Shopping season is here again and gifts for the kitchen are so appreciated by everyone on your list! Here are a few of my favorite things that I couldn’t live without and some recipes to enjoy them with. Product links to Amazon are in each description. Happy Holiday’s!

#1 – Panini Press – As a busy mom, I love my Panini Press. I use it almost daily to make quick quesadillas for lunch boxes, no clean up grilled cheeses for soup night, and turn basic lunch meat into melty cheesy delicious paninis. Check Out the Cuisinart Panini Press HERE

#2 – Food Processor – I often hear friends say they don’t have a food processor because they have a blender. I have both and use both several times a week and for different purposes. My food processor helps me hide extra veggies in chili, pasta sauce and pesto. Make healthy dips and snacks like hummus, avocado bean dip and 5 minute salsa, quickly shred cheese and much more! Check Out the Cuisinart Food Processor HERE

#3 – Portion Scoops – They’re not just for ice cream! Portion scoops are for portioning things to be a consistent size for even cooking. Use the larger scoop for perfect meatballs, muffins and cupcakes, and the small size for cookies and frozen protein bites. Check Out Oxo Portion Scoops HERE

#4 – Good Quality Tongs – Everyone has tongs in their kitchen, but clumsy tongs will make you a clumsy chef. Tongs are basically an extension of your right hand, they need to give you total control over what you are cooking. I like to have a couple pairs, at least one coated with silicone for pans that could scratch and I like the 9 inch length for best control. Pull your tongs out of the drawer, hold them in your hand and squeeze them ten times fast, do they give you total control and comfort? They are a work horse in the kitchen, see if they could use an upgrade! Check Out Oxo Tongs HERE

#5 – Microplane – My favorite of all graters, a microplane is the best for a block of Parmesan. The blocks these days are pretty affordable and are fresher than the preshredded tubs. A microplane shreds perfect fluffs of Parmesan to melt instantly over kale chips, it adds a light dusting to any salad or pasta dish and is perfect for zesting lemons and limes too, not wasting a bit of flavor from the fruit. Check Out Microplanes HERE

#6 – Silicone Muffin Cups – I just bought a pack of these for only $8 and am totally loving them. I mostly use them in my kid’s lunchbox as a perfect divider to keep things from getting soggy. Pretzels can go right next to apple slices in a cup and the colors are so fun. Of course, they are great for muffins too, no need to spray your pans or waste disposable paper cups. They are super easy to quickly hand wash and make cleaning the actual muffin tin super easy. Try these healthier muffins for a great breakfast, snack or lunchbox add in! Check Out Amazon Basics Silicone Muffin Cups HERE

#7 – Glass Storage Containers – I’ve had these for several years and always wish I had more. I use them for everything, they are perfect for leftovers, you can put them right in the freezer, the dishwasher, and microwave your lunch right in them. Make your homemade chili and spaghetti sauce worth your time by making extra for the freezer. Check Out Salient Glass Containers HERE

#8 – Cast Iron Skillet – I use my 10 inch cast iron pan much like an indoor grill to sear burgers, chicken, sausages, and awesome potato hashes. I used to not use it much because I thought cleaning it was difficult, but its not! When you have a dirty skillet with melted cheese and crusted meat just put it back on the stove and get it hot. After a couple minutes on the burner, turn it off and pour about a half cup of water in it and let it sizzle away, deglazing all the bits, scraping with a spatula. Using a hot pad, dump it into your sink and spray out anything that remains with hot water. Set it back on the stove and add about a tablespoon of kosher salt and rub it around the pan with a paper towel and finally into the garbage. Done! Check Out Lodge Skillets HERE

Holiday Gift Guide for the Home Cook 2019
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