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kitchen must-haves

i've shared a few kitchen tips before, so i thought i'd let you know about some items i find to be really useful in the kitchen. these are things i use frequently and that make my life easier.

1. a slow cooker. i have one that i use pretty frequently. i used to sorta scoff at the idea of owning one--it felt kinda old fashioned to me, but it's awesome coming home to dinner being ready to eat. this is one of my go-to recipes (tip: add salt and pepper). the one i currently own doesn't have a timer, but i'd like to upgrade to one that does (such as the one shown here).

2. mandoline slicer. if you want to slice something super thin, super fast and super accurately, you need one of these. homemade potato chips anyone?

3. a big ass cutting board. something sturdy like this butcher block one will always come in handy. i like to have a large surface area when i'm chopping.

4. a dutch oven. i got one of these as a gift last year and i freaking love it. it gives a nice sear on something if you're braising meats and it even bakes a mean no-knead (and almost no work) sourdough.

5. silpat. my mom's a big baker and she always had one of these. she gave me one a few years back and i've loved it for baking cookies. the mat helps them bake evenly and there's never any worry about them sticking to the mat. nothing sticks to this thing. you can even make some festive little parmesan crisps using this thing.

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have fun in the kitchen!

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