the friday five: 5 kitchen tools I adore

{happy baby not included ;)}

Speaking of happy – hope you are having a happy day!  It is a warm one here in Oklahoma with a chilly weekend forecast (trying to be okay with this seeing as I will soon enough be mentioning how hot it is :)) Anyway – this post is a start of a series I will be doing every 4-5-6 weeks or so, highlighting five of SOMETHING {mostly positive}, varying categories – and very appropriately titled “the friday five.”  So let’s get after it!  Today I am sharing some of my favorite kitchen gadgets that I am currently digging for one reason or another.  Some are suppppper duper simple, and others are interesting and some are bigger investments.  Here we go!

  1. Milk frother!  Or “aerator” if we are being specific.  This tool costs about 6 bucks (or $10 if you are like me and really needed it for a recipe that same day can’t wait so you impulse purchase it at Whole Foods).  This little tool is a GAME CHANGER when it comes to coffee or tea!  In my humble opinion, it makes drinking coffee a touch more exciting than it already is, and sort of resembles a coffee shop experience in the comfort of your own home!  It creates a foamy texture with your milk (regular, almond, coconut, all the same!) on top of your coffee or tea.  I have also used it to froth almond milk when making golden milk (I follow this recipe!).  Read more about why “golden milk” would be a good thing here.  I like this particular frother (found at Whole Foods) because it stays clean with this cover!
  2. Vegetable crinkle cutter – one of my favorite foods as a child was…wait for it….Braum’s french fries!  The crispier + saltier the better.  Why did I love these? They were crinkle cut!  When we started baby led weaning for baby Ro, this was one of the first tools I purchased and it is safe to say it was worth the $5.07.  Little hands are able to handle this shape (versus the boring, shoe-string shape) when starting solids.  We bake “crinkle cut” sweet potato fries every time we grill burgers, which is becoming a Saturday evening tradition at the Forbes residence.  I have yet to venture out to use this for any other type of veggie or food, but may do some experimenting!
  3. This next one comes in and out of my life, but lately has been a HUGE in.  Vitamix Blender.  We have the Profession Series 750 (best wedding gift EVER!).  I used it every. single. night. the first few years of our marriage, making everything from soups to ice cream.  Lately, I have been into acai + other smoothie bowls for breakfast, so this bad boy sits on our counter top all-the-live-long-day.  We thought we would use it more for baby food preparation, but thanks to BLW we never had to make an additional entree for our babe!  We have been using it to make the “mashed” version of the top of a yummy and healthy shephard’s pie (recipe to come soon!).
  4. Instant meat thermometer.  How I lived without this tool for YEARS I haven’t a clue!  My husband actually purchased this when we started grilling meats more routinely, and I use it almost daily regardless.  It is such an easy way to ensure that meat is cooked at the proper temperature, instead of having to “wait it out” or guess (which resulted in lots of overcooked meats over here…).  The one we use has the feature of programming the type of meat, so it beeps when it has reached the desired temperature of whatever it is that you are cooking!
  5. One word: INSTAPOT.  I swear by this you guys.  It becomes obsessive.  I asked for one of these for Christmas (yes – dietitians ask for kitchen tools and sometimes food for Christmas + birthday gifts!).  Santa delivered!  At first, I will be honest, I was a bit worried that this would never get used and just take up space.  Quite the opposite!  We were actually able to give away our slow cooker and use this for ALL of the features it offers!  This particular brand, Pressure Cooker XL, states that it can be used as: slow cooker, canning foods, soups, steamer, yogurt maker, + rice maker.  I have made a lot of soups, chilis, stews, steamed veggies, rice variations, BONE BROTH, a whole chicken (in just 20 minutes!) + any slow cooker recipe I can get my hands on.  I have SO much more experimenting I would like to do with this!  It will surprise the heck out of you.  When we made a whole chicken in under 30 minutes I thought, “there is no way this is going to taste good…” I was proven wrong!  As tender and juicy as can be.  I will say, I probably use the slow cooker feature most often…there is something meditative about letting your food cook slowly over the day, coming home to a yummy + comfy smell that screams “welcome to your dinner!  Sit down and relax and pour a glass of wine while I prepare the finishing touches!”  And some how, meats taste much more tender when slow cooked in the pressure cooker than in my original slow cooker.  If you have been holding off – hold no more!  So worth the investment. Warning: once you start, you won’t stop!

    (please excuse the tonka truck)

Honorable mentions: oil mister (healthier than traditional cooking spray because you can use your own pure olive oil + use less!), french press (hello weekend coffee experience in your own PJ’s, and anything + everything coffee…), + last but not least micro plane grater (we use this for lemon zest, garlic, ginger, etc.).

This is going to be a fun post series to look forward to!  I already have thoughts on the next few…stay tuned for the friday five: healthful food swaps edition!  Can’t wait to share it with you!  Hope your weekend is as amazing as super frothy coffee :).

What are your favorite kitchen tools?

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