I am always trying to make cooking easier. Life is busy, life is hectic. Whether you love or hate cooking, when you use the right tools it becomes more enjoyable or less of a hassle.
There are 3 things I look at when bringing kitchen tools into our home.
They need to be Time Saving.
I am always on the hunt for kitchen tools that will cut down time in the kitchen. As a busy mom of a young large family, there is always something on the go, and littles at the feet. There is always someone who needs a band-aid, or help with their homework or a diaper change. Sometimes getting a meal on the table is so overwhelming!
They need to be safe.
I always have little helpers and I want to instil a love for cooking healthy foods into my girls. I let them be as involved as they can. Hey, maybe mom will even get a night off every now and then as they get a little older.
They need to be easy to store/clean.
Some tools are great, but there are so many little parts. Or they are overly bulky and make me mad everytime I try to make room in my cupboard for them! I mean sometimes bulk just can’t be beaten but it better be a dang good tool, that is going to make my life easier.
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The tools that make things run more efficiently in the kitchen are
The Instant Pot – being this was Canadian made, and hearing all the hype about it, it was the one and only thing I put on my Christmas list this year. I have used it many times already and am LOVING it! My favorite feature is how quickly it cooks meat from frozen without drying it out. I cannot tell you how many times I forgot to take something out of the freezer to defrost and the Instant pot has come to the rescue! I also love how quick and easy it is to make potatoes and rice. Now I have recently switched to a Keto diet but the rest of the family still eats those starches on the regular so it is great for that! It does take some playing around with to get the temps right, but the guide that comes with it is super helpful and there are a ton of great Instant Pot recipes on Pinterest.
The Crock Pot – The instant pot has not replaced my love forthe crock pot. In my opinion, the crock pot cannot be beaten as the best kitchen tool for a large family. Throw everything together and let it simmer away throughout the day when you are not even home. Come home to a delicious smelling meal and dig in. There is nothing left to be said about this amazing kitchen tool.
Veggie Chopper – This is a great tool for when those little hands want to help. It also speeds up the process when you are preparing a meal that has a lot of veggies to chop. Some have a ton of hard to clean parts, but this one I find very easy to clean and it works very well.
Mandolin Slicer – I got one of these as a wedding gift, and it sat in the back of the cupboard for years. I started using it in the past year and I love how quickly it slices things up and since I no longer eat any pasta, it is great for slicing zucchini nice and thin to replace lasagna noodles and for slivering up red onions to add to salad instead of getting a big chunk of onion with your lettuce. Now the Mandolin Slicer can be a bit dangerous but I found these awesome cut resistant gloves that I use. I even let my kids use the mandolin slicer because these gloves are awesome! They love cutting things up using the sliding motion.
Veggie Spiralizer – This is also a great tool to cut up veggies to use in place of noodles for traditional pasta dishes. The kids love helping with this as well! Something so fun about seeing vegetables transform into little spirals!
Thin Cutting Board Set – I hadn’t replaced my cutting boards since my wedding, and when I was looking for new ones I came across this thin set! I love how little space they take up and the color coordination to use different ones for meats, veggies, fruits etc. I am a freak about cross contamination due to all my food safety training from my high school jobs so I love the idea of different cutting boards just in case. These thin ones are perfect!
Kitchenaid StandMixer – This was another Christmas gift I got a couple of years ago. My mom never had one and I loved to help her bake as a kid. We would always use the little hand mixer.
I discovered the most amazing Chocolate Crinkle Cookie recipe and the egg whites need to be beaten for at least 15 minutes. As well as my mother in-law’s famous Pavlova recipe. The hand mixer wasn’t cutting it. I can’t tell you how much I love this thing. I use it for all my baking and even for mashed potatoes! I have it in the classic white but there are so many cute colors to choose from as well as more professional models for the more than average baker!
Indoor Grill – I use this thing all the time. As a panini press for sandwiches, to make hamburgers (totally KETO approved) in the middle of winter. I make quesadillas on it at least once a week etc. It is quite easy to clean as well.
Toaster Oven– I use this a lot in the summer when I do not want to turn my big oven on. It is great for bagels for the kids. I use it a lot for cookies as well so I do not make a huge batch and have the temptation to eat ALL the cookies. We are also big lovers of garlic bread in this house so it is great for that!
Ninja Blender – This gets used multiple times a day. I went through 2 magic bullets before buying this one, and this is way better. It is super powerful even though it is just individual size. I make keto coffee in it, the kid’s smoothies in it, protein shakes for me and I also use it to ground up almonds to turn into almond meal to make Keto friendly bread.
If you are looking for some time-saving kitchen tools for a large family then check out some of these items. I love them all but if I had to pick my top 3, it would be the Instant Pot, Crockpot and Ninja Blender
While we are on the topic of the kitchen you may be interested in my cleaning schedule. Sign up to our newsletter for access to the free content library. Part of why I love these kitchen tools so much is because they minimize mess. Being super neat and tidy does not come naturally to me. This is the simple schedule and tips I have developed since becoming a stay at home mom that help me with the overwhelm of the mess kids and cooking for a large family creates!