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. It's also great for making mayonnaise and salad dressings because it has two little holes and an area at the top of the lid that enables oil to seep in slowly while processing. AAAND it comes in a ton of cool colors. I'm already picking out what color I'm going to get next if I ever have to replace my little friend.
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 5 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 as a gift 5 years ago and they are still in excellent condition and I use them daily.
I got this knife as a gift a year and a half ago. It quickly became my favorite. It's super sharp and will cut anything. I use it for almost every meal. Just recently, I dropped it on my tile floor and it broke. I had to instantly order a new one because I can't be without it. And you can't beat the price. You do have to be careful and only use the knife on a plastic or wood cutting board. If you use glass, you run the risk of chipping the knife. I also hand wash it just to make sure it's okay. I love it.