When we bought our condo, I wished somebody could’ve told me what to buy for the kitchen beside the obvious: cookware, microwave, utensils, etc. As I spend more time in the kitchen, I realize there are many items that I bought, thinking that I would need, but in fact I don’t. And there are some that I wish I had bought earlier, such as these 5 kitchen items:
1. Small Convection Oven
My Breville mini smart convection oven is probably one of my most favorite kitchen utilities. I didn’t think I would need it, but I’m glad my friend suggested that I buy one. It has since made my cooking much more enjoyable and easier. Some of you might ask “why purchase a small convection oven if I already have a convection stove?”. My answer to that question is that when you’re just two at home, you normally cook for two and using the big stove to cook 4 pieces of chicken is not really worth it. Using a smaller oven consumes far less energy than a stove and, in the long-run, you’d save a lot more money. Timon and I love our Breville smart oven. My husband, who doesn’t cook, finds it easy to use, and doesn’t mind cooking dinner once in a while as long as he gets to use it. It has all the options that a stove has (i.e. bake, broil and roast), but even better, it also has a “toasting” option, so you wouldn’t need to buy a toaster. This smart convection oven may be a little pricey, but it’s a great investment!
When I was shopping for kitchen accessories for our new home, I didn’t think that a kettle was an essential appliance, but I soon realized it was when it was -20 degrees outside and all I wanted was to drink hot hot tea! So when Timon and I went to Walmart to look for one, I picked the cheapest one made with plastic. I didn’t really care about the material that was being used to make the kettle (in this case, plastic) as long as it do the job. Oh, I regretted it. My $15 kettle can boil the water, yes, but it doesn’t do a good job at keeping it warm for a long period of time. I personally don’t like boiling the water too often because it gets cold so rapidly. If you’re like me, what you need is a stainless steel kettle just like this one.
3. Mixing Bowls
You’d be surprised how many people forget to buy mixing bowls. Some ladies think they’d only need them for baking, but honestly, they’re extremely useful when you want to wash fruits and vegetable and marinating the meat. If you’re looking to buy some, opt for the stainless steel type. They’re easier to wash. Yes, I’m all for stainless steel items!
The primary purpose of a coaster is to protect the surface of your table, but I find they’re also very useful during dinner parties and big gatherings. In fact, you can use different coasters to mark the glasses, so your guests know which one belongs to them. You won’t have to go through the trouble of washing multiple glasses because people keep on forgetting which one is theirs. If you’re looking for a fun and easy way to make your own coasters, you can read this post.
Do you have the time in the morning to prepare and eat breakfast? I don’t. I like a good croissant with ham, cheese, salad and egg, but I don’t always have the time to cook the latter. I also don’t like eating cereales, unlike Timon, and I avoid muffins. Instead, I like to prepare a smoothie. It’s healthy, easy to digest and fast to prepare with a portable blender like this one, Ilove my Cuisinart blender, and I use it to prepare Timon’s protein shakes, my healthy smoothies, and other delicious slushy cold beverages for my guests. Even if you’re not a smoothie drinker, this blender is excellent at grinding coffees beans (Hello fresh coffee!) and crushing ice. You can also use it to prepare some homemade sauces. I read some negative reviews online, but I personally don’t have any problem with my Cuisinart. I have it for over a year, use it at least twice a week, and it works perfectly fine. I think reviews are useful, but I don’t think we should rely 100% on them. There are many products that I bought in the past that have received amazing reviews, but that I’m not happy with for “x” reason. And in other cases, there are kitchen items that I bought despite the negative reviews, and that work perfectly fine for me, just like the Cuisinart blender. At the end of the day, it’s about what you need and how the item can simplify your life.
I find shopping for household items is always exciting. I remember when we got our condo, I shopped at Winners, Walmart and many other home-related stores almost everyday. The best advice I can share with you today is that you don’t need to buy everything at the beginning. Take your time to shop around and look for the best deal. Buy kitchen items that will simplify your life and make cooking enjoyable and easy!
Good luck and have fun!
Anna Lou Chen