Who here loves to cook?! – I mean, REALLY, loves to cook?
There are two types of people. People who cook in order to eat (re: survive), aka my heartmate. And then there are people who cook because they actually enjoy it, like myself.
While I really do love to cook, if I’m being 100% honest, I’m not the most in love with the current layout, setup and decor of my kitchen. Earlier this year my heartmate and I decided to add some marble upgrades to it with a backsplash that we installed ourselves. It helped, mildly.
One thing I DO love about our kitchen, are all of our cooking tools & appliances.
One of the most frustrating things for me is trying to accomplish or create something with poor performing tools. Don’t you agree?
If I’m trying to make a smoothie (like any one of these smoothie bowls), but my blender decides it won’t cooperate, and it takes me four times as long as it normally should, I’m instantly peeved. Yes, I can be impatient sometimes, but it’s a generational thing, right? 😉
Good cooking tools are essential to a painless & fun time in the kitchen.
And when it comes to quality cooking tools, President’s Choice is a brand I love.
Because I get quality products, for a competitive price. And as much as I love Williams Sonoma or Crate & Barrel for certain kitchen items, the prices don’t compare. What I learned recently though, is that they don’t always have to compare. Expensive does not define quality.
I’ve had some PC items in the kitchen that have honestly lasted me years.
From cast iron skillets, to thermometers, peppermills, frying pans and knives, quality matters most, not price. Given my love for all things kitchenware and kitchen must-haves, I’m sharing the five cooking tools my kitchen is always equipped with, and EACH of them retail for less than $100.00! Some only cost $20.00!
Cooking Tool #1 – A knife.
I mean, a real, legit, proper cutting kitchen knife. Or some might call it a butcher’s knife or forged knife 🙂
Here’s a perfect example of expensive vs competitive pricing for the value of what you get. I happen to own a Wusthof Knife. An $800.00 Wusthof Knife to be precise.
I also own a PC Kitchen Knife (a set of two forged knives) that retails at $49.99 CAD (That’s less than 1/10 the cost for those of you who’re counting).
Now, while the Wusthof blew my mind the first few months I was using it, so did the PC knife. And like ANY knife, regardless of cost, without the proper upkeep, it’ll get dull. It’s the quality of steel that matters most, and both brands are made with German steel, and both perform VERY similarly. So, $800.00 or $50.00, you decide!
Cooking Tool #2 – Wooden Cutting Board
Don’t give me plastic. Don’t give me glass.
A cutting board should always be made of wood. Period. That’s how I see it, anyway. Just like a proper knife, a proper cutting board is key in the kitchen. What would my kitchen be without a wooden cutting board to chop, slice and dice all my vegetables.
S likes to call me a vegetable butcher, because by the time he gets home from work, I’ve already got the kitchen smelling like freshly chopped onion, garlic (there is no limit when it comes to garlic) and fresh veggies.
This one from President’s Choice retails for $69.99 and I’m in love with it. It’s strong, sturdy and made in Canada. Need I say more?
Great Food Finds!
Some of the foods you see featured in the photos here also happen to be from President’s Choice and some are a staple chez moi!
S & I happen to really love the Organic Chopped Kale. It comes frozen which is perfect for stir-fries or roasting in the oven with other vegetables drizzled with olive oil.
The cake you see is a Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake (I didn’t try it as it contains dairy), but S L-O-V-E-D it and so did the guests we served it to! It’s great for storing in the freezer and quickly pulling out to share with friends!
I’m going to try and recreate a vegan/plant-based version of it with fresh matcha from President’s Choice! Stay tuned for that recipe to come!
Cooking Tool #3 – Lemon Zester
Ok, sure, this one is arguable. Many may not consider it to be essential in the kitchen, but I certainly do. And I’m sure my other foodie friends feel the same.
If you bake, it’s key. If you cook and like to marinate things, it’s key. If you like freshly zested salads or like making hummus or other spreads, it’s equally key here, too.
Cooking Tool #4 – Pepper mill
If you’re like me, you like your foods SPICY!
The spicier, the better in my opinion. And there’s nothing I find more gratifying than the sound of that fresh pepper grinding inside the pepper mill. LOL – yes I’m a kitchen nerd.
In a recent cooking tool learning session with President’s Choice, I learned grinding your pepper in a mill actually keeps the pepper fresher. Often times when you buy ground pepper for say, a pepper shaker, the pepper is often dated, expired or simply not fresh. But grinding it yourself preserves the flavour and the freshness.
I also happen to love a good pepper mill as a decor piece for the kitchen. And in this case, yes, bigger is better 😉 This one from PC sells for only like, $35.00 and goes on sale down to $15,00 – which is a total steal! I’ve seen some of the much larger ones go for like $400.00!
Cooking Tool #5 – Cast Iron Skillet
To be fair, I only recently started regularly using a cast iron skillet. When I was exploring and transitioning to vegetarian/vegan, I was at a loss for uses of the skillet. Previously I’d only used them to cook a variety of meats.
That is, until the “vegetable is king” notion made a comeback! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen recipes call for either a whole head of cauliflower, or a large eggplant or squash as the main attraction of the meal.
Using a cast iron skillet to roast veggies and get those beautiful summer grill marks, without a barbecue, is all done with the skillet. I even use it to get those perfect grill marks on my tofu steaks, it’s brilliant!
Cast iron skillets, good ones anyway, can sometimes run you a fortune if you can’t tell the difference between them. Again, thanks to PC, I learned the value of a dollar as it relates to quality cast iron skillets. I’ve got this one in red and orange from PC and I use them regularly, making this cooking tool, also key in my kitchen.
This enameled cast iron grill retails for $59.99!
What are your favourite cooking tools or kitchen accessories you can’t live without?
Celebrate the love of cooking & kitchen decor by sharing your favourite cooking tools with me in the comment section below.
I’m actually looking to acquire a few new pieces, so please do share some of your recommendations with me if you’ve got any good ones!
Nick Joly | Inspired by Nick