OT: A Few of my Favorite Things - Kitchen Edition

As marked in my title here, this post is Off Topic (OT). I cannot be the only one out there who is just tired of work, work, work all the time.

Inspiration struck, because other day, I was looking for some pepper jelly, and a friend of mine sent me some. And that reminded me of awhile back when I was searching for a wireless headset and multiple colleagues pointed me to one that I love (even though they had to convince me I could move to a single ear style) and how I'm constantly trying to introduce people to Red Hot Riplet seasoning (made by a local company, but seriously, the heat-loving world should KNOW).

I really love to cook. There is not always space or time for it, but when there is, it's a great way to check out mentally and destress... and then I get to eat and feed people, so it's a win-win! 

So, instead of giving you CAD and data tips, today, I will give you tips on my favorite kitchen finds that have made my life easier (always happy to hear about other good stuff, if you have favorite helpers, too!).

Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook - Don't know how to cook yet? This is the book my Mom bought me when I left home. Lots of good explanations and clear recipes and substitution charts. I have gifted the same to many people over the years.

Over the Sink Dish Rack - OMG! Why didn't anyone tell me these things existed years ago?!?! There's a meme circulating that is mocking people for getting excited about these, but I'm not even ashamed. I've got more counter space, and a permanent home for my cutting boards and biggest knives. 

Hanging Pot Rack - I get a lot of compliments on this, especially from the maintenance staff. I keep pots and pans, large utensils, lids (by hanging the rack low enough to reach the top) and I've even gone crazy and started keeping my mixing bowls on top of it. I bought this in 2013, so it's definitely been worth the money. 

Magnetic Knife Strip - Self explanatory. 

Arch Bandages - Maybe not a kitchen thing, but an instant relief from Plantar Fasciitis so you can stand and cook? I was googling and trying to find exercises and whatever other treatment was available, and it was really as simple for me as putting pressure on the foot, and I could walk and run without pain again. SWEET! 

Pantry Organizer - Okay, that's what they call it, but you could just as easily use a shoe organizer for this. All the little sprinkles and sauce or seasoning packets and toothpicks that get lost easily... now perfectly visible. I think I saw it on a Buzzfeed list or something and decided to give it a try. Now I tell everyone, cause it's so cheap and so helpful. 

Jar opener - I asked for recommendations in my Myasthenia Gravis support group, for something that would help me open jars when my hands were weak, or in pain from the Lupus. This is definitely a winner. I hardly have to put any pressure on it to open things. 

Reusable K-Cups - My neighbors gave me a Keurig a couple of years ago, my Mom bought me a giant thing of Folger's from a bulk store, and I've been on easy street ever since then (don't forget to compost your coffee grounds). Hot Tip: if you've got one of those v2.0 Keurigs, and some older refillable things, they have an IR check for compatibility. BUT all you have to do is cut the foil top off of a branded one and tape it up against the scanner.

Lego Molds - This is not just for the kitchen. The kids and I have made chocolate candies and gummies, but we have also made crayons (melting down broken crayons). 

Veggetti - Are you a kitchen gadget freak? If you don't have a veggie spiralizer yet, I do not think so. Ha!

Spice Rack - Buy in bulk at your local import market and keep the stuff in the inconvenient cabinet you can't reach, and then fill these up, all nice and uniform and organized. Combined with reusable chalkboard labels? Yes, please. Saves a lot of money in the long run over buying grocery store spices in all different sizes and shapes.

Oxo Mandoline - Yes, even though someone distracted me and I cut off my fingertip with this bad boy, it was still a great investment. It was recommended on America's Test Kitchen, have had it for almost 10 years and use it all the time. 

Bacon Press 9" - Okay, admittedly, I cook my bacon in the oven now, on the same cool sheet pans I roast all my veggies on, but before I started doing that, this bacon press was essential.

Meal Prep Containers - Of course, as much as I love to cook, there's not always time or physical stamina for that. These are great (I also have divided ones), really inexpensive, but I can spend one day cooking and dish things up. Then throughout the week, if the kids are hungry or I can't cook, then we just grab a container, heat and eat.

Ceramic Cookware - There are MUCH nicer sets of this out there, but I caught these for only $65 on Prime Day or Black Friday. It's a solid set, and I am so glad I tried cooking on ceramic after seeing it being used on cooking shows.

Alright, all of this typing is making me hungry. 

Currently in my meal prep containers I have roasted veggies, breakfast biscuit pizzas and chicken tikka masala. Happy eating, friends!

Please Note: the links in this post are affiliate links. What does that mean? If you click one of these links and make a purchase, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. All opinions, and bad puns, are my own.

Knowing how much I love to create in the kitchen, I finally pulled the trigger and started a food blog, come on over and join The Fork Side.  

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