We cook at home, a lot these days. Actually, we’ve always cooked at home a lot, but after having Owen, it’s reached an all new level.
I love cooking at home, and I’m actually making a concerted effort to cook even more of our meals at home (and skip the takeout) for the next month to save some cash. While we don’t go out that often, but I find that those random coffees, lunches and takeout dinners really add up.
All that cooking at home means that we get a lot of use out of our appliances and kitchen tools and I’ve quickly noticed that there’s a few items that are out and used almost every singe day. They’re our kitchen workhorses and while we don’t have the fanciest of each of these, they work well and have stood the test of time—so far at least!
Most Used Kitchen Items
As you guys know, I’m a big believer in the power of celery juice or any type of green juice every day. For the most part, I use this baby every single morning and it’s changed my life. Green juice, or any fresh-pressed juice for that matter is expensive. Like $8-9 on average. At home, I can make 2 cups worth for about $2 or less. I usually just make straight celery juice, but occasionally switch it up and do celery, cucumber, lemon and ginger!
Sometime in early March I decided I was going to start drinking green smoothies on a daily basis. I jumped in and haven’t looked back. Not only is it a super easy way to get a whole serving of greens in first thing in the morning, but it’s delicious! And, if you don’t have time for a sit down breakfast, this makes for a good fill-in. My recipes is in this Instagram post. Now, onto our blender! Ours isn’t fancy at all, but it’s served us well and works great. I would love to get a Vitamix eventually, but I just can’t justify it yet when our does work pretty dang well and we don’t have much storage space.
Shop: Ninja Blender — $30.49
This is definitely the most used item in our kitchen. I use our frying pans at least twice a day, sometimes 4 times between cooking our meals and Owen’s dinner. I’ve been through so many Calphalon pans and continue to be disappointed at how quickly the non-stick material wears out and then chips off.
I recently learned that when they start chipping, they’re actually pretty toxic, so I tossed those and replaced them with this set of Valencia Pro GreenPans and I’m 100% sold!! Okay, so it’s only been like a week, but holy check, they’re amazing and a great price!
We use our cutting boards almost as much as our frying pans. Okay, now that I think about it, maybe more?! Chopping, slicing up fruit, prepping for meals—these things are pretty much always out. Personally, I love a wooden cutting board. We have a big Boos one that I like when I’m cooking a dinner with lots of ingredients. I also have a slightly smaller one and then a smaller board for cutting up fruit quickly. Ours have been collected over time and the small one is actually from Vienna, ha, so I linked to the closest I could find.
Something you might not know about me? I went to culinary school shortly after I graduated from undergrad. I didn’t last long, but it did give me an appreciation for good knives and good knife skills. We registered for some really great knives when we got married and they’re still amazing. This is an area that I think you should splurge a bit. If you take good care of them, you’ll have them the rest of your life. Just make sure to get them sharpened on occasion.
I know it’s tempting to get a whole block set, but honesty, you just don’t need that many! For almost all cooking, you can get by with these three: chef’s knife (your multi-purpose, most-used knife), a serrated knife (great for bread, tomatoes and mozzarella), and a paring knife (smaller all purpose knife, great for cutting fruits).
Strangely enough, we use our peeler all the time! Rob uses it for orange peels for negronis, and I use it to peel sweet potatoes and carrots, which is often! I got a set of three which is handy, but I definitely use the peeler the most.
Shop: Peeler Trio — $12.99
Nespresso & Milk Frother
I can’t finish this list without adding my Nespresso and milk frother! I use these almost every day too. Even on days where I make matcha instead of coffee, I end up using the frother to mix my matcha together and it works great. We’ve had them over three years and they still work great! I found the one we have, but online it says Nespresso by Breville—not sure what that’s about, but this is the exact one we have!
Lastly, I’m not a big baker, but I use my baking sheets several times a week for roasting veggies, chicken potatoes, and yes, occasionally cookies! These have been my favorites. They have a bumpy, corrugated bottom that allows for a nice crisp bottom on food without getting them stuck. We have two, though rarely use both at the same time. Still handy though!
What are your most used kitchen items? Which items do you want to upgrade?