Top 10 Kitchen 'Must Haves'

Of course if it possible to cook without any kitchen gadgets. And yes, appliances and kitchen tools can sometimes be expensive. My advise, put them on your birthday list!

I am addicted to kitchen stores. Touche. But I also have limited space (after all, I do live in Europe) so I don't like stuff to clutter my house, let alone my kitchen.
These are the 'must haves' that made my top 10. The selection criteria?
1. They can safe tons of preparation time
2. More importantly, with them at your side, it becomes less tempting to make 'bad choices' because they will help you stay on the 'health track'.

Lemon Squeezer (1)

You need a few drops of lemon in your recipe and your first thought is to grab the purchased lemon juice sitting in your fridge? Although I do understand that instinct, I would like to invite you to take a closer look at the container. Most probably, what you have in your hands in filled with chemicals. And, let's be honest and stop kidding yourself, that 'stuff' doesn't even taste like 'lemon'!
Invest in a lemon squeezer! You will never want to go back to the yucky bottled mixture, ever!
An added plus: it is the perfect bar tending tool and will work for limes too (oops! the cat is out of the bag....)

If you are not buying organic, make sure to thoroughly wash the lemon with hot water first and rub it dry, before inserting it in the lemon squeezer.

Orange Squeezer (2)

Predictable? Mmm... maybe. If you live alone, or if it is just the two of you, this is the breakfast gadget for you! Who wants to take out and dirty a big machine to squeeze out two glasses of morning orange juice? Too much hassle! Finding fresh orange juice in the supermarket with non-added sugar and other substances? Not an option or just too darn expensive.
With the orange squeezer it will only take you a jiffy to produce a glass of sunshine to jump start your day.

Vitamix® High-Performance Blender (3)

Nothing I tell you can come close to describing what a wonderful piece of machinery the Vitamix® blender is. You have kids and they do not like eating fruit? Toss everything in this blender (yes, even the healthy skin they will not eat in a billion years), push the button and in a few seconds, you will have the best smoothie ever. They will ask you for more!
You are a raw food eater? Perfect! Put all the ingredients to your favourite soup in the cup and Vitamix® will blend it to perfectness and warm it up for you, just right.
I Vitamix all my (boiled) soups because I like them smooth as silk. I could go on and on, but instead I invited you to take a look at their multi-lingual, video enhanced flashy Vitamix® website.
And in case you we wondering, no, I don't get any Vitamix® kick-backs! That machine and I is true love! Worth every penny!

Egg-Perfect® Egg Timer (4)

In my opinion, one of the most difficult things in life is to get an egg to boil to perfection. No matter which method I followed in the past, always a disaster. Eggs have different sizes, are kept at 'room temperature' or in the fridge and are inserted in to pans with other eggs (or not), in warm or cold water, in a big pan or small one and get covered to bring to boil...or not.
All of these factors will affect the way your egg turns out. Good grief! Too much variables for me!
When this timer came out, it saved my life!
The timer will allow you to make a 'soft', 'medium' or 'hard' boiled egg! How does it work? No idea... 

Kitchen Aid® Stand Mixer (5)

I know what you are thinking... I have a soft spot for expensive kitchen toys. Well, I kind of do! But this beauty is not just for looks. You like baking? Believe you me, you gotta have it! Shop around, buy it second hand, do what you have to. You will never regret it.
How else can you beat eggs, while at the same time adding some agave, then some salt, this or that to the mixture? I read some recipes and think... I know us women can multi-task but, what are we? Octopuses?
This machine will de-tress your baking life -and will look fab on your counter!

Measuring Spoons (6)

A no-brainer for many of you. But for those of you out there that do not live in North America, having a set of measuring spoons is not self explanatory.
Of course you could use 'regular' cutlery. But when precision is needed, you will be happy to have a  set of true measuring spoons at your finger tips!

Cast Iron Grill Pan (7)

I have seen this cast iron grill pan -or a similar version of it- in every country I have been to. This been said, not everybody had it as part of their kitchen inventory... This is why you should:
•I don't think there is a healthier way to grill your vegetables, fish and meat
•for sure there is no quicker way
•the finished product will taste as if it has been barbecued
•these pans are dirt cheap and will last you for literally, ever!

Measuring Cups (8)

If you are going to cook (or bake) out of a North American recipe, you want these measuring cups. I have tried it without them, for the sake of experiment. Looked up conversion tables thinking I could easily find the gram equivalent of, let's say, a cup of coconut flour. It is very tricky. Even if the websites out there do specify, liquids, volume, flour, etc. In my experience, nine times out of ten it will not be accurate. For volume it might work (let say, finding the equivalent in grams for a cup of carrots). But when it comes to measuring liquids or meals, forget it. Disaster is bound to happen.
Safe yourself some trouble and if the recipe calls for 'a cup of almond meal', take your measuring cup and be done with it. Not worth breaking your head over maths.

Oyster Knife (9)

The first time we tried opening oysters, my husband grabbed a regular knife. Needless to say, that didn't work -and almost ruined my kitchen knife!
Then he grabbed a screw driver... and a hammer. End result? He hurt his hand and broke the shells and although he did get those suckers open, his hand almost needed stitches and while we were able to sip our oysters, we had to crunch through the shells.
Obviously there had to be a better way to do this. At the time, there were no You Tube videos to show you the ropes; we learnt the hard way. But we did discover the oyster knife.
If you like oysters and even if you only treat yourself to some once a year, get the knife. It is totally worth it -an inexpensive version of it is very available.

Egg Poaching Pan (10)

I am sure it is possible to poach an egg without an egg poaching pan! I just don't know how to! I always make a mess of it. More so, if I attempt to poach more than 1 egg at a time.
They egg breaks, does not keep together, it is difficult to tell if it is done or not and more importantly, I find it quite difficult to drain the water, once I have managed to scoop it out of the pan in one go!
Since a poached egg is such a healthy choice, I invested in a poaching pan quite a while ago.
Worth every penny. In the UK and North America they are quite common -and inexpensive.
Travelling in the coming months? Put it on your shopping list!