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My Favorite Kitchen Items

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Instant Pot

LIFE. CHANGING. I could write an entire novel on my IP love.

I still have one of the original old school IP DUO 7-in-1 6qt and I’m not sure about its availability anymore given all the new models. 

From what I’ve gathered in multiple FB cooking groups, and my brother getting the air fryer combo, I will let you in on this scoop: it’s not a practical air fryer or accurate sous vide. I’m all for versatility but the more you try to “be everything” the more diluted you become.

That being said, the 7-in-1 is already incredibly versatile. On the regular rotation are:

  • Chicken tikka masala
  • Turkey chili
  • Shredded chicken with salsa verde for Taco Tuesday
  • Chicken tortilla soup
  • Jammy eggs 
  • Greek yogurt
  • Spaghetti
  • Chicken or vegetable stock

 

Less frequent: (because my husband prefers less pork)

  • Baby back ribs
  • Carnitas

 

Occasional treats:

  • Dulce de leche cheesecake
  • Flourless chocolate cake

The stainless steel inner pot is dishwasher safe but I do handwash because it takes up a lot of precious space. I use a few shakes of bar keeper’s friend to keep it bright and shiny like new. Don’t mess with the liquid. Powder is much more effective.

Salad Spinner

Confession:

I rarely use this for salads because I buy my greens pre-washed.

But I use it every single day for a multitude of other uses:

I wash blueberries every week with a vinegar+water soak x 10 min → drain (not spin!) → let air dry on a kitchen towel.

Wash and spin kale for air fryer kale chips

And for throwing every item of produce that needs to be washed for dinner – vegetables, salad add ins, fruit – to wash in bulk

Features I love:

The lid does not require disassembly with a little plastic tab that will eventually break (like my previous salad spinner)

No pull-type spinner with a coiled string hidden underneath a casing. Imagine if that string got wet…ew.

Collapsible (But I am lucky to have ample storage space to not rely on this feature)

If I had to buy it again I would consider the stainless steel version. Because plastic. 

The only minor downside:

Handwash + air dry but no scrubbing involved. It’s not like you’ve got caked on food stuck to it. A simple rinse with soapy water does the trick.

2T Medium Cookie Scoop

Chocolate chip cookies are my kryptonite. But I also use this for: 

  • Scooping muffin batter for baking
  • Scooping steel cut oats for freezing
  • Making meatballs or turkey sliders

Zip Top Silicone Containers and Stasher Bags

Stasher Single

Another confession: I still use plastic. 

But after the 2018 American Academy of Pediatrics warned parents about plastic’s harmful effect on children’s hormones, growth, and development, I have definitely reduced the amount I use. 

The ZIP TOPs have a flat bottom and has replaced a lot of my plastic tupperware – no need to worry about losing lids

I store chicken, ground turkey, and leftover shredded chicken in the STASHERs for freezing. Use a chalk marker to label them and allow the washable ink to dry before adding your contents. They stack upright or flat in your freezer so the’re much more space efficient than boxy tubs

Bonus! The food grade silicone is dishwasher safe.

Yogurt Strainer

I never liked yogurt. Until I met Greek yogurt – in Greece. 

I’m not a fan of the sour stuff with a consistency in limbo between a beverage and a food.

Greek yogurt (especially Fage brand) is creamy, less tart, and has less sugar than traditional yogurt. It’s also got more protein and is considered one of the richest sources of probiotics to help diversify your gut microbiome. Hooray for fermented foods!

So back to the strainer. When I discovered I could make my own Instapot Greek yogurt with only 2 ingredients and without boiling, I was sold! I do like my yogurt extra thick and am too lazy to deal with the cheese cloth bags. This strainer is much more convenient.

I’ve had it for YEARS and if you want to make thick Greek Yogurt I highly recommend! Hand wash only – give it a good spray and be careful not to stretch or poke holes in the delicate mesh.

And yes, once this one finally kicks the dust I’ll get the stainless steel version.

Flat Serving Platter

Nachos. Turkey sliders. Fish. Desserts. Clean minimalistic design. Dishwasher safe.

Epicurean Cutting Board

I first chose these to fit in our tiny apartment kitchen – thin, sturdy, and beautiful. That was over a decade ago and I still have my original one. It’s lightweight, dries exceptionally fast, and has a convenient hole in the corner so I can store it right on the inside my kitchen cabinet door for ease of access (video or photo here).

Maintain it with food grade mineral oil and it will last for decades more.

Kitchen hack: Simply grate your cheese directly into a gallon ziploc bag and the plates are removable to release all that cheesy goodness. Also makes for easy cleaning. And folds flat for space saving storage.

The absolute BEST product to reseal all the bags: cereal, chips, cookies, crackers, salad bags, snacks. Airtight. Waterproof. 

And yes get the brand version from this small business. The knockoffs are a flimsy excuse for these sturdy sealers.

2 Cup Chopper

Okay I know I said the pull string method (see salad spinner) is gross but hear me out: you don’t wash the lid under running water. Wipe off excess food with a dry kitchen towel then go over it again with a damp soapy towel. Use a toothpick if anything gets stuck in the center notch.

The rest of the pieces are dishwasher safe. Don’t throw away the blade guard – keep it for storage.

Chopped salad anyone? Or tabbouleh! Also amazing for salsa, chimichurri, herbs, nuts, boiled eggs….and once in awhile I pulverize freeze dried strawberries to make a delicious strawberry frosting!

Souper Cubes

What do I freeze? Chili. Soup. Stock. Beans. Pesto. Bulgur. These are 1c and marked in increments (metric too). 8 cups of these bricks will fit into a gallon ziplock bag.

Freezing in smaller portions makes makes it ideal for meal prep and reheating, especially after a long day of work (video here)

Apparently you can also bake in them up to 400ºF but I have yet to attempt!

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My Favorite Kitchen Items

Instant Pot SHOP ON AMAZON LIFE. CHANGING. I could write an entire novel on my IP love. I still have one of the original old