I feel like having the right kitchen tools can make a big difference. If I didn't have all these, I wonder if I would cook as much as I do. Would I make bread as often if I had to knead it by hand every time? Would I make salsa as often if I had to hand chop everything? I really don't think so. These are some of the things I have in the kitchen that I love and don't want to be without.
I am starting with my mixer because it's probably my most used and most loved (shhhh, don't tell the others) kitchen appliance. I upgraded a couple years ago to this model, but before that, I had this one that I loved almost as much:
KitchenAid Classic Plus Tilt-Head 4-1/2-Quart Stand Mixer
I think the smaller one is a great starting point if you don't want to invest quite so much money, but I love the capacity of the larger one. There was a time when I still had both of them at the same time and some days where I used both of them at the same time. Such happy moments. ;)
Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Deluxe 14-Cup Food Processor
This is my current food processor and probably the second-most-used appliance in my kitchen. I also got the french fry attachment with it and it was one of the coolest things I have ever seen in action. Seriously. I was skeptical that it would work but I loved being wrong. I think this is one of the best food processors for the money. One day I might upgrade to a more prestigious brand, but for now this one was perfect for my budget.
I also have this little number:
Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor, Brushed Chrome
I use this a lot for smaller jobs. When I just need to chop up some nuts or make a crumb topping for muffins or puree a can of tomatoes. It sometimes feels like a chore to get the bigger food processor out. Could I be any more lazy? It's hard to say. The big one also comes with a smaller cup but I didn't need that since I had this.
I know I have mentioned a few times how much I love my breadmaker, so you probably already know, but I really do love my breadmaker. I don't feel like I have even discovered it's full potential and I am in love with it. Imagine the day I use it to make jam. Some days it seems as if the possibilities are endless.
Rachael Ray Hard Anodized Nonstick 5-Quart Oval Saute Pan with Glass Lid, Orange
I will not even blink an eye when recommending pans. I did a lot of research before requesting a set for Christmas 3 years ago. This Rachel Ray pan and one similar to it (black handles) were both given to me as gifts and sold me completely on HARD ANODIZED pans. It's the only way to go in my humble opinion. I do have one stock pot that is stainless steel and one very large stock pot that is enamel and the rest are all hard anodized. This set is similar to the one I requested 3 years ago after doing my research. I wish the grill pan had been included in the set I received because I would love to have one. What did come with the set that I ended up loving almost as much as the pans was a free santoku knife (similar to this one). I hauled my pans (and my knife) to Hawaii and back and they are still in excellent shape and I use them daily.
Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Pro Juice Extractor
This is probably the appliance I use the least. I need to use it more. Tyler and I got on a kick a while ago when we were juicing everything. This works great and has a large mouth at the top to limit cutting before juicing. You can practically stick a whole apple in there.