5 Random Kitchen Things I Can’t Live Without

by Merissa on January 30, 2013

in Featured, Tips

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I have some very favorite kitchen things that I feel like don't get mentioned enough. These are things I use every single day in my own kitchen and I don't think I could live without them! They make my life easier and more simple. So without further ado, they are:

Ice Cube Trays: I always have something freezing in my ice cube trays in the freezer! I go through them like crazy (cheaper ones tend to crack) so I buy them at rummage sales or auctions when I get a chance. High quality trays would be worth it for me so they are on my wish list. I like to my Cream Cubes, Freeze Milk, Freeze Chicken Broth, and more! I've even made mini desserts in them. 😉


Magic Bullet: This little powerhouse is amazing. I picked up my first one at a rummage sale and have purchased another one since. (Motor finally wore out because we used it so often!) This is perfect for making little single size smoothies or grinding up small amounts of whatever (I use it to grind my turbinado sugar when I need it finer or powdered.) It's also great to take on road trips or camping.


L'Equip Dehydrator: Ok I've mentioned this one a couple times but it's definitely on my list of can't-live-withouts. I literally use mine every single day. I use it mostly to make dried fruits and snacks, Homemade Fruit Roll Ups, and Dried Chicken Broth (recipe coming soon!).


Plastic Jar Lids: If you eat through your canning pantry in the winter like we do, these lids are a must! They are awesome for storing open canned goods in the fridge, topping off jars with spices in them, and storing things short term in jars as I make some new concoction. We also have a set of Cuppow lids and I actually use these on my jars with homemade salad dressing, Dorthy Lynch, or Ranch Dressing!


Rada Cheese Knife: While I love the entire brand of Rada Knives, the cheese knife is my favorite. Yes, we use it for cheese but it also works extremely well for tomatoes (I like it to slice up my cherry and grape tomatoes for Sun Dried Tomatoes!), lettuce, and more.

What are your favorite random kitchen items? Do you have any of the ones I mentioned above?


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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 marci357 January 30, 2013 at 9:25 am

Cast iron Fry pans… the fav one is washed out and set right back on the stove top – never gets put away.
Long filet-type old hickory skinning type knife…my go to meat cutting knife.
2 quart sized measuring cup with handle – all kinds of things happen in that cup/bowl.
Set of flexible cutting boards kept under the micowave – handy….One use, fold up and pour out of them, and into the dishwasher they go.
Antique wooden 4 roll dispenser with serrated cutting edges screwed into the front of an upper kitchen cabinet… holds paper towels, plastic wrap, wax paper, and tin foil all easily at the reach – found at a garage sale and I love it !


2 Jo January 30, 2013 at 9:59 am

I don’t have any of yours above, not even the ice trays! I do love my plastic spatula and big, new whisk I got at Marshall’s late last year. I have an old, worn, medium-size stockpot that is cheap and light, and has worked wonders over the years! I know the heavy-bottom ones are supposed to be better at not burning things, especially, but cooking with mine is like wearing an old, favorite pair of jeans. 🙂


3 Barb January 30, 2013 at 12:54 pm

I love the plastic jar lids! I first saw them a couple of years ago and love them so much I give them as gifts to people who do canning and also when I give my home-canned goods to others.


4 RevAllyson January 30, 2013 at 1:43 pm

My cast iron pans are indispensible. I cook in them constantly! My dutch oven, too. I love my electric kettle… it’s one of the few “gadgets” that I use that is electric. I like that it shuts off on its own. I like that it holds twice as much as the one that sits on the stove. I just like it. 🙂 I also have “sippy cup” style coffee cups that are daily use items. I take coffee to my computer and I *will not* do that in a regular mug. I’m too prone to spills!


5 Piper January 30, 2013 at 2:29 pm

We have the Bullet and ice cube trays. My must-have item is my garlic press! So much quicker and easier than trying to chop it :p


6 Teressa Morris January 30, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Love, love, love my Magic Bullet!! We are also on our 2nd. I find that people either love them or hate them, so it is easy to pick up used ones cheap from those who bought one and never used it.
Some other must-haves in our house – Black and Decker minichop – we’ve had this since we were first married, 25 years ago. Still on the first one, and it chops some things better than the Magic Bullet. Great for onions, garlic, etc. I even make small batches of salsa in it!!
Silicone spatula and whisk – I have melted too many spatulas in the past and the silicon whisk is a must if you have any non-stick pans.


