tools that make cooking easier and more fun
- Food processor
- Slow cooker – Rival “Crockpot” is still the best
- “The Joy of Cooking” cookbook
- OXO Pepper Mill – I admit I have a thing for pepper mills. We love fresh ground / cracked pepper, and I’m always on the lookout for the next great mill. I’ve owned no less than 20 in the past 10 years. I’ve had the rabbit ears one that I loved until the day it split open and dumped 100 peppercorns into a divine recipe I was making. I’ve had a clear acrylic one that the handle flew off of. Oh and the one I saw on an Italian cooking program that I had to have, so hunted down the source. That one I still kind of like, but my brother dropped it 2 years ago, and I swear I’m still finding peppercorns. OXO is the one I’m using now, and it’s my all time favorite, because it holds a lot of peppercorns, easy to fill, adjustable grind, easy to use, and doesn’t leave a mess on the counter or table. I found it at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
It’s time to make some additions to this post. I had a friend ask me recently about specific cooking tools I use. There are things you can get along without, but are nice to have, and make cooking easier, faster, and a lot more fun. Below are some of my “must haves,” and things that are in my traveling repertoire, when I cook for other people.
- Potato peeler – whichever one is easier for you to use
- Wooden spoon – I have an embarrassing number of wooden implements
- Wire whisk – whichever one is easier for you
- Potato masher – again whichever one you like
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Garlic press – not essential, but makes it easier; I have an embarrassing number of these, with different size holes and hoppers
- Meat pounder – there are a number to choose from, however you could also use the bottom of a small cast iron pan, great to break up nuts also
- Spatulas – heat resistant with wooden handle, or head and handle all silicone; get different sizes; you don’t want to know how many of these I have
- Lemon squeezer – not essential (and not pictured), but makes it easier