I am certainly no expert chef. Someday when I get my cooking show, it's going to be called, "Oh #$*@!%, I Forgot the ___!" Each episode will feature me making something, yet forgetting a key ingredient. (It seriously never fails. The worst was the time I forgot to put the ground beef in my lasagna until after I put it in the oven. I tried to re-insert it in the layers and my kitchen ended up looking like a murder scene.) My inability to pay attention aside, I've found a few gadgets and supplies that I just love using. These are the five best things in my kitchen.
The KitchenAid Artisan Mixer. Not that this is any sort of revelation or anyone needs to be convinced that this is something they want, but it is one of my favorite things (were I Oprah, I'd give you all one). Every time I use it I go on and on about how amazing it is that you can be mixing stuff and you don't even have to use your hands. Then my husband reminds me that only he and the dog are listening to me and I'm not on an infomercial trying to sell it. One piece of advice that I'm still glad I got: make a space for it on your counter, and make sure you can use it without having to move it. If it's not easily accessible, you'll never use it because it's so heavy.
Glass mixing bowls. I never thought I'd use these as much as I do - I figured I'd use the big bowls for baking and whatnot every now and then, but I actually use the tiny bowls all the time. They're great for pre-measuring all your ingredients before you start cooking (like they do on cooking shows). Whenever I actually do that, I swear I'm going to do it all the time because it makes it so much easier not to burn stuff. (In reality, this happens maybe half the time.) This set is fantastic and comes at a great price point.
A Le Creuset French oven. You can use this on your stovetop and in the oven, and you can put the lid on whatever you made and put it right into your fridge, which is fabulous. It makes the best soups and chilis, and I use it for broiling steaks and roasting chickens, too. (And the colors are fabulous.)
Perfectly plain sets of measuring cups and spoons. These seem ridiculously expensive for what they are, but they are so very worth it. I have a soft spot for cute measuring cups, but whenever I'm really cooking, these are what I use.Honorable mentions go to these dishtowels, this citrus squeezer, and this clever cheese grater that catches your cheese (I'm a bit embarrassed to say this about a cheese grater, but it is genius). What are your favorite kitchen accoutrements?