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As a general rule, I like to see behind the scenes of what others do, how they create, and what tools take them along their journey – whatever journey that may be. I think that’s why reality TV has become such a big thing in the past couple decades. Everyone is nosy and wants to know what “really” happens when no one is looking.
But I’ll be the first to tell you, I’m happy to share my behind-the-scenes. I’ve got nothing to hide. In fact I’m more than okay telling you what things are like in my world that’s not documented. With the rise of blogging, social media, and sharing your life online, there’s been this idea that what you see is what is really the truth.
Most definitely that’s NEVER the truth. I’ll have you know that when it comes time for me to make meals for my family, my kitchen is probably 99.9% of the time in complete upheaval. Either because I haven’t gotten around to cleaning it yet or because the whirlwind of my 3-year-old is getting the best of me that day and I can’t keep up.
Yeah, I said my kitchen but what I really mean is my entire house is a constant disaster. I can photograph food and share it, but you’re not seeing the millions of toys to the left and right of the frame.
All this to say I don’t often share my behind-the-scenes, because if it’s so much effort to share what’s IN FRONT of the scenes, there just isn’t as much time to get the “behind” stuff up there and out to share with you.
But people have been asking me lately for recommendations on different things from my kitchen. Different tools and different things I use to make meals for the recipes I’ve shared on my blog. And I realized that I even though I’ve had intentions of sharing this information earlier, I just haven’t yet.
In this post, I’ll take you into my kitchen and share the kitchen tools that I’ve come to rely on over the years. These are also the tools that I know if I were to start my kitchen over, these are the ones I know I’d buy first.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list of all the things in my kitchen, this is definitely a “most frequently used” list. Bear with me, some of the things in this list seem kind of frivolous – yes, I know that a milk frother is kind of a snotty thing to say is a ‘must have.’ But the truth is that I use mine every single day, so yeah, it made the list.
#1. Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 9-in-1
This is the closest version to the Instant Pot that I was gifted over the 2018 holidays and has become a godsend in our household. I can make so many things in it – rice, soups, chilis, steamed veggies, potatoes, even dairy-free yogurt! If you’ve been on the fence about getting one of these, let this be your sign to hop on this trend now – it’s well-worth the investment! I have the Duo60 7-in-1 6 quart, but they now make a 9-in-1, which looks to be the most recent version of this product.
#2. Vitamix 5300 Blender, Black (Certified Refurbished)
This isn’t the exact model I have, but my Vitamix is my go-to tool for making smoothies and sauces at home. It’s been one of the best investments I’ve ever made in my kitchen and it gets used multiple times a week.
#3. Cuisinart Elemental 8-Cup Food Processor
Even though the knife set I have isn’t available anymore, this is the closest I could find. You really don’t need a million knives in order to make amazing food at home. Just a few basics and you can make just about anything under the sun.
#4. Circulon Elite Hard Anodized Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set
This isn’t the exact set that I have, but it’s the closest thing I could find to share with you. I love this 10-piece set, because it’s really all you’ll need in your kitchen. With just a couple other kitchen tools, you’re gluten-free dairy-free kitchen will be complete.
#5. Cuisinart Elemental 8-Cup Food Processor
After years of living with a mini food chopper, I finally invested in an 8-cup food processor by Cuisinart and love it. I use it to make homemade sauces, raw desserts, and even homemade nut butters.
#6. Cuisinart Smart Stick Immersion Blender
Perfect for making pureed soups and sauces, this hand blender has become one of my go-to kitchen tools. Plus it doubles as a hand blender and food processor so you get multiple uses out of this one tool.
#7. Pyrex Baking Dishes
These baking dishes are used for everything in my kitchen from baked goods to casseroles. These are basic, but my go-to for oven cooking. I love that they come with lids for easy cleanup too!
#8. Set of 4 Plastic Cutting Board Mats
I have a couple cutting boards in my kitchen, my big butcher block style cutting board and a set of plastic mats like these. I love having multiple boards for when I need to cut meat vs veggies without worrying about contamination.
#9. aerolatte Milk Frother
This product seems silly to add to my list, but I truly do use my milk frother daily with my morning coffee. The coconut creamer I use froths up nicely and somehow makes my morning cup of coffee so much more decadent with this little tool. Totally not a “must-have” item, but a fun addition to upgrade a small moment of my day.
#10. Microplane Fine Grater
I use this microplane grater for everything from zesting lemons and citrus to mincing garlic. You’d think it wouldn’t get much use, but I find myself using it multiple times a week.
#11. Measuring Cup and Spoon Set
What’s a kitchen without measuring cups and spoons? I actually have two sets of these, but in a different colors. They have been a must-have in my kitchen for years and get loads of use on my GFDF recipes.
#12. Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler
When I first got this Griddler for a Christmas gift years ago, I wasn’t sure it would get much use. But over time, I’ve fallen in love with it and it’s many uses! These days, our Griddler is our go-to pancake maker, but it’s also a great tool for making burgers or GFDF paninis too.
#13. OXO Salad Spinner
This is the salad spinner that I have in my kitchen and while most salad spinners are mostly alike, I like that the top sits down into the bowl so I can store my spun salad in the fridge until I’m ready for it.
#14. Lotus Steamer Basket
This is my go-to steamer basket for the very reason that this is the one that I have. I’ve owned it for probably 8 years and it’s still going strong after loads of use.
#15. KitchenAid Peeler
I love this peeler for it’s guard on the top. When it comes to peeling vegetables, I’ve been known to get my fingers in the process, so I love this one from KitchenAid and have a darker blue version in my kitchen.
#16. Bamboo Utensil Set
I’ve gone through multiple sets of these bamboo utensils over the years and keep coming back to them. They’re my go-to cooking tools for stovetop use.
#17. Silicone Kitchen Tongs
These are the kitchen tongs I use on almost a daily basis. Before I bought them, I didn’t think I’d have much of a need for them, but I’ll tell you that they are rarely not in my dishwasher when I go to look for them. They get used at least daily, if not multiple times a day!
I hope you enjoyed getting a little sneak peek into my kitchen and the tools I use every day to make healthy gluten-free dairy-free meals for my family.
This is my list – but I want to hear from you what kitchen tool is on your ‘must have’ list that you couldn’t go a day without in your kitchen? Share in the comments below – and bonus points if you share what your favorite recipe is while using that tool!
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