Kitchen Must Have – Electric Skillet

In the kitchen, one of my “go-to” small appliances is my Presto® Electric Skillet. It’s a really useful appliance that makes frying and cooking up food so much easier. The best part? It comes with a really affordable price tag too! You can grab the same one I own for around $40 on Amazon using this link: Presto 06852 16-Inch Electric Skillet with Glass Cover


I use my electric skillet most often for frying meatballs and chicken cutlets. Because of its large size, it can hold a full two pounds of meatballs all at once as well or a slew of chicken cutlets. The glass cover allows you to see your food cooking while keeping all of the grease splatter in which is a real saving grace at cleanup time. No more scrubbing the stovetop, backsplash, range hood, etc. after frying. It also has a nice, slick Teflon® coating so food slides out easily and cleanup is a breeze because nothing sticks to it. Even the burnt bits come right out with ease. Another great feature of electric skillets is that they are able hold a nice steady temperature as they cook so food cooks and browns evenly.

Electric skillets are really great when it comes to cooking for a crowd as well! Whip up a big batch of scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage and peppers, ground beef for tacos or even the meat for a Philly cheesesteak! The skillet can also be used to make pancakes, frying homemade doughnuts, burgers, sloppy joes, lo mein and even stir-frys! The possibilities are truly endless because you can use the electric skillet to make almost anything you’d make in a traditional pan on the stovetop.

Electric skillets come in all sizes as well from a small square to a large rectangle. I prefer the larger size as it gives me more flexibility when I am cooking. Some of you might be wondering why you’d need an electric skillet if you already have an electric griddle and to that I say, while a griddle is great to have its lack of high sides limits its functionality. If I had to pick only once of these appliances to own, without hesitation, I would choose the skillet. I find it far more useful in the kitchen than my griddle pan.

If you decide to dust off your electric skillet or run out and buy yourself a new one, give some of these delicious recipes a whirl. You won’t be disappointed!

“Saucy” Italian Sausage and Peppers

Italian Meatballs

Boogaloo Wonderland Sandwich

Steve’s “Special Pancakes”

Kitchen Must Have – Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer

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My baby!!! If ever there was a kitchen item that I couldn’t live without, HANDS DOWN, it’s my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. I absolutely adore this appliance and while it can be a little pricey, it’s absolutely worth it’s weight in gold. Plus, any money you spend on it will pay off a millions times over. I’ve had this mixer for going on 16 years now and I’ve never had a single issue or problem with it and I use mine A LOT! It’s a fantastic investment and will really be a wonderful addition to your kitchen, trust me!

There are a few choices and price points for a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. They have a Professional Series with a 6 qt bowl which is what I bought years ago. They also have an Artisan model, a 5 qt model, and 4.5 qt model. Each model has a different price point so you should be able to find something that fits into your budget. Amazon usually has pretty great prices on the Kitchen Aid so if you’re interested in checking out a few of the models you can do so by clicking the link below:

 KitchenAid Professional 600 Series KP26M1XER Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer, 6 Quart, Nickel Pearl

Another great thing about these stand mixers, for those who aren’t familiar with them, they also have a host of different attachments that you can purchase. Some of the things they offer are a food grinder, a spiralizer, an ice cream bowl, various pasta rollers, slicers, and even a mini food processor attachment. The attachments can be pricey but if you add to your collection over time you end up with an appliance that can do the job of so many others. One stop cooking and baking!!

Aside from the obvious cookie doughs and batters you can make with the Kitchen Aid I’ve also churned my own butter, made homemade whipped cream, developed the most perfect peaked egg whites, whipped the best mashed potatoes, made bread doughs, and I even ground my own beef for burgers. I kid you not! It’s really such a versatile tool and it makes my life so much easier in the kitchen. You’ll especially appreciate it when you need to combine or whip ingredients for countless minutes. You can just set the speed and walk way until it’s ready which is great because it allows you to prep the next step in your recipe without having to waste precious time standing around and waiting.

It’s super easy to clean up too! Most of the parts and the bowl can go right into the dishwasher. Because I use mine so often I store the basic parts right in the bowl that is attached to the mixer. It came with a whisk, dough hook, and paddle attachment and with those 3 there is pretty much nothing that you can’t whip up.

If I had to choose one large appliance investment I would go for the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer all day long. It really is a must have in my kitchen and if anything happened to my current baby, I’d be on Amazon in two seconds ordering my next one! If you don’t already have one, definitely consider getting. You will not regret it, I promise.

Below are some of the delicious things I made using my trusty Kitchen Aid.

Fresh Homemade Butter

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Homemade Marshmallows

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Homemade Whipped Cream

cocoa

 

Deep Dish Pizza

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Cookies

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Cinnamon Buns

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Kitchen Must Have – Vacuum Sealer

If you don’t yet have a vacuum sealer you REALLY need to get one.  It’s truly an indispensable part of my kitchen and I save so much money because I can buy in bulk and everything stays fresh.  FoodSaver has a few different models at all different price points so you should be able to find something that meets your needs.  I just bought myself a brand new vacuum sealer with all of the bells and whistles but for years I’ve been using the most basic model that they have with great success.

My favorite thing to buy in bulk is meat, the prices are so much better and the quality of meat that I can pick up at BJ’s is SO much better than any supermarket.  I usually buy ground beef, chicken, steaks and stew meat in bulk.  Another must have in your kitchen is a scale, you’ll need it to break up these huge packs of meat into specific portions and sizes.  With chicken and ground beef I prefer to make one 1 lb packs since most recipes call for 1 lb servings.  Large steaks I vacuum seal individually and for my stew meat I freeze packs in the exact amount that I need to make a batch of stew.  You can literally keep your meat frozen for MONTHS once it’s vacuumed sealed.  Everything stays super fresh and there is literally not a lick of freezer burn on any piece of meat.

The vacuum sealer is also great for snacks, deli meats, bulk packs of cheese and even fruit.  My sealer has a great feature where you can “pulse seal” so that you don’t crush delicate foods like soft fruits and breads.  They even have resealable bags which comes in handy when you want to seal a food that you use regularly.  There is really nothing you can’t seal with this machine and I think you’ll find that it will quickly become one of the most useful appliances in your kitchen.  I absolutely love mine and sing its praises to everyone!

FoodSaver V4440 2-in-1 Automatic Vacuum Sealing System with Bonus Built-in Retractable Handheld Sealer & Starter Kit, Black Finish

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