8 Kitchen Must-Haves!

Cooking in my household is a breeze. I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve got a ton of awesome gadgets and appliances lying around, making my life 1000x easier. If you need ideas on how to make your time in the kitchen efficient and effective, then read on!

  1. Convection Oven

Oily food makes my tummy hurt. For real! Since Nov 2019, I’ve cut oil out of my diet, and have been reliant on broth or water to “saute” veggies. The thing is… my food became soft and soggy. I thought about using the conventional oven, but that would take up so much energy (electricity and effort!). It just didn’t make sense to turn the kitchen upside down every time I wanted to make a meal — physically and financially. But one fine day my boyfriend suggested getting a convection oven — and boy, was the best little machine we have till today! The convection oven has changed how I approach food — and has let us all explore all types of little-to-no-oil foods. Now the food is cooked, and crunchy! 

Also — if you live in a tiny tiny apartment, this is probably a must-have. It stores upright and takes just a little bit of space on the countertop. Trust me, in a family of 6 where everyone gets a piece of the action in the kitchen, the convection oven is invisible, until it needs to be used. 

  1. Spiral Spices

Spices make the world go round…seriously, countries were conquered because of the array of spices that could grow on the land. But the sad truth is that a lot of spices aren’t used as often, and the packaging is bulky, hard to store, and hard to find! My current spice rack helps me go beyond my regular spice palette of cumin, coriander, salt, and chili powder. I get to try, thyme, parsley, Italian seasoning, and so many others! The one  I have has stayed with me for about 3 years. The spices are still fresh, as they are kept in a vacuum-sealed container, and enjoyed by everyone in the family! 

  1. Coffee Machine with a Grinder

This one might put a dent in the bank — so you might want to see if it would be a good addition for your family. My boyfriend and sister-in-law love coffee — regular (see in the next item) and espresso. This machine will take up counter space, so make sure you have a stable strong place to put it in. Built with an internal grinder, you can grind your coffee beans to a size of your choosing, choose your own filter, and voila. Espresso! I promise you the espresso made from this little (actually quite big) machine is addicting!! You can even buy cute little espresso cups and adjust it by the number of shots you’d like in your cup. A cup of pure joy. 

  1. Pour Over Coffee

It used to take me 50 minutes to get to work, and to be honest, I loved every moment of it. Reading, people watching, walking. All of it brought me a sense of routine. But now I have 100 extra minutes in the day… and figured that a portion of it could be dedicated to trying out different coffee beans! Spending about 20 minutes a day, the pour over technique has given me purpose to constantly pay attention to coarseness, temperature and pouring technique. Yes, ladies and gentlemen — welcome to a more complicated way of making coffee. You have COMPLETE control over every cup of coffee you make — and if you’re into experimenting, this is your calling! 

  1. Huge Cutting Board

I can’t emphasize enough how essential it is to have an oversized cutting board. By cutting on a large cutting board you can just keep the portions to the side, and continue with your prep work. No need for extra bowls, and plates to hold a variety of different prepped veggies — but also it avoids spillage of more watery fruits/veggies like tomatoes! One thing I would be aware of is the effort it takes to wash the cutting board. 🙂 Make sure your sink can accommodate! 

  1. Hand-Held Immersion Blender

One day — while walking through Costco — we found a handheld blender for 20 dollars. For YEARS my sis-in-law and I always talked about pureeing soup, making smoothies, blah blah blah. But low and behold, we did nothing! Then it just hit us in the face as we were crossing an aisle — and we threw it into the cart! Ugh. BEST DECISION EVER. Since I started working out at home, smoothies have been my go to in the mornings. It even cut through ice — which helped me stayed super cool in the summer. When I’d make butternut squash soup, I’d always pulse it in the slow cooker to give it that nice chunky soupy texture. Oh… and please. If I start having kids, I’m definitely using this to puree their food. Easy peasy. 

  1. Slow cooker

Working full-time, and going to school, getting my workout in, reading, homework, more work before bed… who has the time to cook? I got my slow cooker in November 2019. I had decided to go vegan and saw a video of someone just dumping all these ingredients into a crockpot, and bam! 8 hours later it came out to an edible dinner. WHAT? I needed to try it. And I did!! I had lunch every day for months until I couldn’t go to the office anymore. I would go to sleep, wake up, and BAM, food! I ended up getting a 3qt slow cooker because I am only one person. No one else was on the diet I was on, so it didn’t make sense to get such a big slow cooker. To be honest, I wish I actually got the 1.5 qt. I love having leftovers, but space is a scarce commodity in my home, and that includes the refrigerator too! 

  1. Swiss Peeler

Now. There are peelers… and then there are PEELERS! Growing up there was a peeler in my home, it was curved, had a black handle, and well… I didn’t really understand the physics of it. I would need to hold it a certain way and pray I didn’t put too much pressure that I would stray off course and cut my hands. It felt dangerous in my hands. Then one day, my mom comes home with a 3-pack of Swiss peelers. They look SO different than the ones we were using. No suspicious shape, but two blades, one on each side, and a handle. This allowed us to peel in both directions, with very little pressure. Yes, it’s sharp — and yes, you might cut your hands — but trust me, after you do a little trial and error — it’s going to be a staple for all the carrots and potatoes you peel. 

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