We bought two of these last year after five years owning what I thought was a decent mid-level set of kitchen knives. As I became more interested in cooking, I kept seeing articles touting the importance of a good chef’s knife, “You really don’t need a 10-piece knife set, you just need one good chef’s knife.” So we decided to upgrade and I am so glad we did. This knife continues to win accolades as the best value in mid-to-high-end chef’s knives. Josh and I have both been super happy with the ones we have and would highly recommend them to anyone looking for an upgrade from big-box knives at a reasonable price.
I’m a big fan of gifting my favorite spice blends to friends and family. Past gifts have included rib rub, garlic herb salt, and savory pork bend. If you don’t feel like mixing your own, a set of staple spice jars makes a great gift for anyone just starting out on their own. My favorite jars are from World Market. You’ve probably seen them in many of my posts. Paper & Pear subscribers can download the corresponding spice labels for free.
We have six of these stainless steel prep bowls from IKEA. At $2 a piece, they were a bit of an impulse buy, but I am so glad I got them. They’ve become one of our most-used kitchen accessories. These bowls have been used to hold chopped veggies as we prep a stir-fry dinner, mix up a batch of dry rub for a smoked pork shoulder, and whisk together a quick vinaigrette for an easy summer salad. While these are available on Amazon Prime with free shipping they’re cheaper at IKEA if you have one nearby.
I’d been wanting a salt well for use while cooking and found this one at World Market last summer. I love the natural beauty of the olive wood, and it was half the price of a similar vessel at West Elm. I also like the size. It’s a bit smaller than a baseball, so it doesn’t take up too much room on the counter or in the pantry.
The last two items on my list go together, but either one can stand on its own. The quarter sheet pan is my favorite baking pan because of how easily it fits in the dishwasher. I’ve been known to use two quarter-sheet pans instead of one half-sheet, just to avoid having washing the big pan by hand. Only recently did I discover the convenience of having a cooking and cooling rack sized perfectly to fit into my favorite baking pan. When paired together I used this combo to bake chicken breasts, bacon, and even the occasional indoor hamburger. The rack also works alone as a cooling rack for cookies other baked goods.
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