There are a million and one excuses not to cook, and we’ve used them all. With food delivery apps like Grubhub and meal delivery kits like Freshly, cooking can seem like an avoidable hassle. Apart from saving you a big chunk of your hard-earned paycheck, cooking also has deep psychological and health benefits. If you cook more often, you’ll get more than just a tasty home-cooked meal—cooking can be an act of nurturing those you care about. Not to mention that what you create in your kitchen can be of higher quality than prepackaged or cheap restaurant foods. So, inspire yourself and others today with these seven gifts and get things cooking in your kitchen!
While dried herbs are an easy way to add nuance to your dishes, nothing beats the flavor of fresh herbs. But even if they’re an essential ingredient in good home cooking, it can be a pain to take off the leaves and finely chop them for a recipe. This unique kitchen gadget is specially designed to chop herbs quickly and easily. Since they’re stainless steel, they’re easy to clean and will last a long time.
Starting out with a good recipe is important if you’re not accustomed to winging it in the kitchen. Bobby Flay is a well-known chef who uses simple, fresh ingredients to make flavor-packed dishes. His book, “Brunch at Bobby’s,” focuses on recipes you can try on the weekends, or on days when you have more time on your hands to put on an apron and roll up your sleeves.
Cooking itself can be time-consuming, but don’t forget that there are always the dishes to take care of afterward. But don’t let the sponge deter you! A 360-degree nozzle can make filling pots, rinsing pasta and vegetables, and cleanup much faster. It’s affordable and easy to install.
You may already be hesitant about boiling store-bought ravioli, so a homemade version may seem like something only an advanced cook would attempt. But it’s far easier than you’d think! Plus, you’ll get to eat the best pasta you may have ever tried. Using a mold helps you to feel less intimidated when you first try to make the dish. And since the mold can be used for other types of pasta and meat pies, too, this handy kitchen tool won’t sit on your shelf collecting dust.
Are you nervous about cooking meat? No one wants to bite into raw chicken or cut into a steak that’s a little too rare. A meat thermometer is an indispensable part of anyone’s kitchen, professional or novice. With a meat thermometer, you’ll be able to ensure that meats and poultry will be cooked exactly to the degree you’re shooting for. It eliminates all the guesswork so you have perfectly cooked (and safe) proteins every time.
If you’re using cheap knives when you cook, you’re missing out on some of the pleasure of food preparation. Not to mention that cooking with a dull blade can be a dangerous act! Quality knives can be pricey but make all the difference in the kitchen. They’re less expensive per knife if you buy a whole set, but you can buy them one at a time if you know you won’t be attempting anything fancy on the cutting board any time soon. Start with a chef’s knife, as it’s the knife you will use most frequently. Wusthof is a high-end knife brand that makes a budget-friendly version.
Not all cutting boards are created equal. A good-quality bamboo cutting board will last much longer than any other cutting board. Bamboo is easy to maintain and resists the buildup of bacteria more than plastic or wood. And it’s far more enjoyable to cut on. This one comes in three different sizes to fit your budget or kitchen space!
Prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.
Janet Ashforth is an ACE-certified personal trainer and licensed massage therapist. She first studied to become a personal trainer in 1997 and has since worked at several popular gyms and owned her own fitness company. She’s helped countless individuals maintain or regain their health and wellness. Janet also writes about food, nutrition, cooking, and baking, and is a “real food” advocate.