Mar 15, 2015

My Most Used Kitchen Items

Alternative title:

Six Items That Fool People into Thinking that Maria Actually Cooks

So I only cook about two meals a week. That doesn't qualify me to give out any culinary advice, but I still appreciate really good kitchen tools when I find them. And here's what I found that works really really well:

Most Used Kitchen Items

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Victorinox Swiss Classic 4-Inch Paring Knife, Serrated // This knife! This little knife! My mom got me this for my bridal shower and I use it all the time. It's my favorite. The best use for it is slicing tomatoes (you can get seriously thin slices), but I use it for pretty much everything. It's been four years since I've had it and it's still ridiculously sharp. Yes, even after washing it in the dishwasher, which I know you aren't supposed to do with knives, but I do it anyways, because...lazy.

Jaccard Supertendermatic 48 Blade Tenderizer // This Christmas, Brandon and I started a new tradition in which we have a budget of $20 each fill each other's stockings and then we vote on who put together the best stocking. I failed at this task and ended up buying him a bunch of candy at the last minute instead of other ideas I had that were more useful and healthy (I ran out of time). He just stuffed this meat tenderizer in my stocking. And he got some major side-eye at first. You got me a meat tenderizer for Christmas? What is this, 1945? But, that boy won the stocking challenge by a landslide. This is such an awesome kitchen tool. It's really easy to use and makes even the blandest skinless boneless chicken breast tender and moist. Chefs swear by it and even use it as a verb, "Did you Jaccard the meat?". Or how we use it in our household, "Stop annoying me, or I will Jaccard your face." We love each other.

Oxo Good Grips Swivel Peeler  // I love everything Oxo. They make the best stuff, but what I use the most is this little peeler. In fact, I have two and could probably use a third. After 5+ years of use, this baby is still sharp (like my knives, I put it in the dishwasher - oops) and is used almost daily.

Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 6 Qt. // I know Le Cruset gets all the popularity points in the Dutch Oven category, but I'm here to tell you that you do not need to spend a small fortune on a fantastic dutch oven. Don't do it. Buy a Lodge! It's American-made! Brandon got me this for Valentine's Day last year (in red even, aww) and boy do I love this thing for making soups, stews, and braising meat. It's makes me feel like a real cook because almost everything I make in turns out great. My brother's beef stew in'll make your tongue slap your brains out.

Oxo Good Grips 9 Inch Locking Tongs with Nylon Heads // I use these tongs for all sorts of things: tossing a salad, flipping roasted veggies in the oven (or french fries!) and reaching things on high shelves while I stand on a stool. I need about 10 more of these.

Oxo Good Grips Silicon Cookie Spatula // Brandon's mom got me this for Christmas one year and while I don't make cookies a lot (I really should, shouldn't I?), I use this all the time! Serving meatloaf, cake, pie, making pancakes- it is super versatile and like all things Oxo, is high quality and a great value.

Now, I need your advice. I really don't like my current jelly roll pans/cookie sheets. I need new ones desperately because mine are warped and stained and just gross. What do you use? Do you use a Silpat with them to keep them nice?


  1. I have those tongs and vouch that they are the best!
    Some of my fav things include tovolo kitchen utensils which Williams Sonoma sells but I usually find at Homegoods. They have silicone heads and stainless steel handles. I throw them in the dishwasher. The fact they come in fun colors also helps.

    My recent set of half sheets the Williams-Sonoma Traditional Finish Jelly Roll Pan. I've had them for a year and so far so good. I do use a silpat to keep them nice and silvery.

  2. I love Lodge! Their products are amazing and affordable. Cannot go wrong.

    1. Agreed. I also have a Lodge grill pan and Lodge iron skillet...cannot beat them.


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