Functional Kitchen Gadgets that Say "I'm Pretty, but Useful."
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I am a lover of food. I especially enjoy cooking healthy, delicious (ok, sometimes they aren't delicious) meals for my family. The whole process makes me feel super fulfilled. Meal planning, the grocery haul, the organization and unloading of the groceries, the prepping, and the creating, I truly LOVE it all. It fills my soul to know that I am producing quality, homemade meals for my family, 3 meals a day, most days of the week. A large majority of my time is spent in the kitchen. Through the years I have come across recommended kitchen gadgets that truly filled a void, and others that were doozies. Today, I want to share the beautiful, yet functional pieces that I use on the regular. Let's dive in.
Anything organization in a kitchen, makes my heart sing. Decanting items once home from the grocery store is the number one rule to organizing your pantry and refrigerator. Getting rid of the plastic and boxes that hold your snacks, chips, crackers, cereal, etc. is key. Not only does this allow you to get rid of the visual excess of packaging, but it allows you to store the items in such a way that you can actually see what you have, which leads to making lunches easy peasy and kids being able to access snacks a breeze. I love to use acrylic containers to house snack items in the pantry and air tight clear containers for things like cereal, crackers, and chips. You can find all of these items at places like HomeGoods or your local second hand shop for a fraction of the cost. They DO NOT need to all match, that is silly talk. I understand, yes, it is pretty. If it's your thing, by all means, do the dang thing. The point is to make your items visually accessible and that can be done with mixing storage solutions. The one thing I do highly recommend is that they be clear so you can see what is stored inside them. I also love using glass storage solutions. Simple mason jars with lids is a budget friendly way to store grains, flour, dried fruit, nuts, etc. Again, they do not all have to match! When I can, I purchase items from the bulk bins. Not only is it budget friendly because you aren't paying for the packaging, but it is easy to store in your containers once you get home with less waste. I also love buying spices in the bulk section. I then funnel them into my spice jars once home. The last bit of organizational magic I shall shed light on is the Wrapdock for storing plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Functional and aesthetically pleasing, this baby keeps the drawer looking fly and the cardboard boxes from snagging the drawer when you try to open it. Winning! Here are a few of my organizational favorites. Click the individual image to be taken to the link.
I primarily cook vegetarian in our household so there is a lot of food scraps that we compost. I wanted a bin that could sit on the counter, but not be distracting. The compost bin by OXO has been great. It washes easily, doesn't smell, and looks cute as a button. I haven't yet purchased a countertop composter. I have been eyeing two different brands, but can't seem to commit. When, and if, I pull the trigger, I will definitely review and let you guys know my thoughts. Until then, check out this counter top compost bin by OXO.
One item that I use constantly and has proven to be super helpful is the bamboo tofu press. I use a lot of tofu in a variety of recipes. This bad boy performs as it advertises, making baking or frying tofu a dream. Did I ever think I would admit to owning a tofu press? No, no I did not. However, I am here today to spread the word. Stop trying to wrap your tofu in paper towels and then press it between two plates like I did for years. Do yourself a favor, go get the tofu press.
Here is a list of other items that I have grown to love. They are all functional, yet aesthetically pleasing. The visual appeal they add aids in making time in the kitchen enjoyable so when you reach for the item, they invoke a feeling of home. I have added a few favorite recipe books that I have used numerous times over the years in case you're in need of some new meal ideas. Click the individual image to be taken to the link.
The last topic I think is worth mentioning are textiles and cleaning items kept in the kitchen. I use items like dish towels, cloth napkins, reusable paper towels, a dish sponge, and dish soap dispenser as decor. Not only are these things sustainable, they add character in your kitchen. Making a house a home comes down to all the small details. Plus, when you are cleaning up the messes with such beautiful textiles and visually pleasing items, you don't seem to mind as much. At least this is what I tell myself. You do what you have to do. I've listed a few tried and true favorites below. The winner in my book are the dish towel and reusable paper towels from Marley's Monsters. They are so absorbent and last for years. They have a variety of fun patterns and whimsical designs to choose from to fit any style. Click the individual image to be taken to the link.
However you use your kitchen, set it up so that it is free of barriers that impede you from wanting to spend time there. I am sure you have heard it before, but the kitchen is the heart of the home for most. For our home this rings true. Cooking meals allows me to feel I am giving to my family, which literally feeds my soul (I had to, don't judge me). My hope is that a few of these tips and items may allow you to better access how your kitchen can best serve you so you can serve others.
Go seek the beauty in your everyday.