A long time ago, in a lifetime far away, I was a bit of a minimalist. I rarely brought anything into the house without giving it the Marie Kondo stamp of approval. These days, I’ve strayed somewhat from my minimalist roots, what with all the book-hoarding and our extensive collection of stuffies. But because we have a smaller kitchen, I still maintain some semblance of minimalism in my appliances and tools.
We love to cook as a family, though certainly not every meal is fancy or restaurant-quality. Whether it’s brinner (breakfast-for-dinner) or a full holiday spread, we rely on a few tried and true appliances that we found to be worth the counter space.
So this week, with Black Friday deals going live early, I’d like to share some of my essentials for our family’s everyday cooking. Did I leave anything out? Let us know in the comments or on Instagram!
By far, the most used appliance in our household! We love that the coffee pods come in lots of flavors and that they are recyclable. Our daughter loves to make coffee for us, and it’s easy enough that she can play barista whenever she wants!
We got on the Instant Pot train pretty early and never hopped off. I know it does a ton of things, but we mostly use it as a substitute to our CrockPot. My favorite carnitas recipe takes no time at all in the Instant Pot, and I’ve found that traditional Vietnamese curries and stews take half the amount of time.
I really fought this one. I just didn’t think we needed it. But when my mom told me it could fry up tofu in 10 minutes, I was sold. Plus, she sent it to me without telling me, so there’s that. But I really do love throwing easy items like chicken or potatoes in here for that extra bit of crispness and flavor—without the mess or vat of oil.
suggested price $110
This one surprised me! It was a wedding gift 10 years ago, and we still use it regularly. It’s great for pureeing (without having to get out a giant blender) and has an attachment that makes chopping veggies super simple.
suggested price $270
My daughter is a carb-aholic—and she comes by it pretty honestly. We all love a thick piece of toasted bread in the morning with Kerrygold butter, especially the little one. On weekends, my daughter and I add all the ingredients, set the bread maker, and breathe in that fresh-baked smell a few hours later. It’s been fun to teach her about the chemistry behind baking!
suggested price $240
Sounds basic, but a quality toaster oven is well-loved in our house (see above for toast obsession). We like one that can also be used as a convection oven for reheating leftovers or for quick pita-pizzas. And the broiling function is really nice for those cheesy open-faced sandwiches!