Thursday Thirteen

One of the best pieces of advice my mother has ever given me was that I "can do anything with the right tools" and this week, I'm applying this to my love of cooking and baking.

Thirteen kitchen tools that are an absolute necessity in my kitchen, in no particular order:

1. Food processor with chopping blade and shredder blade
To chop and shred all your onions, garlic and vegetables as well as cheese and to puree for soups, pestos and sauces.

2. Parchment paper
You'll never need Pam cooking spray again as nothing sticks to it; it guarantees everything you cook and bake will turn out of the pan perfectly.

3. Plastic spatulas and spoons
Perfect because they won't tear up your non-stick cookware and can be properly sanitized in the dishwasher, rather than wooden ones as they warp and crack.

4. Plastic cutting boards
You can sanitize in the dishwasher, unlike wood that will warp and crack.  Wood can also hold on to bacteria from raw meats.

5. Stand mixer with paddle, wisk, and dough hook
For all your baking needs including whipped cream, bread and pizza dough, and cakes.

6. Ultra fine, fine, and ribbon microplanes
Great for zesting citrus and for grating hard cheeses and chocolate.

7. Tongs
Like having an extra pair of hands in the kitchen!  Be sure to get the ones with rubber tips.

8. Aluminum (not non-stick!) jelly roll pans, muffin pans, brownie pans, baking sheets, pie pans, spring-form pan, bundt pan and loaf pan
Non-stick holds more heat which can lead to burning and you almost always have to adjust your temperatures down when using non-stick.  Aluminum is far superior!

9. Large and small wisks

10. Mandolin
For perfect slices of tomatoes, potatoes, and anything else you can imagine.

11. A set of Santoku Chef's knives

12. Large and small colanders and a mesh sieve
13. Pastry cutter
For mashing up bananas for banana bread and avocados for guacamole and of course, for cutting in shortening or butter.


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