with my pot and pan set. One of my friends gave me hers because she had several. But, of course, what I would really like is a fancy-smancy Le Creuset one. 10. A sharp knife. A really sharp knife. Although I’d prefer to have more than one, I’ve found you can live with just one or two. I have two from the Henckels Twin Signature line and after four years of using a Target knife set … these are heaven!
Wow, these top 10 lists are long. Might I suggest Top Three Tuesday for the future?