Ever since I have serious about cooking, I have attempted to put money into durable, high-quality, non-toxic pieces for my own kitchen. Here’s a group of my own favorite and most-used cooking gear (and some that are on my wish list). — Kathryne from Cookie and Kate
Produce Bag, Apple by Slide Sideways – $8
I bring my own huge grocery bags to the store with me, but I still use plastic produce bags. These reusable create totes by Slide Sideways are adorable enough to motivate me otherwise. Each is screen-printed by hand with environmentally friendly, non-toxic, inks that are pliable.
End Grain Chopping Board – $36.95
I was so excited to get this end grain chopping board for Christmas this year, and I have used it daily ever since. It’s extremely well constructed and cheap and has already made a couple appearances on my own food blog.
Rifle Paper Co..
Re-Fill Recipe Cards – $28
I don’t write recipes by hand because I have horrible handwriting, but those adorable recipe cards from Rifle Paper Co. would be a fantastic present for a friend.
Organic Shaped Dinnerware Set – $12
These organic dishes by West Elm are my everyday set. I discover that modern-day dinner dishes are way too big, so I didn’t bother buying any. I use the 8-inch salad dishes for all.
Working Glass Lid – $2.50
I adore these working Glasses with pliers by Crate & Barrel. The lids make them the perfect small storage containers for leftovers, the eyeglasses pile, and they’re super cheap. What’s not to love?
Stainless-Steel 3-Piece Mesh Colander Set – $34.95
I really need a footed colander for draining pastas and all the new-to-me whole grains I have been trying. I believe I’ll pick this up Stainless-Steel 3-Piece Mesh colander set during my next trip to Williams-Sonoma.
Set of 4 Stainless Steel Measuring Cups – $19.95
I got a set of those measuring cups for Christmas, and I love them. They’re heavy and solidly built; I believe they’ll last forever.
Microplane 38002 Professional Medium-Ribbon Two-Way Grater – $15.08
This is the ideal grater I have ever used, and it is pretty too. It even grates both ways. Mine actually disappeared from my kitchen . Assuming yours doesn’t run away, you’ll enjoy it forever.
Vegetable Brush – $3.95
This vegetable brush is awesome because it’s the words”vegetable brush” published on the backside. Now I don’t worry about anyone mistaking it for a cleaning brush and using chemicals with it.
Small French Wire Whisk – $7.95
My small French wire whisk is so handy for mixing small bowls of sauces and batter. It gets a whole lot more use than my larger whisks!
Lodge Logic L8SK3 10-1/4-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet – $16.99
I gave away all my nonstick pans this past year, switched to cast iron and never looked back. Cast iron is non-toxic, durable and oven-safe. This 10-inch skillet is perfect for everyday use.
Bamboo Toast Tongs
These bamboo toast tongs might seem like a silly idea, but they are really fantastic. Now I can fish my toast from the toaster when I’m groggy in the morning with no risk of electrocution. They’re also useful as medium-sized tongs for almost any application.
Cuisinart Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker – $62.59
This Cuisinart ice cream maker was my favorite kitchen toy this summer. I’m so glad I could make delicious ice cream at home now.
The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity – $21.79
The Flavor Bible is a remarkably useful reference book. It lists which flavors pair well with other people, which can be convenient when you’re improvising with everything you have on hand.
Juiceman Stainless Steel Hand Blender and Accessories
I got this Juiceman hand blender for Christmas, and it’s shown itself useful so far. I have mostly used it for smoothies as it demands clean up than a regular blender. I’m eager to make blended soups and whipped cream with it soon. The small food processor works good also.
Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 3-1/2-Quart Round French Oven, Red – $192.95
I’m so attached to my 3.5-quart Le Creuset French Oven. It’s always full of leftovers in the refrigerator (right now it is full of wheat barley). Someday I want one in white also.
Wusthof Classic 7-Inch Santoku Knife, Hollow Edge – $79.95
I took a knife skills class last fall, and the instructor recommended this Wusthof Santoku. I eventually got you and use it daily. It fits in my hands much better than my clunky chef’s knife.
The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living – $23.10
Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook is my favorite. It’s full of 500 easy, versatile recipes that are heavy on create and whole grains. I suggest it to anybody who’s hoping to develop better eating habits or even looking for cooking inspiration.
BODUM Twin Dual Salt and Pepper Grinder, Black – $27.50
This dual pepper and salt grinder is so handy. Switch it simmer for pepper and counter-clockwise for salt. My friends always marvel when they come over for breakfast club.
KitchenAid 7-Cup Food Processor, White – $97.99
I inherited my grandmother’s food processor, and it has become a crucial tool in my kitchen. I have used it for creating several big batches of pesto and also for grating pounds of carrots for carrot cake, among other things.
Rosle Locking Tongs – $24.95
I obtained these Rosle Locking Tongs for Christmas. They’re the most beautiful, well-constructed tongs I have ever seen. So far I have just used them to give my puppy and younger brother a small squeeze, but I’m certain I’ll find a culinary use for them soon.
Linen Tea Towel Fruit by Slide Sideways – $18
A cook can not have too many tea towels, and I love this one by Slide Sideways.
Rectangular Glass Food-Storage Containers with Locking Lids – $19.95
All these GlassLock storage containers are all fabulous. The lids are BPA-free and click on with a very satisfying”snap” sound. The rectangular shape takes up less space than curved containers. Additionally, they’re great for storing homemade ice cream.
FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker – $38
I’m generally hesitant to purchase specialty cooking appliances that take up precious cabinet space, but I made an exception to my own waffle maker. Actually, I really don’t believe a kitchen is complete without one. This waffle maker is cheap and has lots of great reviews.
Next: 2012 Kitchen Update Ideas