Today I’m kicking off a new series I’m calling “CEBH…A Behind The Scenes Peek Into My Kitchen“! I thought I’d start by sharing my favorite, most-used, cannot-live-without, must-have small kitchen appliances. These are the appliances that I’ve come to rely on after many years of building up my appliance arsenal to where it is now. And while these are all indispensable to me now, there was a time when I managed to cook and bake just fine without any of them! So take heart if you’re just starting out and cannot afford to equip the kitchen of your dreams. I recommend saving up and investing in quality new kitchen appliances as you can afford them. Quality equipment will reward you with years and years of reliable performance! Plus there’s a real sense of satisfaction knowing you’ve worked and saved toward a purchase that, while clearly a luxury, will make your culinary adventures even more pleasurable…and perhaps even more adventuresome!
KitchenAid Stand Mixer
For many years I longed for a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, but there was just no way I could justify the expense of buying the one I wanted – one with a large bowl and heavy duty motor. However, several years ago my family went together and bought me my lovely mixer, which I use quite frequently! I don’t bake much anymore, but when I do it is indispensable for mixing batters and doughs! A real perk to owning a KitchenAid is the myriad of attachments that are available for it, and honestly I’d say I use it more with those attachments than I do as the mixer itself! As of now I have the Spiralizer Plus, the Ice Cream Maker, and the Rotor Slicer/Shredder. On my wishlist is the Pasta Roller and Cutter Set. Check out these recipes for examples of how I put my KitchenAid Stand Mixer to good use!
Ninja Cooking System
This is arguably my second-most indespensible small kitchen appliance (after my Keurig)! I love it for it’s versatility and the way it simplifies my life by simplifying my cooking! This little powerhouse has 3 settings: Oven, Stovetop, and Slowcooker…all of which I’ve used repeatedly and many times I’ve even used more than one setting for a single dish. It’s perfect for braising and then switching to slow cooking or the oven setting, slow cooking and then switching to the stovetop setting for the last minute addition of noodles to a soup for example, and the size of the cooking vessel is more than generous for preparing a meal to serve a large family. Here’s three recipes I made using my Ninja Cooking System.
This is a one of those simple kitchen gadgets that I really hesitated buying because I wasn’t sure how much I’d use it, but now that I have one I kick myself for not getting one sooner! It makes blending hot soups a cinch, it works for making super smooth whipped potatoes, and I’ve also used it to make small amounts of whipped cream! When my granddaughter had her tonsils out and was at the point in her recovery where dairy products were allowed I think I probably made her a dozen or more single serve milk shakes! All in all I’ve found it to be really useful for many different applications, but I still find myself using it mostly for blending hot soups…saves transferring hot liquids to the blender, dirtying even more dishes, and reduces the risk of burning oneself with hot splattering liquids! Here’s two recipes to try using an immersion blender.
Cuisinart Food Processor
For many years I used an itty bitty baby food processor and it was fine for chopping nuts or grinding crackers, but not much else! Finally I decided I was worthy of a “real” food processor and settled on this 14 cup beauty from Cuisinart. It’s large and powerful enough to handle anything and everything I throw at it! It’s uses are endless, it comes with slicing and shredding discs, and it’s dishwasher safe! One of my favorite things to make with my food processor is homemade mayonnaise! The taste surpasses anything you can buy at the store and through trial and error I’ve come up with a foolproof recipe! I also make all our own hummus so I can control exactly what’s in it…when you eat as much hummus as we do, that’s an important consideration!
All well equipped kitchens need a high powered blender. It can do so much more than make milk shakes! I use mine most every morning from March through October to make smoothies, I make homemade cashew butter in mine, it crushes ice, it makes soups, and it blends a mean margarita! I also use it to blend cashew cream! A few months ago I featured a series of recipes using cashew cream…check out a couple of them here!
Keurig Coffee Brewer
Perhaps the most frequently used, most beloved, most completely necessary small appliance in my kitchen is my Keurig! To quote Lorelai Gilmore…”I can’t stop drinking the coffee. I stop drinking the coffee, I stop doing the standing and the walking and the putting into sentence doing.” But seriously….coffee is life blood and I am just not myself without it! One of my favorite desserts features coffee….go figure! 😉
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my 6 Must Have Small Kitchen Appliances, and I can’t wait to share some more peeks into what makes my kitchen work for me! I’d love to hear about your favorite kitchen appliances…leave me a comment below so I can check them out. I mean…if there’s another must have appliance out there, I need to know! 😉