My Favorite Kitchen Tools

I snuck in a visit to meet my brother’s first baby, Sophie. I love her. She’s soft and gentle and sweet smelling. Her personality seems present already, sure of what she likes and doesn’t like. Quick to smile and quick to cry, but just as easy to get smiling again, if you softly listen to what she’s telling you. She is very alert… wide-eyed and special. Plus, she likes kitchen equipment.

We hung in the kitchen a lot because her mommy, Megan, and I like cooking together. Sophie would coo, and we would chop, stir and return her coos. We made Salmon Salad Nicoise. My brother Matt joined us one night and made the most delicious guacamole. He and Megan have a secret recipe involving lots of jalapeno and the technique of adding the avocado last to maintain its delicious chunkiness. It’s spot on. They saved some for me sans-cilantro, which I hoarded appropriately. Maybe I’ll convince them to do a guest blog…

After cooking all weekend, Megan suggested we shop for cooking supplies together to round out her kitchen needs. A culinary shopping spree is always up my alley, and it also got me thinking. I definitely have preferences for the basics, but I also have a few out-of-the-box kitchen supplies that have made it onto my “must-have” list over the years. I don’t crave a lot of bells and whistles in my kitchen. I prefer efficient and functional. Less is more. But even with those guidelines, these handy tools still made the cut.

My Favorite Kitchen Tools –

* Dehydrator – I have a feeling that more and more families across the US will own a dehydrator in the next 10-15 years. Mine is running as I write, allowing soaked oats to maintain a consistently warm temperature to remove pesky, nutrient inhibiting phytic acid. But I also use it for soaked nuts, sprouted flour and homemade dried fruit. I think every family would benefit from one, and my favorite brand thus far is the Excalibur.

* Japanese Mandoline – This piece is the most inexpensive way to look like a pro in the kitchen. A mandoline is essentially a vegetable slicer, and with it, you can create super thin slices of radishes, celery, fennel and more, turning a regular salad into a delicate upscale treat. They come in two sizes. The larger size allows most vegetables to be sliced without cutting them in half. They cost between $35 – 50, and they are much less bulky than their french cousin.

* Vita-Mix – When it comes to great blenders, this one steals the show. It can grind anything! Throw in a few handfuls of soaked almonds and pull out a cup of sprouted almond butter. Salad dressing becomes super creamy. Smoothies are ridiculously smooth. Green juice, no problem! I highly recommend this blender, and you can purchase refurbished blenders from the Vita-Mix website that are less expensive and still come with the 7-Year Warranty. That’s what I did, and mine is till going strong 5 years later.

* Chinois – I have to look this word up every time I write it. Hard to spell, but easy to use, this piece of kitchen equipment makes straining stocks a breeze. I simply place this cone shaped strainer over of a clean pot and pour the stock down through. The link I attached for this item comes with a stand and pestle. I don’t own those two additions, but they sound helpful enough. The chinois’s super fine mesh strains out even the littlest fleck of pepper, resulting in a clear and lovely chicken, beef or fish stock.

* Ball Mason Jars – I go through these like crazy. $16 for a whole pack of them, these jars can be used for fermenting vegetables, making beet kvass, storing leftovers, creating gift jars and more.

May your kitchen become your happy place…


Organic Spark


  • Tyler

    THAT IS GREAT!!! Love your blog!

    May 4, 2010
  • M.

    watch out!!! there is a new chef in town!!! starting practicing with her tools already….so cute! :)

    May 5, 2010
  • Creative Genius?

    Hi Molly – this is Alison (your mom's neighbor)…. got any good Green Smoothie/Juice recipes you like?! We just got a Blendtec and I am on the hunt for a good green recipe… figured you'd be the gal to ask!

    alreillygator AT yahoo DOT com

    June 3, 2010

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