Hiya Fabulous Foodies,
I love sharing special prezzies with you, and I want to make sure you know about your awesome gift. I’m giving all of my readers free Cooking Classes! 13 videos, over 1.5 hours of training with me and the fabulous Chef Chad Sarno. If you’ve already started watching the videos, I hope all the step-by-step tutorials, recipes, and handy kitchen tips are helping you feel more excited and confident in the kitchen. When I started cooking with confidence, holiday prep changed from dreaded to celebrated and I want the same for you! (UPDATE: this offer has expired, but you can still get a sneak peek of Crazy Sexy Kitchen below!)
And since we’re on the subject of feeling confident in the kitchen, this list of basic tools will really help. If you want more details, check out the “Know-How” section in Crazy Sexy Kitchen. We walk you through all the lingo, equipment, and how-to info you’ll ever need to be a star chef in your own home.
My 7 essential kitchen tools
It took me years to build up my cooking tool repertoire, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t have everything on this list. These are just the ones I use daily, but you can still make phenomenal meals using just a few of these… (Hint: these also make great gifts for the cook in your life!).
- Strainer & Salad Spinner: Need I say more? They’re kinda essential for all things Crazy Sexy (aka veggies!).
- Sharp Knives: High-quality knives separate the amateurs from the ninjas! You don’t have to get super fancy or buy an entire set. Just make sure your knives are high quality, the right weight, and comfortable in your hand. I recommend at least having a chef’s knife and paring knife at the ready.
- Peeler: Ya gotta have one. When shopping around, look for a sharp blade with a substantial handle—easier to hold and use.
- Cutting Board: If you already have this kitchen item—terrific. If not or if you’re in need of an upgrade, try bamboo. For wooden and bamboo boards, you want to make sure to hand-dry them after washing to avoid drying out and cracking. Solid wood boards may need to be seasoned with neutral oil (food-grade mineral oil, or walnut, almond, or coconut oil) every now and then. They’re easier to clean and more eco-friendly than plastic. Also, if you’re using a plastic cutting board, keep in mind that tiny pieces can break off and make their way into your cuisine. Yuck.
- Cookware: Say sayonara to regular Teflon, aluminum, and other nonstick cookware. Their lining can break off at high temperatures, adding carcinogenic chemicals to your otherwise healthy meal. Although there are nontoxic, nonstick options out there such as Greenpan, which is made of 95 percent silica, the best choice is cast iron if you take the time to give it a little TLC and season it properly. Stainless steel, copper, or any heavy-bottom pans are all great picks as well.
- Blender: A powerful blender will change your life. It’s one of the most important tools in the kitchen. We use our beloved Vitamix daily. While it’s on the pricey side, it’ll last forever. Use it to make healthy smoothies, sauces, desserts, dressings, batters, and dips. Blendtec makes a great model too. But if a high-speed blender isn’t in your near future and you have a food processor or run-of-the-mill blender, you can still cook amazing food—it just might take a little longer.
- Juicer: Picking a juicer is like picking a mate! With so many on the market it can be hard to commit. In the Crazy Sexy Kitchen there are two types of juicers that will be useful—centrifugal force and twin gear. Centrifugal force juicers are easier to clean and use, take up less counter space, and are perfect for making your daily health elixir. Twin gears make juice that will stay fresh longer, but they take a little more time to clean and can cost more. However, they’re more versatile, since they also make wheatgrass juices, nut butters, ice cream, and veggie pâtés. You don’t need both types of juicers to get these jobs done. Check out the Breville Juice Fountain Multi-Speed and Hurom juicers to see what works for you.