hi friends! i have strong opinions on what i let into my kitchen and love appliance and tools that make cooking and baking tasty food a treat. i want you to enjoy spending time in your kitchen too, not fighting with an old can opener that doesn’t open cans or a blender that doesn’t blend (true stories; thankfully both have been replaced).
whether you’re looking to stock a brand new kitchen, find a gift idea for a foodie friend, or replace that mixer you’ve never liked, i hope the information below is useful.
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Basic kitchen tools
i have a whole post dedicated to why i love baking/cooking with a scale but to summarize: it’s more precise, it’s easier, clean up is faster, and it makes scaling recipes up/down so much easier.
say goodbye to overcooked, dry chicken and undercooked, squidgy-inside homemade bread. i stick this probe thermometer in the chicken breast before it goes in the oven, set the temperature alarm, and get perfectly cooked chicken every time.
in addition to being super sharp so that i don’t mangle even the thickest crusty breads, this knife’s blade is also longer than some other knives, so that i can cut through larger breads in one pass. and it’s cheap!
having a pot that can go from stove to oven is really helpful for cutting down on dishes. you can also bake bread in it. did i mention this one that i have is way cheaper than the fancy brand (thanks for the tip, cook’s illustrated!)?
admittedly, i am still learning to use this pan without burning food, but i’m definitely becoming a convert, in no small part thanks to this skillet pizza. it’s also nice to know that the pan’s non-stick surface will get better over time, rather than scratch off and possibly make you sick.
ice cream scoop
there’s magical liquid in this ice cream scoop that transfers heat from your hand to the scooper so that the ice cream is easier to scoop. it’s also super durable (the one my parents have has lasted since the beginning of time), which is nice when you’re using a thing to dig frozen stuff out of its container.
glass baking dish with lid
in my house, we refer to this as the “pumpkin chocolate chip cake pan”, but a glass baking dish with a tight fitting lid is useful for more than just that.
my favorite machines
so, besides the fact that this guy reliably produces toast exactly the way you like it (a feat i’ve never seen another toaster reproduce), he also cooks frozen pizza (for my husband!) or a small batch of cookies and reheats leftover pizza like a dream. i use him at least once a day, sometimes he’s running 4 times between the 2 of us.
ice cream maker
i love making ice cream. so does this guy. easy to use – no cranking, filling with ice, etc. just enjoying homemade ice cream.
great for baking enthusiasts
i love making pizza and with this pizza stone, it comes out with a delicious, crisp crust every time. this stone also works for bread baking.
cardamom cake. need i say more? (ok, fine: this pan releases cakes neatly and the handles make it easy to wrangle.)
if you like to make scones, biscuits, pie crusts, etc. by hand, this little tool cuts the butter into the flour more easily than using two butter knives.
On my bookshelf
this book has quickly become one of my favorite cooking-related books to reference when i’m thinking about new recipes and flavor combinations. it’s not a cookbook with recipes, rather it lists ingredients and then other flavors/ingredients that pair well with them. this book has really helped me stretch my creative muscles, without having to eat too many failed recipes.
this cookbook contains the original recipe for one of my favorite pizzas, the butternut squash, sage, and goat cheese pizza as well as one of my favorite risottos, easier mushroom risotto. all of the recipes that i’ve tried from this book have been solid.
i’ve made a bunch of the pastas in this book and enjoyed all of them. the pasta with sweet potatoes, spinach, feta, and olives that i shared is based on a recipe from this cookbook.
flour bakery in boston is delicious, so clearly any baking book by founder joanne chang is also going to be delicious. that she’s doing it with less sugar is even better. we have this book to thank for pear cardamom scones.
part memoir, part cookbook, this books follows ruth reichl through the year after gourmet magazine (which she had run for 10 years) closed abruptly. the book follows the seasons, in terms of weather, ingredients and recipes, and, finally, reichl finding her new normal. i enjoyed reading the book as a novel and making recipes from it such as orange french toast.
i am totally in love with all things scandinavian and picked up this charming little book from my local library. i ended up flagging at least 1 recipe per page and have so far loved the cardamom cake. i look forward to trying more of the recipes in this book.
dairy free shortening
useful for dairy free baking, as in these blueberry crumb bars, and for modifying the texture of cookies, pie crusts, etc.