Enjoy easier mealtime prep with these kitchen tools

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Every single night my family wants to eat dinner — and breakfast, lunch and maybe snacks. Like many moms, I spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen so any time I find kitchen tools that make mealtime prep easier, I fall in love. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that make me happiest.

I decided to share 10 of my favorite kitchen tools that make for easier mealtime prep in my own kitchen. While I wasn’t sure if I could come up with 10, once I started thinking about it, I came up with more than 10. So, for this week’s Tasty Tuesday post, I’ve pared the list down to the 10 best that I use often. Many of these I use multiple times a week, and all of them I use at least a couple of times a month!

1. Collapsible strainers

This sounds crazy, but I’ve looked at collapsible strainers for years and never got them. I mentioned it to my husband and within a couple of days, this two-pack showed up from Amazon. You guys, I fell in love. The collapsible strainers make for easier mealtime prep, because they don’t take up much space in my dishwasher, so I don’t resist using them. That was exactly what I did with my old hard plastic strainer. Who knew they’d make me so happy?!

2. A stand mixer

I’m in love with my stand mixer. In fact, I have named her Dorothy because she is ruby red like the slippers in “The Wizard of Oz” movie. Dorothy and I have been together for a while. I suppose I could live without her, but I’m glad I don’t have to! In having fibromyalgia, my arms often ache, so letting Dorothy do the work saves me many times. And it’s thanks to her that I tried making yeast rolls and breads. I’ve talked about her many times on the blog, but I couldn’t leave her off of this list!

3. Ceramic knives

I’ve got only two ceramic knives, but they are hands-down my favorite. I use them all the time. They stay sharp and don’t need to be sharpened. They are dishwasher safe and don’t stain. I love, love, love them!

4. Food processor

If you have picky particular eaters in your family like I do in mine, then a food processor can definitely help you have easier meal time prep. Whether I’m pureeing bananas for banana bread or tomatoes for salsa or potato chili, my food processor makes life easier a least a couple of times a month. (And since our blender broke, my daughter uses it for smoothies!)

5. 4-slice toaster

The toaster in my house gets used multiple times a week. While I don’t necessarily use it that often for dinnertime meal prep, it definitely makes other meal prep easier. My son has had a recent obsession with plain bagels smeared with peanut butter. And my daughter went through a phase of making garlic toast a few times a week. Then, of course, there’s regular toast as well. Anyway, a simple 4-slice toaster truly makes my life easier!

6. Measuring cup with a push-up bottom

Years ago I went to an in-home cookware party. I bought a measuring cup with a push-up bottom and I LOVE it. I still use it regularly. It’s terrific for measuring peanut butter, honey and other sticky things. With the ways it’s made, you just push the ingredient out rather than having to try and scrape it out. It does need to be hand-washed, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make for how useful this measuring cup is. While I have a brand name one, I would opt now to pay half the price for a different brand like this one:

7. Rachael Ray cook- and bakeware

You don’t have to hang out long on my blog to know I absolutely love Rachael cookware and bakeware. I first got the bakeware from my mother-in-law as a gift. My mom used my pans and got her own. I’ve purchased additional Rachael Ray bakeware as well. I got the muffin pan, mini-muffin pan and an extra loaf pan. During COVID shutdown my mom ordered Rachael Ray cookware and loved it so much that she ordered me a set for a random gift. All of the Rachael cook- and bakeware washes up so well (I hand-wash them per the directions). And they really are nonstick.

8. Parchment paper

About four years ago, I first discovered the modern marvel of parchment paper. I’m not sure how I didn’t know about it before, but it definitely makes for easier mealtime prep and cleanup! I bake pretty much everything with parchment paper nowadays.

9. Air fryer

I love my air fryer. It’s great for making things like french fries and chicken nuggets, but it’s also great for heating up certain leftovers. I make mozzarella cheese sticks and frozen eggrolls in the air fryer as well. In fact, I have two air fryers. They are the same brand, Power XL, but different sizes. I can use both at the same time! And we can’t forget the delicious air fryer doughnuts that make me practically drool on my keyboard!

10. Apron

Do aprons count as kitchen tools? I’m not sure, but they do to me. I got an apron a lot like this one years ago (my actual apron is no longer available) and just keep washing and using it. When I’m baking something messy or cooking some that might splash on me, my apron make mealtime prep easier by keeping me clean. That, in turn, makes my laundry easier. So, it’s a win all around!

About the Author: Stacey A. Shannon

Stacey A. Shannon is a freelance journalist and blogger who has been published internationally. She's also a Christian, a wife and a mom of two school-aged children. She started Families with Grace in 2019 to encourage Christian moms as they create homes filled with grace, love and faith.

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10 Kitchen tools to make mealtime prep easier10 Kitchen tools to make mealtime prep easier

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