With the seasons officially shifted, I am so ready to welcome Spring. The cold Winter mood is behind us, and there's no better time to give your kitchen a little lift with some happy kitchen appliances in every color of the rainbow. Click through to get your Roy G. Biv on, and help bring the freshness of Spring to your kitchen.
If you've ever tackled a recipe that calls for honey or peanut butter, you've undoubtedly felt the pain of trying to scrape every last bit of gooey goodness out of your measuring cups. Last week, I faced the challenge of accurately measuring out 2/3 cups of goopy sourdough starter — a task rendered unbelievably easy thanks to my adjustable measuring cup! This cylindrical tool measures both wet and dry ingredients in cups, ounces, milliliters, and pints, but the best part is the interior plunger that guides sticky ingredients out of the tube and scrapes down the sides in one push. Corn syrup, jam, and molasses are no match for my wonder tool.
Still, I won't let go of my standard measuring cups, which are still the best for measuring flour out of the tub and for small jobs, but the KitchenArt Adjust-A-Cup is an important member of my tool arsenal. Are any specialized tools must haves in your kitchen?
Photo: Sara Yoo
Late-night infomercials seem to have the solution to every kitchen conundrum, but I learned quickly that buying into every zealous sales pitch meant cabinets full of single-use gadgets that receive only occasional use. So when I dove into my shelves of dusty equipment for a Spring clean-out, I found that several could go in the donation bin thanks to one multitasking pot: my enameled cast-iron Dutch oven.
Photo: Camilla Salem
While forms of this essential vessel exist in many cultures, the original "Dutch" oven finds its roots in 17th century Netherlands, where it was a way to recreate the effects of an oven when only an open fire was available. My first Dutch oven arrived in the form of a Christmas gift from my mom who remarked, "You need one of these." She's never been so right. That 5 1/2-quart round Le Creuset became a stovetop fixture as I discovered I could use it for everything, from braised duck ragu to frijoles de la olla, to kimchi jjigae. The flat bottom heats evenly, even on my scary, early 90s-era electric coil range, and everything I simmer, braise, and stew takes on flavor depth unmatched by my other cookware. Thanks to the enameled surface, it's a wonder to deglaze, easy to clean, and incredibly durable. Now the proud owner of three of these do-it-all pots (the 5 1/2-quart round, a 7 1/2-quart round, and a 9 1/2-quart oval), I'm armed for dinner for two — or 20.
For a few of the many uses for your cast-iron enameled Dutch oven, just read on
When it comes to healthy cooking, I'd be a wreck without my must-have kitchen tools. From gadgets to cookware basics, these items help keep my fat, sugar, and sodium levels down while making sure that my nutrients for the day are always maxed out. Keep reading to see which kitchen essentials help inspire every meal to be a healthy meal.
With so many products on the market to make your cooking experience less time consuming and more precise, it's difficult to decipher which tools are totally necessary and which ones will collect dust. I'm interested in your thoughts on the subject. Take a peek at the eight appliances up for consideration and let me know if you totally need it or can leave it.
Whether you're just starting to dabble in the kitchen or cooking's an integral part of your daily life, one thing's for certain: you need a reliable chef's knife. It is, without question, the most vital tool in cooking. Although it's easy to be seduced by elaborately cut knives or 26-piece knife sets, the truth is that all you really need is one unfailing all-purpose knife.
A chef's knife, which generally has a blade that's eight to ten inches long, is the workhorse of the kitchen: it's long enough to slice, heavy enough to cleave bones, and precise enough to mince. You opt for a knife that's $30 or $300, or Japanese or German, but regardless of what specific knife you have in mind, there are a few universal attributes that you should take note of when shopping for one. Keep reading to see what you should look for in a chef's knife