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A list of my recommendations for kitchen essentials that are tried and true. Anything from gadgets, tools, and tools for kids to cook with to pantry staples, and allergy-friendly and clean beauty products.
A kitchen gadget needs to pass two tests in order to end up in my kitchen. 1. Be easy to clean 2. Do the job better than I can do without the tool. This squeezer is perfect for small citruses like lemons, limes, and small oranges - and also passes those two tests!
Grater / Zester
Not only is this the perfect tool to grate traditional foods like cheese, but also an essential grater for ginger, and garlic. Pulls double duty as a zester for citrus. Lastly, finish plating a delicious dessert with some chocolate shavings.
This Japanese mandoline is excellent for adjustability and precision. It can slice paper thin and has additional blades to slice matchsticks and julienne. This model I'd recommend for a more seasoned cook, and make sure to wear a cut-proof glove to keep your fingers safe.
I will be the first to admit I can be clumsy, that's why I won't use the mandoline slicer without this glove. Keep your hands and fingers safe from cuts and once you're done just throw it in the wash.
This German-made mandoline slicer comes with 3 inserts. It's easy to use and has minimal parts for easy cleanup. Just be careful, the blades are very sharp. Use with the safety attachment or safety gloves.
Le Creuset Braiser
A great cast iron pot that can be used stovetop or in the oven. It's a cross between a dutch oven and a skillet, and ideal for braising. Often used for braising meats, making stews or meatballs, and even baking goods. The hardest part is picking a color!
Hands down the best instant-read thermometer for grilling meats, making bread, or baking.
The Vitamix blenders are powerful workhorses that can make anything from smoothies to nut milk, nut butter, dressings, frozen desserts, and even hot soups. The clean up couldn't be easier. The 5200 model is the standard with an elongated jar. The 5300 model has a more powerful motor and a wider jar, that fits under most kitchen cabinets. You can't go wrong with either one of these models.
LunchBots Medium Container
This lunchbox container is easy to clean. Fits about half a sandwich, and has plenty of room for snacks, fruit and or veggies. Works well for my preschool kid.
Thermos water bottle 12 oz
12 oz stainless steel water bottle is really easy to clean, with minimal parts, and just the right size for the toddler to early elementary school-aged kid. It also comes in assortment of colors and characters.
Thermos Food Jar 10 oz
Great thermos for the toddler to elementary school-age kids. Perfect size for school, activities, and travel.
Thermos Food Jar 16 oz + spoon
This amazing thermos is perfect for the older kid - think elementary to middle school age. Coolest feature is the foldable spoon. The cap also doubles as a small cup to put food or rest your spoon.
Kids Cooking Essentials
Kid's Chef Knife
The kids' chef knife has a stainless steel blade and a comfortable plastic grip handle, perfect for little hands. An excellent beginner knife to learn and practice. Don't underestimate the sharpness of the blade. Do pick up a pair of safety gloves for extra precaution.
This cookbook for curious young cooks is not only easy to follow but focuses on healthy foods. Large assortment of recipes - from classics to more creative and modern spins, fill the pages. The simple visuals allow the reader to learn the difference between different knife techniques like mince, dice, chop, etc., measurements, and cooking basics. Mika's favorite recipe is the - Chocolate Lava Cupcakes.