7 Merissa February 4, 2013 at 4:57 pm

I’m not sure how someone could hate the Magic Bullet…such an awesome tool!


8 Jackie January 30, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Cast-iron pans of various sizes, much used and kept well seasoned. I keep a small natural-bristle paintbrush in a small amount of shortening in a small jar and “paint” on a quick thin layer after I’ve scraped and wiped out the pan (I try not to ever wash them with water). They’re like old friends.

Mason jars! And the plastic jar lids!


9 momof7 January 30, 2013 at 10:36 pm

My top 5 would be:
1) Cast iron skillets
2) Pampered Chef Stoneware- baking stones, casseroles and bread pans
3)Flour sack dish towels – I bought a whole orange crate full at an auction. Won’t dry dishes with anything else (because nothing else works as good)
4) Heavy Duty wooden spoons
5) Stainless Steel Stock pots (that I got at an estate sale). They are OLD and heavy duty.


10 Merissa February 4, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Love my Pampered Chef Stonewear!


11 Heather @ My Kansas Life January 31, 2013 at 10:31 am

Those plastic jar lids must be one of the best inventions in canning! I use mine for everything. I’m sure I wouldn’t use jars near as much if not for the plastic lids.


12 Merissa February 4, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Yes they seriously are!


13 Kim February 1, 2013 at 7:40 pm

Marshmallow Fluff has pretty red lids that perfectly fit canning jars. According to their website, that’s because housewives helped them design their packaging in the 1950’s. I only use the stuff for fudge, and only about twice a year, but I love harvesting the lids for my own purposes.


14 Beth February 2, 2013 at 4:09 pm

I love my little spatula. I use it to get the last nut butter out, the last jam, and the concoctions I make every day in our huge blender (wish I could try a little one though). I use it many times a day.

I also love my ice cube trays, my blender, my peeler, and my cutting board. And my really big salad bowl. I need the big one for all the recipes I make, because I’m always trying to double them and save time. These things get used so often I can’t even put them in my dishwasher, because I’ll need them again before it’s run.


15 Wanda February 4, 2013 at 4:46 pm

I do the same thing! The last of the peanut butter etc!!! That last little bit is usually the perfect amount needed without having to open the new just yet 🙂


16 Wanda February 4, 2013 at 4:53 pm

My 5 must haves:
1. 3 silicone spatulas
2. Pampered Chef silicone scrapers -GREAT for the stoneware but equally as good for washing anything else in the kitchen.
3. Cast iron skillets – varying sizes – picked a whole seasoned Wagner set up at a thrift store for $6.00!!! I use them and my Mom and Dads old square and round skillets all the time.
4. Pampered Chef stoneware – you HAVE to try them! You will not be disappointed 🙂
5. Blender. It’s just about worn out! Soon to be replaced with a Ninja!


17 Merissa February 4, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Wanda, I totally agree with you on 1, 2 and 4, I have all those things and use them daily!


18 Trudy November 8, 2013 at 11:44 pm

My MUST HAVE is a pump bottle of Aloe Vera gel (the kind you get for sunburns) that I keep in the refrigerator!!! I burned my had badly just yesterday! After I rinsed the juice off of my hand, I grabbed the gel out of the fridge and slathered it on thickly. It felt SOOO good being iced cold! Every time it melted, I reapplied it, probably for about half an hour. There’s not a mark on me today and it’s not even sore!



19 stacey February 10, 2014 at 5:58 am

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing this tip.


20 Susy February 20, 2015 at 12:41 pm

Love my Rada knives also — received my first set as a wedding gift 25.5 yrs ago.
Also, cast iron cookware, Pampered Chef stoneware, heavy stainless cookware, silicon spoonulas/spatulas, and my old pyrex mixing bowls! The mixing bowls are pretty as well as practical.


21 Barbara March 18, 2015 at 3:36 pm

Just found your site, GREAT I am a retired chef and need to get used to home style recipes and appliances. yours are very helpful. what kind of mixer are you using? I find my kitchen aid a bit limiting. keep up the good work I love your view of living!


22 Merissa March 18, 2015 at 7:07 pm

Hi Barbara! I use a Bosch Mixer. It’s very heavy duty, I love it 🙂


23 Linden June 1, 2016 at 11:40 pm

Merissa, I do jot have an icemaker, and I have bought many a high-quality ice tray (like the Amana ones that come with a high-end fridge when bought new) at the thrift store! Heavy-duty, don’t crack, last forever. Built to last. Never cost more than $1.50 per pair, and often less.


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