5 of My Favorite Cooking Gifts: Not too expensive gifts that can help make cooking more efficient and enjoyable

When I go to do kitchen and pantry evaluations with my clients, one of the things that they often complain about is that they don’t like to spend time in their kitchen. They find it stressful, cluttered, or too time consuming. What I tell my clients is that the secret to making cooking more enjoyable is to work with simple recipes in an efficient manner. That efficiency is largely dependent upon having the right tools on hand and having things organized in such a way that you can actually use the space you have. The following is a list of my top 5 not-too-expensive cooking tools, as well an extra out-of-the-box gift idea that may be just the thing for someone on your list…

1. An immersion blender

immersion blender

Before I got an immersion blender, making soups was a chore that I often avoided. The scooping hot liquid into either the blender or the food mill was time consuming and left many dirty dishes. Now, homemade pureed soups are a staple in our house because they are a one-pot meal that is packed with vegetables. Other foods I use the immersion blender for: salad dressings, whipped cream, smoothies, adding vegetables to a pasta/pizza sauce, and homemade mayo.

2. A good vegetable peeler

veggie peeler

For years I struggled with mediocre vegetable peelers and I honestly thought that peeling vegetables was one of those necessary tasks that took a really long time. Once my godmother got me this OXO peeler I realized how wrong I had been.

3. Cast iron skillets

cast iron skillet

I use these almost daily. I love how they distribute the heat, that they are nonstick without the yucky chemicals, how sturdy they are, and how simple they are to care for (really).

4. A salad spinner

salad spinner

Not only does a salad spinner make putting a salad together that much easier, but it is a great way to get your kids into the kitchen. I have yet to meet a kid who didn’t love to use the salad spinner!

5. Glass storage containers

glass containers

I love, love, love my glass storage containers. Having good food storage containers makes it much easier to cook in bulk, which means you don’t have to cook as often. You can use these babies in the freezer, fridge, and oven. I also use them for my husband’s lunches on a daily basis. And possibly the best perk, I don’t worry about nasty chemicals leaching into our food.


Out-of-the-box Gift Idea: A kitchen and pantry evaluation with me!

Whether in person or via skype, I help people to go through their kitchens and figure out better ways to organize the space they have and ways that they can simplify and healthify (yes, that is a made up word) their pantry. If you know someone who would benefit from a kitchen and/or pantry evaluation with me, email me at Jessica@balancedkitchen.com and we can talk details.


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