As a girl who loves to cook (and bake!), there are a few kitchen tools that I definitely couldn't live without. And just in case there are any fellow cooking enthusiasts out there, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites.
1. Garlic press
I'm fairly certain I didn't register for a garlic press for our wedding because I thought it was a supremely lazy thing to have around. But after about the fourth time that I had to mince garlic for a recipe, I decided that I desperately needed one. And I'm in love with it. I cook a LOT of pasta and use a LOT of gresh garlic, so it was definitely worth the money. :)
2. Scrub brush
When I picked up a relatively soft-bristled plastic scrub brush at Ikea a few years ago for $1, I had no idea it'd become an absolute necessity for washing dishes. I know you can find them at other places, but if you happen to be at Ikea anytime soon, you should definitely pick one up. You can't beat their prices! :)
3. Calphalon Commercial Hard-Anodized 12" Everyday Pan
I bought this pan on Amazon a year or so ago for about $35 (a FANTASTIC price!), and I'm obsessed with it. I love that I can use metal utensils on it, and it is absolutely perfect for carmelizing onions. Wow, that sounds lame. But it's true. This pan would make a wonderful gift for anyone who likes to cook.
4. Olive Oil Bottle
I stumbled upon one of these at Walmart, and I am so thankful that I did because it makes cooking with olive oil a cinch! I use it so often that we just leave it out on the counter by the salt and pepper shakers. I also bought one for liquid dish soap, and I love that it's pretty enough to leave out.
5. KitchenAid Stand Mixer
If I didn't love my Aunt Tammy and Aunt Brigitte before they bought us one of these as a wedding gift, I certainly did afterward! :) Seriously, y'all... it's amazing. It would definitely be a splurge, but you can often get the white mixer for around $150 with a good sale. If you're a baker, this is definitely something you need to have in your kitchen.
6. Pyrex Bakeware Set
This was another wedding gift, and if I could remember who bought it for us, I'd send a huge shoutout their way. It's got just about everything you need to prepare/bake/store food. And maybe I'm the only one, but I really, really hate Saran Wrap, so I just adore the lids.
7. Heavy Whipping Cream
So maybe this one isn't actually a tool, but heck if I care. If you come to my house, you can bet your bank account that I'll have a carton of heavy whipping cream somewhere in my fridge. It's as necessary as air. Or cheese. Or Micah. (Okay, maybe not Micah, but it's pretty close.)
8. Immersion Blender
Micah's dad has one of these, and I always thought it was the coolest thing. If you've never seen an immersion blender, they're small, hand-held blenders that you can put down into liquid-y things to blend/puree them. They're great for cream of vegetable soups, salad dressings, and marinades. The one I have has all of the attachments shown below, which, in theory, seem super cool. But I've never used them. :)