02 04 2015.

kitchen items that have changed my life

At the risk of sounding like a Buzzfeed article, I’ve decided to pay homage to some of my favorite (and revolutionary) kitchen gadgets. I spend a lot of time cooking and/or baking. It’s a favorite pastime for me – I find it both relaxing and invigorating. Cooking is the perfect creative outlet for me. Over the past few years, I’ve tested and acquired a lot of fun and useful items for the kitchen. These are the best of the best.

Before I begin, I want to mention that I am not being sponsored in any way by any of these companies. These are items that I’ve purchased using my own money and continue to use and love because they rock!

Let’s continue, shall we?

Spice & Dice - kitchen items that have changed my life

The Spiralizer. You know those gadgets that you just had to have? The ones that you conveniently walked by every time you went into the store; that you added and removed and then added to your Amazon cart 15+ times? And when you finally bought it you never used it? Yeah well this isn’t one of those items. Since I got this beautiful piece of machinery back in December, I’ve used it at least twice a week. I love the spiralizer. It basically does anything that my mandoline does not. Do you have kids who just don’t eat enough vegetables? Spiralized veggies are cool. Any kid who brings spiralized carrots and sweet potatoes to school is setting a new trend. Plus, now with awesome blogs like Inspiralized, you now have hundreds of awesome spiralizer-inspired recipes.

Spice & Dice - kitchen items that have changed my life

One of Those Fancy Can Openers That Opens It From The Side. You know what I’m talking about. Those smooth-edge can openers. Not only do they reduce the potential harm to the operator – they actually work. I open countless cans of black beans, pumpkin and coconut milk per week and I can’t stress how amazing it is to have a can opener that works every time without slipping up. I feel like I can truly appreciate the power of the smooth-edge can opener, having graduated recently from a $.99 can opener that would carve 75% (at most!) of the can. I have resorted to dangerous knife-wielding measures to finish what the darn can-shredding contraption started. Seriously – just treat yourself to a good ‘un.

Spice & Dice - kitchen items that have changed my life

The Rice Cooker. I pretty much fought, kicking and screaming, to not have one of these. I had been offered various models for free from family friends, but politely declined. Why would I want something like a rice cooker taking up room on my counter when cooking rice is already so easy? When I received one from my parents as a Christmas gift, I had to reel it in. Alright. It was time to figure out what the fuss was all about. While this, admittedly, hasn’t quite changed my life, it’s changed my cooking routine quite a bit. I no longer have to watch the rice pot to see if it’s boiling because I’ve got this nifty little gadget that cooks the rice for me – and somehow so quickly, evenly, and without burning the bottom. I’ve used it a few times since receiving it, and funny enough, the first two times I used it weren’t even to cook rice. I’ve made quinoa in it and steamed broccoli. This little rice cooker is so handy and just so cute. I can’t not love it.

The Garlic Press. So it’s been three days since you made that scrumptious garlicky dish. You’re typing away at work, putting your makeup on, hanging out in downward dog – or whatever you may be doing on a lovely Wednesday morning such as this. And then you smell it: that familiar garlicky scent. Where did that come from? The answer: it’s under your fingernails – and it’ll be there for at least three more days. We all know the half life of the ever-present garlic scent is a fortnight. Now picture this: the same routine but without the garlic scent. That’s because you used the garlic press! You may be sacrificing protection from certain undead individuals for a socially acceptable smell – but its benefits outweigh the risks. Beyond preventing the under-the-fingernail garlic stench, the garlic press has halved the time I spend peel-to-chop-to-dice-to-mincing the darn cloves. Worth it.

Spice & Dice - kitchen items that have changed my life

The Cookbook Stand. Not quite your average “kitchen gadget” – the cookbook stand has been a dream come true for a cookbook collector such as myself. While this doubles quite nicely as a laptop lap desk, this stud really comes alive in the kitchen. Actually, it mostly just sits there – and doesn’t actually move at all. But it does protect my cookbooks from food splatters and stains – because I do make quite a mess in the kitchen.

Spice & Dice - kitchen items that have changed my life

The KitchenAid Stand Mixer. You called it. I couldn’t possibly leave this one off the list. The KitchenAid mixer isn’t exactly in everyone’s budget. It’s a beast of a thing with a monstrous price tag. But it’s transformed my baking. For each of my friends’ birthdays, I bake a cake or dessert of their choice. Along with that comes the freshly made whipped cream. So now I can set the KitchenAid up to whip the heavy cream into shape and leave the room – rather than attempt to have a mature, adult conversation while standing over the bowl holding a hand beater and getting showered in cream. Everybody wins! I actually think the thing I love the most about the KitchenAid is that it’s harder to over-mix with it than it is with a beater. There’s no slow function on a hand beater: it’s either off or it’s throwing my batter around the room. The stand mixer, the beater’s sophisticated older cousin, is capable of peacefully stirring my ingredients because my baking actually matters. Thank you stand mixer.

What’s on your list of life-changing kitchen items?

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