6 Tools I Use Every Time I'm In My Kitchen.

At this stage in my life (young kids, still building my career, usually trying to sneak out to SoulCycle if I have an extra 45 minutes to spare on any given day), I am not experimental in the kitchen (my husband is the real chef in the house- he loves cooking up elaborate dishes so, figure no need for us both to be fighting for space at the stove, right?).

When I am in the kitchen, it is usually about efficiency- get something healthy and tasty on the table in minimal time and with minimal mess.

These are the tools of MY trade:

1- Flexible Mixing Bowl: Use it to stir up pancake mix, then pinch the sides together as you pour to control the size of the pancake. Or for salad dressing- whisk all the ingredients in here, then use it to easily pour the desired amount of dressing on to any dish. So easy to clean too- by hand or in the dishwasher.

2- Collapsible Colander: I have had this EXACT one for like 7 years (when we lived in NYC and had a teeny kitchen with minimal storage)- so, yeah, it lasts. Dries quickly, and takes up no space. Sure, it’s huge- but who cares? This way you can use one colander for pretty much everything.

3- Cutlery Cleaning Brush: Initially I ordered this to try for a Better Basics segment, and while it didn’t make it on the air, it did make it into my permanent kitchen rotation. Because cleaning good knives with a washcloth can be a gruesome endeavor- and never actually gets them 100% clean- this is the best little $8 tool to get cutlery truly, totally clean of sticky bits and such. Oh, and keep all your fingers. Win Win.

4- Reusable Stand-Up Storage Bags: My go-to move is marinating a skirt steak or chicken breasts for the day, and then tossing up veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper, and throwing it all on the stove top around 5:30 in a tizzy to get my kids fed before bath time. I have so much guilt for some reason using a fresh Ziploc bag each time, and then just throwing it out. So these reusable bags are great- and the fact that they stand up means less chance of accidental spill and less space used in the fridge.

5- -Breville Oven: Our oven takes FOREVER to heat up- this puppy takes minutes. I use it every single day- for mini make-your-own pizzas with the girls to fish in parchment paper to those frozen sweet potato fries that, once you start to smell. you want to be ready for eating immediately.

6- Made In Universal Lid: This was a huge hit in THIS Better Basics segment I did on TODAY in January- and I understand why- pots and pan lids take up SO MUCH SPACE. And I could never find the one I needed in the mess of a drawer I kept them in. This fits like a glove on all 3 standard size pots and pans, and the silicone coating makes it the easiest thing ever to clean.